Pause for Thought: Vaccination joy for hundreds of Sheffield's oldest residents

This week a friend of mine who is a practice nurse in a GP surgery told me a heart-warming story.

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 8:30 am

The surgery was open to begin vaccinations for the oldest local people. This meant dozens of folk came in the cold January weather. Yet, they weren’t sad, disorientated, or reticent. Instead, their mask-covered faces told the real story – they were full of beans, full of joy. This vaccination offered them the hope that 2021 could be the start of a new chapter. For some people this was the first time they’d been out of their homes in months. Imagine that.

My friend told me it was a party-like atmosphere for these 80 and 90-year-olds, made all the more special by the excellent organisation of the practice staff and council staff who were arranging the queues and transportation. Their high spirits, their willingness to go a step further to help a vulnerable, honourable member of our community is just as special.

Small acts of kindness go a very long way.

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The Reverend Nick Allen

I’m a follower of Jesus, who said something similar about the effect of reaching out in kindness to another person: ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (Matthew 25). Remarkably, we please and honour God when we serve and seek to bless others, even in the simplest ways.

Now that we are in lockdown 3.0 I hear our city taking a collective deep breath. Once more we must pull together in another national effort in self-control, in deliberate kindness to others and for the sake of others.

It needs to be a deliberate choice, otherwise we’ll just break the rules. Jesus put it simply: “Do to others as you would like them to do to you” (Luke 6). In other words, if you hope to be treated with kindness when you really need it, then be kind to others now.

Well done Sheffield, we can get through this together by a series of small acts of kindness each day.

Pooled picture by Andy Stenning-Daily Mirror Nurses at the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield preparing the first COVID Pfizer vaccine doses.

Vaccinations against Covid-19 are currently being rolled out across the country, with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines already being administered. The Moderna jab is the latest Covid vaccine to receive approval for use in the UK.

The vaccination plan involves at least two million vaccinations per week in England.