Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. Prime Minister's address to the nation on booster jabs: 12 December 2021. 2021. (accessed 20 December 2021)

Here we go again

02 January 2022
2 min read
Volume 33 · Issue 1

As I tuned into the Prime Minister's announcement on the COVID-19 booster programme along with millions of others, I felt a familiar sinking feeling for several reasons. Obviously, the need to speed up the booster programme because of the emergence of the Omicron variant, by offering all over 18's a third dose by the end of December, was worrying, and as I write this, it is unclear whether we will face further lockdown restrictions in the new year as cases soar in late December.

But my main feeling of dismay was because of the lack of recognition for nurses in the phenomenal achievement the UK has made in rolling out the vaccination programme over the past year. Mr Johnson's words on the world-leading vaccination programme so far – and I quote – ‘… made possible by the extraordinary efforts of our NHS, including thousands of GPs and volunteer vaccinators, have literally saved countless lives and livelihoods in this country’ (Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, 2021) had me furiously thinking ‘What about nurses!’. Of course, GPs and volunteers have played their part, but the leader of our country failing to thank nurses – and particularly practice nurses – in an address to the nation is disgraceful and his speech writers should be ashamed of themselves. At a time where nurses have worked so hard, for very little reward, a few words of appreciation could go a long way. I hope our nursing leaders are working to educate Number 10 on how the vaccination programme is staffed. Heather Randle (p30) and Crystal Oldman (p32) both have much more to say on this topic.

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