Priority group caught in the middle with covid vaccine shortage in Harrow

Sarah Ismail (pictured) is “not quite severe enough or old enough to be at high risk, but disabled enough to be concerned about Covid”.

By Sarah Ismail 

The last ten months have been the hardest of most people’s lives, in Harrow and beyond. Unless you’re Jeff Bezos, chances are very high that you’ve lost everything from time with family members to your job. 

We’ve been told from the early days of the pandemic that a vaccine would be found and would be the safest way out of the strangeness that has been this decade so far.

When vaccines started to be first found, and then rolled out, at what I soon learned were record speeds, I breathed a sigh of relief and thanked the scientists who have been working round the clock for the last 10 months. 

When the Government revealed a list of 9 priority groups for vaccination, I found myself in Group 6. Somewhere in the middle of the priority list, literally.

Physically disabled since birth, I found to some relief in March that my disability is not considered severe enough for me to need to shield. However, my relief at not shielding almost faded when I realised that the 9 priority groups will not, in fact, all be vaccinated together.

Instead, the top 4 priority groups, which quite rightly include shielding people, are being vaccinated first. Still, I was told Group 6 wouldn’t have to wait too long. 

I’ve watched the news as vaccinators have jabbed at extremely high rates to bring the country to the point of almost 11 million recorded first doses at the time of writing. I’ve felt relief and hope each time the daily totals of first doses have been revealed.  

Thankfully, my parents have had their first doses. Family members in group 5 have had theirs too. When I heard this, my relief grew. I have now begun to wait by the phone for a text from Harrow Health as if they were my boyfriend, because surely if Group 5 is open in Harrow and almost 11 million people have been vaccinated nationally, Group 6 won’t have to wait too long, will we? 

However, recent reports of vaccine shortages in Harrow have got me wondering, and slightly worrying, again. Vaccine hubs in Harrow have been rescheduling appointments because they’ve been forced to close early or completely on certain days due to these shortages.

So now, even as I watch the national rollout, I find myself caught in the middle of the priority list in more ways than one. Not quite severe enough or old enough to be at high risk, but disabled enough to be concerned about Covid and desperate for that text from Harrow Health. 

If national targets are met and local supplies allow, Harrow Health might just text me on Valentine’s Day. Well, a girl can hope, and even in the madness of the pandemic, hope is not in short supply.