Monday 19 April 2021


 If you are aged 66 to 69 you can now register to get a COVID-19 vaccine 

I R an Old. Sunday /yesterday afternoon, I fired up the interweb to register for a fr€€ AstraZeneca vaccine. I was invited to do this on Sunday because I was born in 1954. The Beloved couldn't do it until the next day. It seemed to be more complex than it needed to be. Pat the Salt, my aged FiL, was vax-contacted by his GP because The Man knows how old everyone is, and Pat has 30 years on me. My PPS number, a unique, short number equivalent to a US Social Security # should be all that is needed to determine eligibility - but I was asked for my birthday. I was also required to submit an e-mail addr and a cell-phone number, so that The Vax Man could send me an email that needed a reply AND a txt msg containing a verification code. And an Eircode. And ! my mother's maiden name. And the contact details of my GP. To register I had to submit all these data to create an account, with an over-specified password. I will use this account either once or maybe not at all. What this means is that another database has been created with matching PPS, email, mobile, Eircode for, eventually, everyone in the country. Now tell me this will never be hacked!? Similar over-control and complexity over water ID in 2015.

If the state had joined up thinking, the registration cd/shd have been done through the Dept Social Welfare which already has these data. But no! Welfare doesn't do vaccinations, so Health must duplicate the bureaucratic cross-checking. Whatevs! I am now required to wait an indeterminate time for a vaxx date. I do know that I am selected for Team AstraZeneca which was until 4 weeks ago NOT recommended for Olds. Now <clots> the AZ stocks are being dumped on old people.  It is entirely possible that, between my registration and the actual jab, The Man will have another policy change: privileging, say, teachers; because the congeries of quangos [ECDC, HPRA, NVRL, IEMAG, NPHET, NIAC, NIQAB, HSE, HIQA, LAO'N, WHO] which dictate policy are a) math anxious b) risk averse. 

The AZ vaccine development protocol was, with 20/20 hindsight, poorly designed because it included only a few handfuls of Olds in their volunteer test subjects. This meant that there was insufficient evidence for efficacy and insufficient evidence for adverse side-effects IF drug bureaucrats [FDA, ECDC, HPRA] chose to partition the date into aged cohorts. Jobsworths gonna jobsworth so, of course, AZ vaccines, ordered, paid for and delivered to Ireland for crumblies the most vulnerable had to be diverted or cold-stored until the quangistas had calmed their fluttering hearts. Old people caught Covid and died in the interim.

I live a very sheltered life: retired, rural, no-pals. IF I cop a 'Rona, the consequences will likely be more serious for me [I R an Old] than for The Boy, who is 20 years younger. BUT he lives on a crowded street and has two kids in school each sampling the whole local community by sharing spittle in the play-ground. Risk analysis is the product of likelihood x severity. My likelihood approaches zero so the potential severity is irrelevant. Logic dictates that "my" vaccine should be given to a teacher or an asthmatic, or someone with CF. But I belieeeeve <hallelujah> in vaccination and will be getting my jab asap [before my birthday in mid-June] pour encourager les antivaxxers.

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