IF local people do not take up the offer of the Covid-19 vaccine in sufficient numbers, then we will be left living with the significant consequences of the virus for at least two to three years, a frontline health care worker has warned.
Sister Valerie Topping, who manages one of the Covid wards at the South West Acute Hospital, said that she hoped everyone gives serious thought to taking the vaccine, when it is offered to them.
She said, “Unlike the seasonal flu vaccine, which ‘at risk’ people take to keep themselves well, the Covid vaccine is not just about protecting yourself, it is about protecting everyone; even people we may never meet. My worry is that if insufficient numbers of the population agree to take it, then we will be left living with significant consequences of Covid-19 over at least the next two to three years.
“Hospitals will continue to be burdened with Covid-related admissions, families will continue to experience bereavements and we will all experience further restrictions in our every day lives. As the slogan says, ‘We all need to do it, to get through it’.”
The ward sister further warned that an added consequence of the current high level of Covid would be the standing down of some other health care services for a second time.
“Whilst hospital admissions remain high, then inevitably those on waiting lists will continue to wait and some cancer services will be delayed, which can have an untold consequence on individuals. None of us would wish that for our family members. It is vital that we reduce transmission within our communities.