The booster jab is a privilege and we should take it as soon as it’s offered

WE are so lucky to live in Britain, and to be offered the booster jab.

This pandemic has been a brutal shock to everyone.

Covid has devastated all our lives.

Never in my lifetime have I seen families torn apart like this, old people left to die alone, hospitals over­whelmed.

Nobody has been untouched by it.

All our lives have been turned upside down.

There has been a great deal of controversy, accusations and blame in the past two years.

But the one outstanding triumph we can all agree on has been the creation and the rollout of vaccin­ations.

And given the dedication of the scientists and healthcare professionals who have made that possible, we must not let them down now.

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In the deafening clamour of fake news, it is crucial to keep our heads clear.

I just don’t understand vaccine reluctance, and the prevalence of crazy conspiracy theories.

Of course, sadly, some people are unable to have the vaccine for very good health reasons.

But they are a tiny minority.

So why has the take-up of the third jab been so slow?

Why are some older people refusing to take up this life-saving offer?

The booster jab has, after all, been proven to work.

This is a global epidemic, so to find the evidence, look around the world.

One of the first countries to test the vaccinations was Israel.

They have now reported the results.

The good news was that the two jabs really do work in the fight against the disease, providing protection from the worst effects of the virus.

The bad news was that after six months, that protection begins to wane.


So in Israel they tried another experiment, and this summer they started giving the older people who are the most vulnerable a third jab.

The evidence is that it has worked.

Not only do these booster jabs help to prevent people getting seriously affected by Covid, they also seem to prevent them spreading the virus.

Excellent news, if you live in a country where the jabs are available.

But there is an ethical issue here.

So many countries are struggling to vaccinate their people, they argue that we are being selfish and short-sighted to offer a third jab when they haven’t even been able to offer the first two.

They say nobody is safe until the whole world is safe, so they should be allowed to use the vaccine on their population before we offer anyone the booster.

I see their point.

But although it may have been selfish, I rushed to the clinic as soon as I was summ­oned for my third jab. Why?

I absolutely dread taking up a bed in an intensive care unit when there is someone who needs it more than me.

I cannot bear the idea of causing my family anxiety if I can avoid it. And to be absolutely honest, at my age of 81 each day is precious.


One of the six-year-old grandchildren who light up my life had to be rushed to A&E over the weekend to have his appendix removed.

The operation was a success.

But suppose his acute appendicitis had turned into something far more serious, even lethal, because some older person had refused to have the booster jab, and was taking up the vital space and time in hospital?

So I beg you to accept with gratitude this wonderful oppor­tunity to protect your­self, your family, your NHS.

Who knows whose life you will save by protecting yourself?

Who knows how many families will be able to enjoy Christmas because the numbers of infections have dropped, and it’s safe to meet and hug the people we love?

And who knows how many of our health professionals will bless us for protecting them from the heartache of watching Covid patients suffer, even die, needlessly?

The last thing any of us wants is to be carted off to hospital, taking up precious resources and adding to the battle our NHS staff are already fighting to save lives.


If we “oldies” have learned any wisdom over the years, it is to do the sensible thing, and not put ourselves or others in unnecessary danger.

We wear a raincoat in the rain, we wear a seatbelt in a car, and we should jump at the chance to have the third jab as soon as it is offered.

I did, thanks to the dedicated staff and volunteers who made it possible, and I urge everyone to do the same.

That third jab is a privilege, and we should take it as soon as it’s offered to show our appreciation and gratitude to the scientists and healthcare staff who made it possible.

Now here’s how to get your booster jab . . . 

THE NHS is sending invites to anyone eligible for their third jab.

That group is predominantly people over 50 and those over 16 with a health condition that puts them at risk from the Covid-19 virus.

Follow the instructions in the letter, text message or email.

You will normally get the chance to receive your booster at the most convenient venue.

It could either be a local pharmacy, GP surgery, local NHS service or a large vaccination centre.

The third jab should be administered six months after your second one.

If you do not receive an invitation six months and one day from your second dose there is no need to worry.

You can book online via the portal without being called forward.

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