by Colin Campbell
A POLL by the Inverness Courier found that 20 per cent of people would not go for a vaccination appointment at three in the morning.
That would be their choice. But unless they had a very good reason for turning the chance down, they should then go to the back of the queue.
The vaccination programme gives priority to those deemed to need the jab first, and then works downward on an age-related basis. The older you are, the sooner you’ll get it.
But another non-medical factor should enter the equation as well, eagerness and willingness. That is, eagerness to be vaccinated and willingness to go out of your way to get it, even if you are faced with the monumental inconvenience of having for one night to lose a bit of sleep.
That poll question also reflected the hope – indeed the expectation, the demand – that very soon we have a 24-hour vaccination centre set up in Inverness.
Never mind going along at three in the morning, I’d stand all night in a queue in a snowstorm to get that precious liquid into my veins.
It’s said that there will be an appeal for volunteers to assist the medical people at 24-hour centres. Count me in. For much of my career in journalism I was used to being up half the night anyway, working until the early hours. I’m perfectly used to being fully alert and mentally active at three, four or five in the morning.
This is a national emergency. The vaccine programme is the way out of it. Volunteering is not something I’ve done before although I greatly admire all these fine people who give their time and effort to supporting so many good causes. But I’m more than willing to do a few all-nighters if it’s even the smallest help in getting the vaccine dispersed.
The programme seems to be coming along effectively. This should not be a political issue. The online back and forth over whether Scotland’s doing marginally better than England or vice-versa – whoever it comes from – seems to come from people with tiny minds.
We should expect a 24-hour centre to be set up in the Highland capital in the very near future. We should expect people to be waiting in line for the jab round the clock. This is the way out of this dreadful situation, of these soul-destroying past 10 months.
Eagerness to be vaccinated and willingness to help are central to the biggest and most important medical challenge we’ve ever faced. And those who merely shrug and say they’ll get it done some time later are more than welcome to sleep on and give up their place in the queue to others keen or desperate to gain the life-changing benefits that vaccination will bring.