Almost daily now we learn of advances being made in the production of vaccines to tackle this dreaded pandemic, news we have all been hoping for since this evil virus invaded our lives at the start of the year. Furthermore, our much-beleaguered government assures us that one or more of the vaccines will be available to patients this side of Christmas and that they are on stand-by to roll out the programme at the earliest opportunity – but have they got it all wrong?
First in the queue, key workers, can’t argue with that but further down the line the strategy becomes puzzling. Care home residents come next, but why? They are not the spreaders of the virus, it is being brought into the home by staff, family or other professionals who legitimately visit the home. Given that there will be a limited supply of the vaccine initially, would the majority of these residents with capacity to make reasoned decisions want to be placed at the top of the allocation list? I suspect not, they would argue that it should be given to their son, daughter, grandchild etc. In other words, someone who has the rest of their lives ahead of them and who will make a contribution to our society for many years to come. I write as a 65-year-old who has a 97-year-old mother, totally bed-bound in a care home. What I am about to suggest will no doubt upset the PC brigade and doubtless an army of liberal “do-gooders”, but I firmly believe the planned strategy of phased “Age Down” allocation of the vaccine is fundamentally flawed. Would it not make more sense and be far more effective if we turned that on it’s head and went “Youth Up”?
Once our fantastic key workers have received their immunisation, let’s get on with safeguarding the young. This would allow them to return to normality by getting back to their leisure pursuits and more importantly getting back to work. This would give an immediate kick-start to the economy, tackle the “spreaders” at source and actually minimise or eliminate the risk of it being taken into care homes. Similarly, our elderly folk who are still fortunate enough to be living at home independently, could be safely visited by their vaccinated younger families.
Some will doubtless say: “Why should the young benefit, it’s them we see revelling and climbing all over one another when we switch on our TVs in the evening”, but that would be a jaundiced and naïve viewpoint. Were we not all young once and can we honestly say we behaved any differently than what we see from our youth today?
Come on Boris, see that this makes sense, and make the call. We have seen enough of Mr Hancock patronisingly sporting his NHS lapel badge at every photo call, dithering at best, incompetent at worst – it’s time you took control and made what would be an extremely brave decision, but in my opinion would be a win-win situation for both our economy and the health of the nation.
C P Wilde, Church Eaton
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