Vaccinations

photograph of somebody being injected in the arm

I’m not sure how they are prioritising vaccines in the UK. If you look at the media, it is by age, although the media is notorious for dumbing things down. My wife (a nurse) is due to administer vaccines (her first time with COVID, although she gives flu and baby jabs all the time) next week. This, apparently, is to “over 80s”. So if we’re delivering by age, that’s where we’re at.

Last week, I received my first COVID vaccination. If you’re interested you can read about it here but it is sufficient to know that although it was above-board, it was completely by accident. I was, for once, in the right place at the right time. I’m 53 and despite the stroke, I’m not considered vulnerable.

So how could this be? The sessions are for over-80s, and yet a 53yo gets jabbed? I have asked myself this same question.

It is one of those scenarios where you think differently, depending on whether you are thinking from your own perspective, or from the wider “public health” perspective.

From a personal perspective, of course I was going to be vaccinated, as soon as it was offered. At present, who would say “no”?

I do think it is a big flaw, however, that we have not drawn up lists of people, with some kind of priority rating. We haven’t done this. There is some loose arrangement to prioritise people, now, by age, but there hasn’t really been much thought about it.

I’m not fussed who would come up with that list, although doctors’ surgeries would seem to be a good starting point. They. after all, already know about the most vulnerable people in society, because they are regularly prescribing meds for them. I repeat, this has not happened, at least, not in any coordinated manner.

This task should have been started last March – I think a lot of questions arising from the pandemic will be “why did they not do x sooner?” – in the full knowledge that sooner or later, this would be a real problem. And, if manpower were a problem, hire people. There were plenty of people at the time, with nothing better to do.

Now, doctors’ surgeries will not have known about people’s occupations, so the story doesn’t end there. But once those initial lists were in place, they could have been expanded to incorporate emergency workers, supermarket workers etc. Any other sectors chosen to be “high priority”. In that way, they could have gradually built up a picture. And the more time available, the better the picture could have been, the more factors could have been taken into account. So, when a vaccine finally did arrive…

It wouldn’t be perfect. There would be holes. But it would be a better system than phoning the nurse’s husband to ask if he wanted the jab. There would be cases like mine, because no system is perfect, but they would be minimised.

I am incredibly forgiving toward our government in the area of COVID. The situation is unprecedented and they were bound to make mistakes. But this aspect is something that should have been foreseen by either the politicians or the bureaucrats, and this is just collating names. This isn’t challenging work – it’s not even in the same league as managing the pandemic itself- it should be bread and butter. It should have been somebody’s job to be thinking about this.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed IT systems in finance, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing mainly health-related software from home, plus some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

28 thoughts on “Vaccinations”

  1. I agree entirely with your views on this matter Pete. Whilst a lot of aspects of the epidemic have caught the government by surprise, there was no excuse for not planning the roll out of the vaccination properly.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My friends’ neighbour said she was going to volunteer to vaccinate as she is doing a part time course in something medical. She added that she could bring some home and give them the jab to save them waiting! Presumably this is not feasible and hopefully she didn’t get the jabbing job!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All areas are different, they seem to be working at a different pace to one another. Some are still vaccinating the over eighties, while others are now vaccinating the over seventy fives.

    I belong to a large GP practice with several premises that cover a large area. They are doing their own vaccinations and have completed the over eighties list and are now vaccinating ALL those aged seventy and over.

    My daughter’s mother-in-law works part-time as a one to one carer for an autistic teenager. She was offered the vaccination and is booked for today. Her daughter, a nurse on maternity leave has volunteered as a vaccinator, her husband now temporarily working from home is looking after the baby.

    The staff at my opticians/audiology practice have already been vaccinated because they undertake NHS work.

    I received a text from my GP’s practice inviting me to go online and book a vaccination slot. I booked it for 08:00 AM. this coming Monday. I deliberately chose an early slot to avoid a
    Possible queue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that the strategy should be centralised. Local delivery, but centralised strategy. We will ultimately have to deliver this to housebound people so it makes sense that doctors’ surgeries are the point of vaccination. I agree that there is bound to be overlap but we plan in order to minimise that. As you say, people have “queue jumped” because of their role, but I wonder how “planned” that all is? With me, it was a ase of a vaccine going spare.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh No, I didn’t say anyone had queue jumped. I think it is the right thing to do to prioritise anyone working in the NHS and private medicine no matter what their role, and all those working as carers.

        I was just talking about how in my area, out of necessity there are many variants in those who are being vaccinated at the present time.

