Which Vaccine Would You Like Sir?

Never before have I so willingly sought a vaccination. Throughout my life I was either taken as a baby unsuspectingly by my mother or dragged there a little later in life with the promise of something afterwards.

Sometimes, as I am a member of a large family of children, I recall us all being lined up in the dining room while the doctor ran along the line with his syringe. He possibly dunked it in hot water as he went but I wasn’t watching. Not being the oldest made the wait and the experience even more painful.

In later life vaccination continued to be a punishment; for example an additional hardship and humiliation after sticking a garden fork in ones foot. Tetanus jab in the arm and penicillin in the backside. It never crossed my mind to ask for the sommelier with the menu and the last thing I wanted was to see it decanted or have a taster dose. Nor I did not need posh syringes to impress the people at the other tables.

I have not changed as I got older. I have resisted flu as an affront to my masculinity, my fitness, my good health and because if its ageist connotations. That was until this year when my wife dragged me to the surgery with the promise of something afterwards and subjected me not just to flu but pneumonia as well. A deep affront. There was no feel-good factor and I can’t say about the reward.

I have been forced to have others as well, like those before they would let me get on the plane for a holiday. But I have never felt the need of these affronts to my liberty. My consent has been forced under pain of some deprivation. I never believed I would get tetanus, or yellow fever nor have I ever seen anyone with it or green monkey disease for that matter.

But now I really wanted this Covid stuff, couldn’t wait to get there and what a brilliant feeling it is to have had it. But what a choice, what a decision.

 “The damage done by former friends, apparently for political purposes, is not only to sow doubt in Europe but around the rest of the world.”

Who would have thought that the outcome of the pandemic would be a changing of the world order by countries being bribed to get a vaccine. China is offering two on a diplomatic world tour. Mind you it could be a good vintage having been laid down for years before the pandemic!!

Russia has others which Germany appears to be promoting both by offering to manufacture and by thrashing the reputation of the English one with more than a little help from France. So serious is this damage that the injection of the oxford is actually making Germans feel ill. The nocebo effect.

But, sorry, I am not having something called sputnik in my arm. And what would the neighbours say? I am torn between two. The microbiological Lego of Pfizer suits my modernist tastes but I think the intellectual association of the Oxford will win the day.

The UK is second to Israel for percentage of the population vaccinated with an approved vaccine and we know from this massive confirmation that the Oxford version is very effective and safe.

The damage done to its reputation by former friends without scientific justification, apparently for political purposes is inexcusable. This has not only sown doubt in Europe but around the rest of the world to all the poorer countries which desperately need vaccination and who may now fear that they are being offered an inferior product even though it has been offered to them on an not for profit basis by a well-intentioned manufacturer.

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