RECENTLY a number of people have told me that they do not intend to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

My advice is, unless you have a history of serious adverse reactions against vaccines then vaccination is a must to protect yourself, others around you and also your public duty in reducing the incidence of this disease in society.

Every vaccinated person is a brick in the UK’s wall of protection.

The side effects of Covid vaccination, if any, are slight and show it is simply priming your immune system.

The vaccine gives excellent protection against serious illness and death from Covid. If in doubt contact your GP.

On the other side of the coin, the unvaccinated risk serious acute disease and also long Covid (one in 10 cases) or death from Coronavirus.

They also aid the virus circulating in the population.

In the UK at this moment, one in 16 of the population (4.3 million) have had Coronavirus resulting in 126,000 deaths (one in 34 cases have died in the UK) and others had prolonged illness over 12 weeks (one in 10 cases).

This compares to the risk of a serious adverse reaction with any Covid vaccine being one in many thousands or tens of thousands. So it is a “no-brainer;” the benefits of being vaccinated are overwhelming.

Vaccines are our saviour, they are the gold standard against many serious diseases.

Ask yourself, when you last heard of a UK death from diphtheria, smallpox, lockjaw, polio or rabies? One third of all child deaths in Britain in the 1930s related to diphtheria.
These diseases were terrible killers in their time, it was the vaccines which broke the back of them.

Vaccination (Latin: vacca, “the cow”) first started in Dorset when Dr Edward Jenner saw farmer Benjamin Jesty cutting the Cowpox pustules on milkmaids hands and incising them into others to immunise against smallpox.

This changed the history of medicine and smallpox no longer exists as a disease.
Tuberculosis (TB) was also a great UK killer, but was massively reduced by NHS vaccination.

The measles vaccine gives near 100 per cent immunity and measles death is very rare in the UK – however measles currently kills up to one in 69 of unvaccinated infected children in poorer countries.

The unsung hero in all these cases is the vaccine.

Vaccines protect you, your pets, your farm animals and also wild animals.

When a new rabies vaccine came out in the 1980, I was astounded that no human deaths had been recorded worldwide for those vaccinated in time – a 100 per cent protection record for a 100 per cent fatal disease. That record continues 40 years on.

In the near future the incidence of UK cervical and throat cancer will significantly fall due to the Papilloma virus vaccine.

The bacterial pneumonia vaccine gives 60 to 70 per cent individual protection.

All readers will know of someone who has succumbed to bacterial pneumonia, and pneumonia has a history of following influenza and so the annual flu jab (60-70 per cent effective) also makes a major contribution to public health both in its own right and stopping follow on pneumonia.

At this moment researchers are also researching vaccines against certain cancers, malaria and AIDS… but those are Nobel Prizes for the future.

Vaccines are the top end of all medicines, never ever doubt it. Prevention is always the best way of treating killer diseases. Vaccines protect you like armour and in almost all cases you will never know the great service they gave – they are worth their weight in gold.

So to those hesitant I say, it is the vaccines which deliver an unbelievable health benefit to you and will continue to do so. Be proud and get vaccinated.

Ravine Road, Bournemouth