Miracles and cures and healing wells. And vaccines.

So, this morning, almost a year on from our first Covid lockdown in the UK my phone ‘pinged’. Five minutes later the confirmation of my vaccination appointment was on my screen.

Think of what it has taken to get here so fast.

Hundreds of years of medical and biochemical education and research in the background. The insight and will-to-succeed of vaccine researchers. Countless late nights in the lab. Moments of scientific inspiration. Days of laborious grind. Super-smart software developers building the data analysis tools used by these scientists (hello to many of my ex-colleagues!). Manufacturing managers setting up new production processes in record time. The (always unsung) IT guys coding and checking and checking again the logistics and appointments systems. Warehouse staff and drivers moving millions of doses. Diligent admins collating the data and ticking all of the right boxes. Our NHS ensuring everyone gets vaccinated free, prioritised by need. Civil servants making sure it all comes together (thank God you pay your taxes). And, at the end of it, volunteers and nurses waiting for me in a community centre in Milton with their smiles and their little phials of hope.

So often, for so many of these people, we only hear about their work when it goes wrong. So thanks to all of them.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

We’re not out of the woods yet. A vaccine is no guarantee of immunity, for me or any other individual. But vaccines are our collective route to better times. And the fact that they were delivered through human ingenuity and effort makes them no less of a miracle.

Perhaps more so.

“Believe that the further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
and cures and healing wells.”

Seamus Heaney
The cure at Troy