Don't be selfish – wait your turn for the Covid vaccine

Charlotte Stokoe, physician associate, adds the sodium chloride to the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vacc

Vaccines are the key to beating Covid-19 and keeping ourselves and our relatives safe – but it's important we don't trample over one another in our eagerness to get inoculated. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Contrary to what appears to be popular opinion, our reporters do  read the comments sections across our websites and on social media.

One of the things most people are talking about at the moment, naturally, is the coronavirus vaccination process and how it is being rolled out across Norfolk and beyond.

This is of no surprise, of course – all our lives have been put on hold for the last 10 months, and the only way we will be able to return to some semblance of normality is once a significant proportion of the population has been inoculated against Covid-19.

But that will be a long process. It's no secret that it will take months and months before the project is at a stage where most of us will be able to get their jabs.

This has been made clear at every opportunity – which is partly why it's so frustrating to constantly see comments demanding that they or their family members be next on the list for the vaccine.

Take a story from last weekend, for example. We reported on Sunday evening that the vaccine roll out would move on to over 70s – previously, only those over 80 and frontline workers like NHS and social care staff and care home residents had been eligible.

This was a good news story – a sign that the process had taken a step, even if only a small one, further along its timeline.

For me it was spoiled, slightly, by a plethora of people in the comments section who were demanding answers as to why their mother/father/grandparent/friend hadn't had the call for their first jab yet.

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Firstly, to be clear, I understand completely why it happens. Everyone's worst nightmare throughout this whole process has been their friends and family catching the virus, especially those who are particularly vulnerable to its effects.

My nan, for example, is in her 70s, suffers from COPD and has recently had a battle with lung cancer. As far as vulnerable people go, she's pretty high on the list.

Even though she has been extremely careful and has barely set foot outside her home since last March, I still have that constant, niggling worry – what if she somehow does catch it? She has said it herself that, if she were to get Covid, the state her lungs are in means she probably wouldn't stand a chance.

I will breathe much more freely once she has been immunised, but I know and she knows that she has to wait her turn. We all do.

There are estimated to be almost 70 million people living in the UK. It's pretty obvious that it's going to take a long time to get around that many people.

As a young person with no underlying health conditions that I'm aware of, I know I'll be one of the last on the list to get my jab. Don't get me wrong I'd love to have it as soon as possible, but I know that there are millions of people out there who need it a lot more than I do.

The other frustrating thing about these comments is that a little bit of common sense should tell you that, in order for the rollout to be done as quickly as possible, it's simply not practical to wait until every single eligible person from one age group has been given their vaccine before moving on to the next.

As vaccine provision expands over the coming weeks and months, appointments will be open to more and more people to ensure that as few time slots are wasted as possible.

All we want is for our loved ones to be safe and for life to get back, at least in some ways, to the way it was before – but that shouldn't come at the cost of us trying to trample over one another. 

If this whole terrible pandemic has had any positive effect, it's how it has brought out the best of us. Community heroes across Norfolk, Suffolk and the rest of the country have stepped up to help others in need in some incredibly inspiring ways.

Let's continue to support one another, work together and wait our turn for the vaccine. It will come eventually, and with any luck you'll be able to hug all your family and friends again someday soon.

Just remember – that's all everyone else wants too.

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