Wednesday 22 December 2021


When I was little, there was a scare about the safety of the whooping cough vaccine. My mum had had whooping cough as a child - she had a bad chest for the rest of her life (you could identify her by her cough) and she eventually died of bronchiectasis - so I was thought to be at risk of complications. So instead of the whooping cough vaccine, I got the real thing when I was about 3. Fortunately, I had some protection from maternal antibodies, so I only got what Mum described as a very mild case, but even the mildest case of whooping cough is an illness you never forget.

So when I had my own children, I made sure they got all their vaccinations, and when I got offered my COVID-19 vaccination, I didn't hesitate. My wife had had a very mild case of COVID-19 early on, and by a very mild case, I mean she was flat on her back feeling utterly miserable for two weeks.

I've now had two doses of Astra Zeneca and one of Moderna (apparently that's a good combination). I had some side effects after the first dose (cramp, fever, vomiting), but I'd take that over COVID-19 any day, No problems at all with the second dose, and the wooziness I got after the booster was probably down to the flu jab I got at the same time.

So, if you know anyone who's reluctant to get vaccinated, tell them my story. Tell them not to be afraid of vaccines, because the real thing would be far worse. Tell them that no soldier would go into battle without his gun. And tell them that the sooner everybody's vaccinated, the sooner we beat this wretched disease and get back to normal life.

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