Since the start of the pandemic, one thing was clear, we would have to vaccinate our way out of it.
As of Wednesday February 24, over 18,500 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been put into arms on the island, but how did we get to this point?
Before the Storm
Before Covid-19, a vaccine had never been produced in less than a few years and vaccines for other viruses and diseases such as HIV have been in the research stage for decades and not produced results.
Coupled with no vaccine being available for coronavirus in humans, it is little wonder that back in 2015 Bill Gates was warning that humanity was not ready for a pandemic.
Back in 2005 and 2006, the identification and development of vaccines and medicines to treat SARS was supposedly a priority for governments around the world at that time, we still don’t have one.
In fact the only disease we have ever been able to rid the planet of is smallpox, it wasn’t perfect, but it got the job done. In his blog, Bill Gates said: ‘It left a scar on the arm of anyone who got it. One out of every three people had side effects bad enough to keep them home from school or work. A small—but not insignificant—number developed more serious reactions.’
The Pandemic Hits
If we’re honest, a good number of us were quite dismissive of Covid when it was first starting to be reported. It was approaching Christmas 2019, it was on the other side of the world and with bird flu and swine flu, the Rona seemed of little concern. Oh how wrong we were.
Within a short few months, we would be ordered to stay at home and societies shut down. But in laboratories around the world, scientists were hard at work to find us all a way out of this pandemic. With unprecedented international cooperation, by April 2020 the World Health Organisation and G20 had committed to making a vaccine a priority, while countries, companies and individuals poured billions into research.
Get Your Orders In
While this was going on, the British gov moved quickly to order millions of vaccines. By February 7 of this year, it had placed orders for a combined total of 457 million doses across eight different vaccines. On the Isle of Man, we get a percentage of those vaccines on a per capita basis (0.13%).
December 2 2020, the UK became the first country to give approval for use of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine.
December 8 2020 Margaret Keenan, 90, became the first person in the world (outside trials) to receive the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine, shorty followed by William Shakspeare.
December 30 2020, UK became the first country to approve the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
January 8 2021, the Moderna vaccine was approved.
Welcome to the Rock
No not the Michael Bay masterpiece starring Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage, but the arrival of vaccines on the Isle of Man.
December 16 2020, the Pfizer vaccine arrived on the island, but it would be three weeks before it would be used.
January 4 2021 Sandie Hannay, a senior residential support officer in the Learning Disability service, receives the first jab on the Isle of Man at a special unit in Ward 20 at Noble’s Hospital.
January 18 2021, Sally Murray, 84, living in Southland retirement home, becomes the first Manx resident to get the Oxford jab.
January 28 2021, the Ronaldsway vaccine hub, complete with excellent skirting boards, opens.
February 11 2021, Ward 20 hub closes.
February 15 2021, Chester Street hub in old Shoprite opens to replace Noble’s hub.
To be continued…