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“Like a miracle“: Edinburgh students receive vaccine

Following record-high numbers of both Covid -19 cases and deaths, this week saw the introduction of even more restrictions on public life in Scotland; takeaways must now be served through a doorway or a hatch, and click and collect services must only be used for goods deemed essential.

With three Covid-19 vaccines now approved for use in the UK, however, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Jabs have been distributed in Scotland since the 8th December 2020, and the schedule of vaccinations follows recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). 

Care home residents and those over eighty, as well as frontline health and social care workers, make up the first two priority groups. 

As such, University of Edinburgh students working in these fields have received doses of the vaccine, with more expected to be vaccinated in the coming weeks. 

The Student spoke to Aeonie Ramsay, a fourth-year Psychology student who received the vaccine because of her work as a support worker.

She told us of the worry she experienced before she was vaccinated, particularly as she wasn’t supplied with PPE “for the first 12 weeks of lockdown.”

“There were a couple of scares with one person I support who had to get tested twice, but the only person they’d been seeing was me.

“I was feeling really bad that I’d brought Covid into their home but turned out they had a chest infection both times.”

Aeonie told The Student that she was “glad” to be receiving the vaccine, as did another student.

Speaking to The Student, a fourth-year medical student said:

“Being vaccinated definitely gives me some relief from the constant worry of either bringing Covid onto the ward or into my flat.”

However, she also expressed a worry that this particular issue won’t fully disappear “until more people have been vaccinated.”

She also told us that she was a “little frustrated” at the prospect of having to wait for a second dose of the vaccine, but understands the “reasoning behind the decision” after the JVCI recommended that priority should be given to delivering the first dose “as this is highly likely to have a greater public health impact in the short term and reduce the number of preventable deaths from COVID-19.” 

The Student also spoke to a third-year English Literature student who is awaiting the vaccine and is classed as vulnerable about what vaccination means to her:

“The promise of the vaccine feels like a miracle.

“I can say to myself that I don’t think Covid would affect me that badly, that there’s those that are far more vulnerable, but the truth is that the current strain is hospitalising more young people without any underlying conditions and that makes going out to the shop feel like I’m pushing my luck.

“To have it and to know that I have done what I can to protect myself will finally shift me and those like myself out of this permanent limbo and feeling of inevitable impending doom.”

Whilst individuals with underlying health conditions can, according to the Scottish Government’s Vaccine Deployment Plan, expect to have had their first doses of the vaccine by early May, there is still a little longer to wait for the rest of Edinburgh’s student population.

Image: Wikimedia Commons