Northern Ireland reached a historic milestone this week when it was announced that a million people had now received their first COVID vaccination. Not bad for our wee country which has an adult population of approximately 1.5 million. Added to that, over 1/2 million have now received both doses, offering up to 95% protection against the disease.
The first jabs were administered just before Christmas and the United Kingdom has led the way globally in the efficiency and effectiveness of its vaccination programme. It’s been a rare success story for a government that has been often criticised for its lack of leadership and decision-making during the pandemic. The results have been impressive and the figures hard to argue with.
Infection rates, numbers of those hospitalised by the virus and death figures have tumbled. Vaccinations have undoubtedly saved thousands of lives and allowed us to edge towards normality as restrictions are gradually eased and we cautiously emerge from lockdown life. Yet still the tiny, but incredibly vitroilic, anti-vaccination minority continue to stick their heads in the sand and scream online about conspiracy theories and their precious rights being violated.
An increasing number are paying for these rights with their lives. Recent figures show a small, but sobering, number of people who are now seriously ill in hospital from coronavirus, having refused to avail of the vaccine. A fellow tweeter contacted me yesterday about personal experiences of patients denying the existence of coronavirus as they are placed on ventilators and transferred to intensive care units.
I struggle to understand the mentality and rationale of such individuals. It’s exhausting and ultimately a pointless exercise. I focus on my own family and adhering to scientific and government guidance that has served us well with regards the vaccination programme. It’s very hard for me to have any sympathy for those who refuse to avail of vaccinations yet still expect our besieged health service to battle to save them when their lives hang in the balance
Are you willing risk your life?