Saturday, May 01, 2021

A Covid vaccination facility in full swing


By Michael Godfrey

NO doubt there wasn’t a spare tee-time to be had across the country yesterday (Monday), or for the rest of the week for that matter. Another milestone was reached as the country slowly begins to unwind from the latest lockdown.

Our golfers, who have had to make do with practicing their swings in the back garden, were once again allowed to don their colourful clothing and head out on to the course – any course, so long as it was within the permitted distance – for the first time in four months. And while there wasn’t a slot to be had at any of the hundreds of golf courses around the country, slots were available for the Covid jab – or people just refused entirely – at the various mass vaccination centres around the country.

I happened to have reason to visit the doctor one day last week – nothing serious, just a stupid accident involving my big toe – and as I waited in the waiting room, I couldn’t but hear the receptionist make and receive calls.

What astounded me was the effort involved in booking some patients for their jab, obviously those in the at-risk category.

I didn’t enquire or engage about what was taking place because the receptionist was far too professional to give me any information, but when I heard her say things such as ‘well, it is there for you if you change your mind’, that got me wondering just how many people are actually refusing to take the vaccine.

I know it is their right to do so, but all the scientific evidence to date suggests that while a small percentage of people will suffer an adverse reaction, as with any drug, even the so-called harmless headache tablets, the benefits of being vaccinated against Covid-19 far outweigh not having the jab.

But the old saying of not being able to satisfy all of the people all of the time certainly rings true in this instance – and there is no point in trying to get them to change their minds. A person whose mind is changed against their will is of the same opinion still, or so it goes.

I, on the other hand, was like a small child as I waited for the appointed time to log on to the HSE portal and register for the vaccine. My time-slot was 17 minutes old when I received confirmation of having registered – and I’ll be there 17 minutes before my appointed time as well.

My brother phoned me at the weekend to let me know he had got the jab in CityWest a few days earlier. A man of precision, he gave me a minute-by-minute account of the proceedings – and the conversation he had with the vaccinator – another new word in our vocabulary, thanks to Covid.

Again, his story was the same as the receptionist’s. The vaccinator told him that having read out all of the possible scenarios as to what might happen after receiving the vaccine, a small number of people get up and leave.

We are all fed up with Covid and all the pain, loss and hardship it has brought over the past year, but as vaccinations are now underway at speed, it might not be a bad thing if the authorities continue to emphasise the benefits of getting the jab.

The entire population has been wishing for lockdown to end, but this will only happen if most of us take the vaccine. We know there are problems with all medicines, but too many people are tired and willing to believe any rubbish they hear or read on social media. Let’s continue to give them the right information for the next few months.


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