COVID Positivity

I walked out of clinic with a smile on my face today. This is a novelty of late. But this was no ordinary clinic, this wasn’t 11 hours of virtual consultations and human isolation. This was a COVID vaccination clinic and I highly recommend you all have a go if given the chance.

That’s not to say I have rose-tinted spectacles on about the whole process. I know the logistics are more complex than following a chess game in the Queen’s Gambit and if I was one of the amazing GPs having to organise this rather than the guy that just turns up and jabs I might be thinking differently. I know the numbers don’t add up, with the miserly UK government knowingly underfunding the process (it would cost around £1.6 billion to pay practices to vaccinate every person in the country twice) despite spending £6 billion on procuring the actual vaccines, £22 billion on Test & Trace (good value for money?) and £280 billion on COVID overall in the past 10 months. And I know many practice groups simply lack the bodies to be able to provide this additional, labour-intensive work when we’re experiencing record demand and high staff absence (it’s hard to work overtime when you’re shivering out a fever).

So if your area hasn’t been able to set up these clinics that’s ok; if you’ve chosen not to, I get it, that’s ok too.

But stepping into a covid vaccination clinic is a breath of fresh air.

What a joy to be in a room full of people (we vaccinated in a massive sports hall all socially distanced), soaking up the sound of happy conversation across tables, reviving acquaintances left on hold for a year. What a pleasure to see people face to face again, despite Mr Richards turning up in his Sunday best and Mrs Richards wearing 3 coats. So much happiness, so much gratitude, so much hope. It was moving to talk to people who haven’t left their house in 10 months but can now grasp the path to freedom. It feels good to be doing something positive, to make a difference with every injection. It’s the ultimate antidote to burnout.

And people can see that it’s the GPs, the nurses, the pharmacists, the managers, the admin teams, the volunteers all coming together from their local practice that made this happen. Your patients thank you and they won’t forget.

Dr Neal Tucker
20th January 2021

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