Editor: Worrying days ahead for most wonderful time of the year

Just four sleeps stand between us and opening the presents under the Christmas tree.

By Nancy Fielder
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 6:35 am
Keep yourself safe this Christmas

It is most people’s favourite time of the year and it has a wonderful atmosphere of joy and friendship that is unlike any other.

Yet, again, this year is different.

We are supposed to be waiting for the arrival of the man in red yet we are once more waiting for restrictions and announcements from the man at number 10. What could be worse for Christmas than the threat of not being able to see our loved ones at the big day?

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This is an atmosphere we haven't seen before, even after the debacle of last year’s last minute’s lockdown notice.

None of us know how the rules will change in the coming days. It seems clear that the politicians don’t even know and we can only hope they actually listen to what the scientists tell them.

Yesterday the NHS opened the national booking service for 12-15-year olds to get their second Covid jab, as part of the national mission to get people protected against the new Omicron variant.

The latest milestone in the NHS Covid Vaccination programme comes after a bumper weekend of jabs, with more than 1.5 million boosters recorded as part of a record-busting total of nearly 1.7 million jabs delivered across England over Saturday and Sunday.

All eligible 12 to 15 year olds will be able to book their second jab online if they had their first dose more than 12 weeks ago, in line with updated guidance from the JCVI published on November 29.

The NHS began rolling out first doses to the 12 to 15 age group in schools at the end of September. More than 1.3 million young people have taken up the offer of a vaccine so far and more than 5,000 schools have been visited.

And the rest of us? Keep yourself safe, count your blessing, get your boost jab, wear your mask and remember that it could be worse. After all, there are hundreds of Sheffielders who are no longer with us because of this hideous pandemic.

Don’t pay attention to Downing Street practices. Instead focus on the incredible work of the army of Sheffield volunteers who have rolled out vaccines and boosters in an operation that can only be compared to the war effort. It is you and them that matters, after all.