A Christmas Miracle

A Christmas Miracle

You can all take a big breath, it’s finally happened. A year in the making.

The first dose of the coronavirus vaccine has been released to the most vulnerable last week.

This vaccine couldn’t have come at a better time, the country has faced gruelling lockdowns without seeing friends and family, a mental health crisis, a recession and so much more. As some members of the public are calling this vaccine a Christmas miracle, we agree!

The past year has been difficult for us all, yet in the past week we can all agree to have felt the anxiety and fear of further restrictions and increasing fatality diminish with the news of successful first vaccinations.

From banging pans with wooden spoons at our doors and leaving coloured rainbows in our windows, we have all felt the release of negativity, even UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock held back tears during an interview on Good Morning Britain this week after hearing from a vaccinated elderly man.

History has been made.

The vaccine comes after a big breakthrough in November by Pfizer/BioNTech, with the first published results proving a 95% effective rate against the virus.

This vaccine teaches our bodies to fight the virus to prevent coronavirus from spreading amongst the public and becoming deadly.

Having been met with strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination was approved for use in the United Kingdom on December 2nd.

Whilst other vaccines are currently being developed by other companies across the globe, these will only become available on the NHS after clinical trials and safety checks with all other licensed medicines.

A 90-year-old Margaret Keenan became the first patient to receive the vaccine in Coventry this week, another 800,000 doses are expected to be administered in the coming weeks to Christmas.

Each member of the public must take two doses and administered three weeks apart to be considered completely protected against coronavirus.

Through the first week of vaccinations, the discovered side effects include headaches and feeling tired or achy. If symptoms become worse or last longer than expected, seek medical advice by dialling 111.

The most vulnerable members of the public are receiving the vaccination first, starting with older adults’ in care homes and carers, those who are 80 years of age and over alongside health and social care workers.

The categories then go down by five years each time to those of 50 years and over, with the rest of the population under 50 deemed in the same category.

The vaccine is being transported to the United Kingdom in a special box of around -70C, packed in dry ice and GPS trackers.

Dubbed as “V-Day” earlier this week by Matt Hancock, up to four million people are expected to be given the vaccination by the end of the month.

As a huge milestone of global scientific endeavour and the ingenuity of the population, this week starts the beginning of the counter to the coronavirus pandemic after 9 long months of restrictions, and a light at the end of the tunnel.

Michael Hazle

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