        I’m delighted you’ve had your vaccine. And I totally agree not one vial should be wasted. Thanks, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No, queue jumped was entirely my choice of words. I didn’t mean anything nasty by it, I just meant that if your avowed intent is to distribute vaccines to the oldest first, then vaccinating somebody not in age order might be described as jumping the queue. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – if someone was a young doctor, say, who had contact with covid patients, then I’d expect them to jump right to the front.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. If I was planning it, each area would continue to vaccinate its own as they do now, but first, they would vaccinate all those who’d received a letter of vulnerability during the first lockdown irrespective of age. That frees up hospital beds, then they would vaccinate the oldest age groups as they do now. Simultaneously each NHS hospital or primary care dept should vaccinate their staff and carers. I think that’s broadly happening now but I’m not sure what stage the vulnerable are at regarding the vaccine.

            There would be no delays just because another area had not completed the vaccinations of their oldest.

            Let’s get each community vaccinated ASAP

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Hello Cheryl,
                One of the chief priorities in the U.K. is to reduce the pressure on the NHS hospitals and to do that they need to get the four most vulnerable groups vaccinated.

                By mid February everyone aged seventy and over will have been vaccinated.

                NHS hospital staff have already been vaccinated as have most other health care workers.

                I was in hospital towards the end of December with Covid and the ambulance crew and the staff in the hospital had already had their vaccinations.

                A few areas have not been as organised as others.

                But on the whole I think the U.K. is doing brilliantly with the vaccination program.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. The fine-tuning, I would be happy to leave to the politicians, because they will be re-elected (or not) based on their decisions. But there should have been some plan which could have evolved over a year, instead of being cobbled together on the hoof.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Was it cobbled together? I’ve no idea what planning goes on behind closed doors.

                    As soon we were told that the first vaccine had been approved, a spokesman from my area Primary Trust was on TV announcing that GP practices were ready to go. It featured a GP practice and a doctor telling us the practice was prepared had already been planning, rehearsing and waiting for the vaccine roll out.

                    I’m amazed at the speed they are getting through the vaccinations. I’m proud of that, and especially as we are doing far better than most other countries.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Does it matter where the spare vaccine goes?

                      If people don’t turn up for their appointments. then the vaccine needs to be used ASAP. And especially so with the Pfizer vaccine which has a very short life, The AstraZeneca has a longer shelf life and can be stored for longer in the fridge.

                      Well done to your wife’s medical practice, it makes more sense to use up the excess in this way rather than trying to contact the next ones on the list and moving appointments around.

                      Good news too we’ve got another British one just approved and ready to go.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. It’s good that they used it rather than throwing it away, but there were probably higher-risk people than me, who could have also gone to the surgery at short notice. If they had had a list, they’d have known.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. I assumed our doctors generate their own lists via the computer. My vaccination invitation was sent from my GP by text. Then I went to their website and chose my Time slot, each slot also had the name of the person who would administer the vaccination. Very organised and impressive.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. What a magnificent place to be. Ah well no matter how it’s organised we’ll all get there in the end.
                      Meant to ask, did you have any side effects from the vaccination. Which vaccine was it?

                      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmmm love governmental organization skills. I’m one of the no thanks people. I want to see how people handle it, especially how the first concoction went. How fast they came out with it makes me nervous. Shoot I hadn’t’ I even heard you had to have more than 1 dose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 2 doses, interval depends on the actual vaccine. It’s kinda scary because I’m sure people go in with the best on intentions but the system must just grind them down. And you lean toward having a smaller state, just on the grounds that the state is not competent enough to deliver things.

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  5. I’m getting one tomorrow. There’s only two places here that give them, one happens to be my doc office. I’m only doing it because my daughter won’t stop bugging me about it. I’m feeling fine, stay home, but I’m 74, and considered vulnerable because of health issues. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My parents aged 84 and 86 live in the London suburbs. They have received 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine – the first just before Christmas, the second three weeks later. My mum has several health conditions including COPD and heart problems, my dad has diabetes. They had sore arms after their jabs but no other problems. They turned up and were dealt with respectfully and the greatest care on both occasions, they were amongst 300 others all seen on the same day. I think we’ve done incredibly well at the sharp end of this. There are issues as you have said about different ages starting to be invited but I think that’s probably because of storage issues and people not able to attend and then quick decisions have to be made to avoid wastage – call in those who can get in quickly and easily. Almost all of our care homes have had roving immunisation teams go in, all except those with current outbreaks. By the time those homes are given the ok we may well be working through other ages groups or vulnerable groups. That’s where the problem is – we still can’t fully plan because we are dealing with a disease that still controls us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My beef is with that “avoid wastage”. You can do that by giving it to any old Tom, Disk or Harry. or you can do it by putting some thought in. We should be doing the latter but we are doing the former. At present, at least, there must be many people able to get to their local surgery at short notice, it is a case of deciding (smartly) the order in which to vaccinate.

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