Sam Murray’s Response to Tim Lockington’s Musing

Here Saint Margerets Ward Residents Association Ipswich Lib Dem Tim Lockington has written a piece slagging off the vaccine rollout..

It starts,

I am not an algorithm!

Do you remember the Drama series “The Prisoner” and the memorable line, I’m a free man too and centre stage, “I am not a number, I am a Free Man”?

I’m a free man too and I am not a Vassal of the EU either. If he believes in freedom, why is he against Brexit and what did he have to say about Lockdown?

He then attacks the government for vacccinating vulnerable groups first.

Here Sam Murray shares the bigger picture that Tim would be unaware of due to never venturing beyond Ye Grande Duchy of Lockingtonshire also known as Saint Margerets.

She says,

Today I read a blog from Ipswich Lib Dem Cllr Dr Tim Lockington about his vaccine reflection. It’s the first time I have noticed a blog from the local Liberal Democrats and was interested to see what he had to say. He begins by claiming he is not a number but an individual and should be treated as one when it comes to this vaccination rollout. He doesn’t want the programme to be run in the way it has been run, by using a priority system created on those statistically most at risk based on factors such as health and age. Though Dr Lockington strongly suggests the priority system is only on age which is simply not true.  He goes on to complain that he was able to get a vaccination but was unable to pass it down to his son who he felt was more at risk because he is a teacher.

Now I have in the past shared this opinion. I believed that teachers should have been given priority, but that’s because I wasn’t seeing the bigger picture and at that stage was hidden away from the real world and wasn’t seeing the individuals walking into the vaccine centre I am volunteering at. You see it’s easy to look at something in a very simplistic way as I have been guilty of and say of course teachers should be priority. But now as I grow, and I’m exposed to the real world instead of being isolated at home relying on news headlines, I can confidently say my opinion on this was wrong. It is somewhat ironic for Cllr Lockington to start off by saying he wanted to be treated as an individual but then calls for a group of people who are not statistically more likely to die of this horrible pandemic to be prioritised over extremely vulnerable individuals who are currently being vaccinated. Isn’t this treating people as numbers?  

I remember recently seeing Dr Therese Coffee MP reply to someone, asking them who they would like to see be pushed down the list to prioritise teachers? She is absolutely right. Teachers are predominantly healthy females who are at less risk of being seriously ill if they catch coronavirus. Would you like us to say to our severely disabled that they need to wait at home because they are not “frontline” even though they are still more likely to die without a vaccination?  Because this is the real reality here.

No system will be perfect, especially when we are trying to vaccinate such high numbers of people, and yes there will be the self proclaimed 65 year old in “mercifully good health” who will get a vaccine before someone else. But there must be a system in place and anyone that thinks otherwise should not be allowed anywhere near the decision-making process.

Unlike Dr Lockington, I am not medically trained, but I am aware that the vaccination does not stop you getting Coronavirus, it also doesn’t completely stop you passing it on to someone else. What it does, is hopefully protects you from dying if you were to get the virus. So now that I have that understanding, which admittedly I didn’t fully have a little while back, I can say that I disagree with the notion that a group of people who statistically are a low risk of being hospitalised or dying based on their job should jump a queue.

Where I do believe your occupation should be taken into account is in circumstances where you are exposed to vulnerable people such as carers and NHS wokers. It was reported 3 days ago that a single does the Pfizer cuts the number of asymptomatic infections and could significantly reduce the risk of transmission. Essential for reducing the spread to vulnerable people. Children statistically are not vulnerable in these circumstances. (I am of course not including SEN schools) Dr Lockington claims that asymptomatic spread has “been managed by Lock-downs and by testing, not altogether reliable, but has not featured in vaccine policy.” If this was the case then why were care home staff prioritised for the vaccine and how has 80% of NHS workers been given their first dose? Cllr Lockington’s claim is simply not true.

The prioritisation system will no doubt have the odd Lockington slip through the net, but overall will be one of the greatest success stories this country will have in my lifetime. To tear this apart, the way Ipswich Lib Dems have, is a kick in the teeth to all those who are working hard to get these vaccines in the arms of our vulnerable in society. Though we would all love for our family members to be given the vaccine as soon as possible, we do all have to accept that there are others who are in need first and perhaps the young music teacher and son of an Ipswich councillor, if in good health will have to wait until those who are not in such good health and those with disabilities are given the protection first.

Now that I am seeing first hand the impact this programme is having on individuals, I am not only full of pride and admiration towards every single person involved, but I am reminded of the individuals I see come into the centre. Each with a story and who we are protecting. Every single shift I do, I reflect on the people I see come in and how much relief and hope they have as they say thank you and leave. Also trust me when I say, they range from all ages and all walks of life. What they have in common, is they are at risk somehow and we are giving them the protection they need.

Sam Murray

I need to add nothing.

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