Waiting for the vaccine in the UK

After waiting a whole winter, we can finally meet with British friend Esme.

In the more than ten years since we came to England, Esme has always been our best friend and has given us a lot of selfless help. She is more than 80 years old this year, living alone, and her only family sister has passed away from contracting new coronary pneumonia. We have always cared about her during the epidemic, but even if we were worried, we couldn’t meet.

On March 29, after a year of intermittent closure of the city, the United Kingdom cautiously began to unblock it. From this day on, people can go outside, as long as “no more than 6 people”, they can gather in the park or their own garden.

Although this is not an unblocking in the strict sense, there are many restrictions, but compared to the past year, people finally see hope. Of course, all this is not because of the effective policies of the British government, but because of the widespread vaccination.

At present, in the UK with a population of more than 60 million, as many as 30 million people have been vaccinated, and about 5 million people have received a second shot.

However, the mood of the British people for vaccination is also quite complicated. According to the latest statistics from the British Medicines and Health Administration on April 3, there have been 30 cases of blood clots due to AstraZeneca vaccination in the UK, and 7 people have died.

Although Joan Wren, chief executive of the British Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency, insisted that “thrombosis is extremely rare” and that “AstraZeneca’s new crown vaccine has more benefits than any risks in preventing new crown infection and its complications”, but on social media There are more and more controversies about this locally developed vaccine in the UK.

When we met, we talked about it with Esme who had been vaccinated. Esme said that she did have a strong reaction. She had a terrible headache after the first injection, but she had a second injection a week later, and she felt flustered and weak for a long time.

Under the raging epidemic, the elderly population in the UK is the “severely affected area”. More than 120,000 British elderly people have died from the epidemic. For Esme, the vaccine is “just needed”. No matter how uncomfortable she feels, she will definitely be given. Whether there will be sequelae, I can’t think about it for the time being.

For many Britons, it is also “the lesser of two evils”-being kept at home intermittently for almost a year, they are already on the verge of “mental breakdown”, and vaccines are the only hope for “liberation”.

My family is waiting for the appointment of the vaccination from the National Health Service (NHS). According to the arrangement, vaccinations for people under the age of 50 will be launched in mid-to-late April.

In the UK, the price paid for enjoying free medical care for all is to wait step by step and endlessly waiting. This is true of seeing a doctor and so is vaccinating. I miss Chinese hospitals very much now. Perhaps the environment is relatively inelegant and the services are not so meticulous, but they can make people get the treatment they need quickly.

We are also aware that even if the vaccine is vaccinated, returning to China to visit relatives is still a distant matter. After waiting for a winter at home, the only thing we can do is to wait patiently in this long spring day.