Inaugurating her new column with HealthManagement.org, Sabine Torgler reflects on the news about the start of the vaccination programme against COVID-19 in the UK from the nurse’s perspective.
Since two weeks ago, it is public that the UK is starting its vaccination programme against COVID-19. When the BBC reported it on Wednesday, 2 December 2020, I thought, ‘Hallelujah, it is Christmas!’ I was overwhelmed by the feeling that there was light at the end of the tunnel. I got messages from my friends from Germany, who congratulated the UK as the first country in the world to undergo the vaccination programme.
For me as a nurse and a COVID-19 survivor, it was also immediately clear that I would apply for a post to become an immunisation nurse, on top of my workload as a Staff Nurse. The UK National Health System (NHS) is currently recruiting staff members who are able to vaccinate, and also members of the public who are happy to undergo a training programme to learn how to vaccinate.
To be able to get the vaccine in to the British society (ca. 40 million people need to be inoculated) one needs to have a large network of vaccination centres run by clinical and non-clinical staff.
My feeling of being a member of this team is quite deep, as it was – and still is – of also being involved as a Staff Nurse in the first and second wave of COVID-19, working with patients and residents.
My partner’s mother will get the vaccination this coming Sunday. She is 89 years old, very fit, independent, and she cannot wait to get the drug. She comes from a generation, which has gone through a lot (WW2, post-war times, etc.). She knows what it means to be challenged in life on a level, which sometimes no words can describe the feelings for – like these times with COVID-19. Therefore, we are all very happy for her that she will be able to feel safe again.
I am not a religious person, but this is how religion must feel for one, who believes in something – and I truly believe in this vaccine. I have no doubts that this vaccine will work. Whether it will get us the protection of 90-95% as evidence has shown, time will tell. But I trust science, I trust all the scientists in the world who for many months worked 24/7 to get us all out of this very challenging times.
I wonder sometimes, why I have no doubts here with the new drug. Am I too naïve? ‘No’ is the answer straightaway, which washes the question away. Patients and residents trust me as a nurse to be looked after in a professional way. They trust me that I follow my code of conduct and the guidelines, and use my clinical expertise to be able to ensure patient safety. Therefore, my colleagues from the medical research department have my trust that their achievements to create the new drug will guide us to a new street, which is called HOPE.