Posted on 4th December 2021

Finally I am writing from a relieved household as both my wife and I have had our booster jabs. It is just an impression but I think the roll-out has speeded up and ultimately boosters are the best weapon against the virus. The emergence of the Omnicon variant has put the frighteners up one and all including the scientific community. Concrete evidence on its characteristics is yet to emerge but a couple of aspects strike me. It seems highly transmissible, perhaps more so than Delta, but maybe not necessarily more dangerous. Initial research coming out of South Africa shows that the vaccinated are avoiding hospitalisation and death and that is good news. Governments moved swiftly and introduced travel bans and in the circumstances that is understandable. However, in the light of information now emerging one can perhaps understand the view expressed by Barry Schoub of the South African Advisory Committee on Covid vaccines, who said of the travel ban “ It’s a punitive measure against the economy of South Africa”. More worryingly he then suggested that this might be a disincentive to reporting emerging variants. Omnicon has now been found in 24 countries, the numbers are doubling in South Africa every 24 hours. It could soon become dominant globally. It illustrates two things, firstly how rapidly things could change and secondly that this is truly a global phenomenon. We should all pay heed to the World Health Organisation and urge all our politicians to do the same.

Slane Castle

Now to a question posed by many. Should Health-Care workers be subject to mandatory vaccination for Covid 19. Personally I think absolutely Yes. In my view a Health-Care worker who is unvaccinated is putting patients at risk. By definition remaining unvaccinated you are no longer caring for a patient’s health, you are endangering it. In other countries including France it is mandatory. As is usual here, the matter is under consideration. What about a mandatory vaccination for the entire population. It would have the immediate effect of reducing the pressure on ICU beds, as the unvaccinated disproportionally occupy them. As a result they would free up these beds for other patients that might need them. This in itself would save lives. Is it even feasible to introduce such a measure ? Are there other restrictions which would encourage the unvaccinated to get the jab. Whether it is this or increased fear induced by the emergence of the Omnicon variant, thousands have come forward this week to get the jab. On Thursday Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, stated “Given the situation I think it is appropriate to adopt compulsory vaccination”. Together with neighbouring Austria, it will be law by February. Police will make jabs mandatory for the over 60’s with fines for those that don’t comply The march of this virus is changing the landscape, and measures that may have seemed unthinkable a few months ago now seem the right thing to do.

View all news