People in the UK who receive the coronavirus vaccination can expect to be given a card after the procedure, it was revealed today.
However, ministers were quick to point out that this will not function as a “vaccine passport”. The card appears to be more a method to remind people to get their second dose of the vaccine, rather than a document needed to get into bars, clubs and football stadiums, as was hinted at and then swiftly denied by the government last week.
Using the slogan “Enjoy life. Protect yourself”, the card reads in full, “Don’t forget Covid-19 vaccination… Make sure you keep this record card in your purse or wallet… don’t forget to attend your appointment to have your second dose of vaccine. You will have your best protection after two doses.”
The vaccinations will be rolled out from tomorrow, with as many as 4 million expected to get the jab before the end of the year. Priority will be given to NHS workers, people over the age of 80 and care home residents. Although this sounds like a large number of people, members of these demographics have been told not to worry if they’re not called for a vaccine this month, because “the vast majority” of them won’t be until 2021.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said, “I don’t think people should expect anything over the next few days, because the reality is, as I said, that for the vast, vast, vast majority of people, this will be done in January, February, March. And the one thing we don’t want people to get anxious about or concerned about is ‘Where’s my letter?’ in December. People really shouldn’t worry if they’re over 80 and they haven’t had a letter.”
While the vaccine roll-out is undoubtedly good news, some experts have warned that we still need to proceed with caution. Dr David Nabarro, WHO special envoy for the global COVID-19 response, told Sky News that “we have to go on treating this virus with respect”, which includes continuing to wear face masks and practice social distancing. "The reality is, it will be some months before we can dispense with these precautions,” he said.
Asked when we can expect to return to normality, Dr Nabarro was circumspect. He said, "I hate making predictions, but let's just consider it in the big picture. None of us will be safe until the whole world is safe. Big patches of normality are coming up soon, but not everyone will be vaccinated for at least a couple of years. So normal life as we know it is a couple of years away for the world."