Vaccine conspiracy theorists have no idea what life was like before these life-saving medicines were available – Susan Morrison

Our local surgery was always full of young mums and babies on jab day. Young dads always had somewhere else to be, oddly.

Margaret Keenan, 90, was the first patient in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine (Picture: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian/pool/Getty Images)
Margaret Keenan, 90, was the first patient in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine (Picture: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian/pool/Getty Images)

I remember my two gurgling away and giving the nurse big licks with the giggles and dimples.

Life for my babies had been great until now. The occasional tummy upset, but mainly, few complaints. Had they written us up on Baby Tripadvisor, we might have got a four-star rating for food service, cosy nap times and clean nappies as required.

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Now, suddenly, a lady who seems nice and does the expected “who’s a lovely baby?” routine, takes one of your little sausagey legs, presumably for the regulation tickle, but instead, wallops a needle into it.

It was the first really bad thing that had ever happened to them in their little lives and they made darned sure I knew it was my fault. The girlchild screamed then levelled those blue eyes at me. The teenager-of-the future glare-out. The boychild shrieked like a banshee. Later, he created a nappy his father described as “epic”.

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Have either of them thanked me for not contracting measles, mumps or rubella? Nah. It was my job that day to be Cruella De Ville, just as my mum had done before me, although I didn’t always get jabs.

Once, it was a doped sugar cube to vaccinate against polio. The vaccine had few side-effects, but the sugar made sure we all developed the Scottish sweet tooth.

Parents then didn’t argue about vaccinating their children. They had seen what diseases can do up close and personal. Mum remembered whooping cough sweeping through Glasgow.

People who are afraid of vaccinations today are generally people who haven’t seen what diseases like measles can do, and they’ve been lied to by vile peddlers of pseudoscience babbling about vague, terrible "vaccine damage” from inoculations.

Globally in 2018, more than 140,000 people, mainly small children, suffered specific, terrible “disease damage” from measles. They died.

And now there is a new vaccine. Covid-19 was slam-dunked by white-coated superheroes awash with degrees, doctorates and PhDs. Decades of study have given them more letters after their names than a bad hand at Scrabble.

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Railing against them are the usual bunch of ill-informed keyboard warriors who know for a fact that the vaccine is dangerous because they heard it from a guy whose cousin's best friend went out with a girl who knew a woman whose son worked as a car park attendant at a building with a laboratory in it. And he says, it's dodgy. He probably has letters after his name, too. ASBO.

A new player in vaccine scare stories is Bill Gates. He’s implanting us with microchips to track our every move. Bring it, Bill. I get lost on the way to my own kitchen. Nice to know someone is watching.

Of course, this time it's not babies getting the jab. It's our incredible NHS frontline workers, our vulnerable folks and our grannies, grandads, mum and dads.

So, I am just putting this out there. Whilst I welcome this incredible breakthrough in medical science, I am not taking my mother to get her jab. The girlchild wailed and the boychild screamed. My mum’s a tough old bird. She would deck me (then thank me), so she can go herself.

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