Mum’s the Word columnist Dolly Osborne discusses vaccines
Somehow, we have got to the point where vaccines are no longer a part of our routine but are something controversial. To me the word vaccination summons up memories of queuing up in our vests at primary school or the memory of being a sixth former getting her BCG vaccine late and yet insisting the school nurse held my hand even though it meant losing face in front of the younger kids.
Now vaccinations are a tricky topic; talk of them quickly becomes emotional and divisive with everyone concerned insisting that they are doing the right thing for their child whether they be pro or anti-vax. Indeed, the subject is so emotionally loaded that I was hesitant to even bring it into my light-hearted mummy column for fear of alienating readers but given the state of the country right now, I feel it’s the only parenting issue I could possibly address.
COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. It has brought so many losses with it; the devastating loss of life, loss of freedoms, of celebrations, the loss of close contact and time together as families, losses that are too vast to even summarise here.
New Year to most of us is a time of hope. It’s a run up to spring and new life, fresh starts and in 2021 much of the optimism of the new year seems to be attached to the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. It promises so many of us hope. Hope that some semblance of normalcy will return. Hope that we can see friends and family that we have missed all year. Hope that our lives can take place outside of the virtual recreation centres that we have had to build and rely on. This ray of light is the thing helping me get out of bed every day. Yet every bit of light brings a shadow and I fear that the shadow attached to this optimism is fear of vaccination.
I’m not an immunisation specialist but I was a nurse for 15 years and I know that for any vaccination program to be successful a certain percentage of the population has to participate. Right now, I’m scared that the chance for my son to get back to school, to see his grandparents, his aunt, his cousin, that all of this might be scuppered by fear.
I never thought as an adult I’d long for those days of queueing in my vest in the primary school corridors, but I do. Back then we all felt like one community coming together to keep us all healthy; I really hope we are still.
Find Dolly on Twitter @Osborneosaurus
Written by Dolly Osborne | www.raggydollywrites.wordpress.com