A Shot In The Arm It Might Be, But Don't Go Counting Those Chickens Just Yet
WARNING: This post could have been written by the love child of Ebenezer Scrooge and The Grinch. The whole world appears to have gone into raptures of joy at the news of Pfizer’s vaccine breakthrough. Newsreaders have rediscovered their smile wrinkles, politicians have slipped their shadows of gloom, Trump has tried to take the credit and the stock markets have gone on a celebratory bender.
The news we'd all been hoping for but couldn't quite believe was finally here. With a quick shot in the arm, we'll all be cured of this terrible virus and life can immediately return to normal.
So here it comes....
These are still very early days. The vaccine has shown excellent trial results. But we don’t know how long for, we don’t know if vaccinated people will still spread the virus while being protected themselves. Will this be like the 'flu vaccine - an annual shot in the arm or a once in a lifetime opportunity?
The logistical effort to get the vaccine to all of us will be the biggest mobilisation challenge in human history and has to start with front line medical staff and then on to the vulnerable. Then we have the ever growing ranks of anti-vaxxers to contend with. And that's just in the UK, after all, we have seven billion people on this planet. No wonder Pfizer's shares went up. But we are not home and dry yet, far from it.
We've been fed a diet here in the UK from our government, that a vaccine will spell the end of the pandemic, which is of course misleading and risks setting unrealistic expectations. Because far from being a panacea, whilst it will of course be a good line of defence it does not constitute a means by which to completely eliminate the virus.
And that's perhaps the thing; 100% risk mitigation in a world full of risks is impossible and unrealistic, thus controlling this, rather than being controlled by it, should be our objective.
It is promising, but so starved of good news, we are in danger of setting ourselves up for a huge disappointment as potential snags kick in. So for now let’s continue our SAFER Journey until we know for sure. And even then, let’s take our own actions to stay SAFER with a vaccine as our reliable back stop.
OK back to the music and laughter!
Pat Kelly is a Co-Founder of SafePrem Solutions