diamond geezer

 Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Dear Citizen [Insert NHS ID number]

This letter is to let you know that yes, we know you exist.

Sorry, when you saw the envelope you probably though it was your invitation to get the vaccine. It's not that. You're a lot further down the list, apologies.

Wait to be contacted

We'll let you know when it's your turn, don't worry. Another letter will arrive looking very much like this one. What we don't want you to do is get in touch and ask when it's going to be your turn. That would just clog up our system with unnecessary paperwork and delay things. So instead we've got in touch by letter to tell you not to get in touch with us, and hopefully that'll speed things up instead.

Please note that if we don't have your address then we won't have sent you a letter. Also if the address we have is incorrect then this letter will not have arrived. NHS databases are ropey at best so it's perfectly possible we have you down as living at an old address, or that someone mistranscribed your contact details from an index card handwritten in 1993. It is therefore crucial that you get in touch with us immediately if this letter has not arrived.

Please note that you cannot pick which of the two vaccines you receive. We won't be telling you which one it is before you turn up to ensure you don't turn down your opportunity beforehand. Do not wait for the Pfizer vaccine because the Oxford vaccine is less efficacious. Do not wait for the Oxford vaccine because the Pfizer vaccine is foreign. It's complicated enough trying to sort the supply chain as it is, what with the need for refrigeration and glass vials and everything, so you'll get the one you're given.

Attend both appointments

It is very important that you turn up for your second dose as well as your first. The vaccine is only fully effective after you've been jabbed twice. One dose definitely doesn't cut it.

Please note that we won't be telling you when your second appointment is. It might be in three weeks as the WHO recommends or it might be in three months because that's The British Way. By extending the gap between doses beyond the recommended duration we can inoculate twice as many people, thereby making the UK's statistics look much better than countries where they're doing this properly. No medical evidence exists to show that this approach works, but equally no medical evidence exists to show it doesn't. What's important is making as many people as possible as optimistic as possible as quickly possible, even if it turns out this fails to slow transmission.

Please note that we will not be providing you with a card or token confirming that your course of vaccine is complete. There are no plans to issue a special badge or wristband absolving the wearer from social distancing legislation. If a police officer spots you coughing with friends on a bus while not wearing a face covering the excuse "but I've been vaccinated" won't cut it. The NHS has enough problems with databases as it is, so don't expect us to be able to keep track of who has or hasn't been done.

Go where you're sent

Please note that you cannot request where your vaccination centre should be. We might send you to a draughty sports hall 20 miles from home, a community centre in a neighbouring town or your local pharmacy. It would be too burdensome to send everyone a letter with a list of options in advance so we haven't. Instead we've assumed everyone has a car, like we did with drive-in test centres, and can drop everything to attend any appointment anywhere. We're just throwing names into available slots, to be honest, because there simply isn't time for fine tuning.

Please note that if you fail to attend your given appointment we may not offer you a new one for several weeks. You have the right to wait until your local doctor's surgery eventually gets in touch and calls you in, because that'd be convenient, familiar and cosy. However we have no idea when your surgery will be receiving supplies because that's an entirely different department, which is why we prefer job lot bookings on a regional basis. Skip your designated two-hour round trip at your peril. You can always get a taxi.

Be patient

Please wait your turn. We cannot tell you in advance when we'll finally get round to inviting you for vaccination. You may think you're in a high priority group but we might disagree, either because our records are incorrect or because you have an inflated view of your own self-worth. A lot of septuagenarians with underlying health conditions need to be jabbed before we'll be dropping your name into our digital brantub.

If you don't want to wait your turn, please note that it doesn't work like that. The vaccine is only available through the NHS at no cost, much to the annoyance of BUPA and other private health insurance companies. If however you'd like a black market jab tomorrow please get in touch with a suitable backhander and we'll refer you to a list of approved suppliers operated by friends of government ministers.

Remain vigilant

Please note that one dose of the vaccine is insufficient for your life to return to normal. It takes a few weeks to develop an immune resistance so you should not hug the nurse after she has administered your injection, nor high five your driver on your way home. Do not feel tempted to nip round and meet with family indoors until an extra fortnight is up, and in fact not even then.

Please note that two doses of the vaccine are insufficient for your life to return to normal. It takes a few more weeks to develop maximum immune resistance so you should not whip off your face covering in the frozen foods aisle or organise a picnic with similarly-vaccinated friends. Do not feel tempted to plan a major gathering or book a holiday until an extra fortnight is up, and in fact not even then.

Be realistic

Please note that vaccination is not a magic bullet. You may feel on top of the world after you've had it but that won't be enough to keep the virus at bay. Indeed we currently have no definitive idea what the way out of this health crisis will be. Mass immunisation will help enormously but we don't know if it'll be sufficient, nor whether our gamble in spreading the two doses three months apart will pay off.

It may be that vaccination prevents deaths but not transmission. It may be that infection rates fall but refuse to fade away. It may be that so many people refuse to be vaccinated that herd immunity is never reached. It may be that new variants evolve faster than we can reformulate the vaccine. It may be that the vaccination programme merely enables a new normal rather than the old one. This is a virological experiment on a national scale, the outcome of which remains entirely uncertain.

This isn't about protecting you, it's about protecting wider society. You might be one of the small percentage who still get nasty symptoms, in which case we're very sorry, but if we can reduce all infections by a similar measure then the NHS might pull through. In the meantime we're sending you this letter as a reminder that we haven't forgotten you and to bring a little hope.

Stay at home. We'll be in touch.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan21  Feb21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
ian visits
blue witch
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
the ladies who bus
round the rails we go
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel
from the murky depths
exploring urban wastelands

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
Inner London toilet map
The DG Tour of Britain

read the archive
Feb21  Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards