THE proposal that NHS and care workers should be prioritised to receive the long-awaited vaccine against Covid-19 seems entirely appropriate to me ("New Covid vaccine to ‘return life to normal by spring’", The Herald, November 10). However, to prioritise the elderly ahead of teachers, of any age, appears completely wrong given that this large group of people is being told that schools in Scotland should remain open even in Tier 4 areas. Since the schools reopened in August teachers have been placed at an increasing risk of contracting the virus from young people who are often symptomless and untested.

Whilst those over 70 are at greater risk of dying if they contract the disease the effect on the entire structure of our society would be greater if those who educate the young were infected in increasing numbers. So many teachers are parents and, in the case of primary schools, mothers of young children. We have been learning of the effects of what has been termed long Covid and these seem to affect all age groups. Perhaps the young will not need the high-dependency beds that this Government seems to want to protect at all cost, but the effects on society, on children and on the economy would be better served by prioritising teachers ahead of the elderly.

I write as one who would be well ahead of this section of the community in the queue for the vaccine, but I would gladly wait at the end to allow teachers to be protected from this disease.

I doubt I would be alone.

Kay Gall, Newtongrange.

THE new Covid vaccine should be seen in the context of what the pharmaceutical industry has done as its share of curing disease and improving life expectancy over the past century. It will make a contribution, as did better housing and sanitation and education of the public about hygiene – also our understanding of viruses as opposed to bacteria. During the flu pandemic of 1918 doctors did not know about viruses, for example.

I was born at a time when all manner of nasty diseases – now happily eradicated – made children very ill and killed quite a few. Indeed my own school had a minor polio outbreak in the 1950s.

So we must not expect too much from a new vaccine for a new disease.

There are no magic bullets. We move forward only by incremental discovery and action.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinnesswood.

TOUGH luck on Perth and Kinross and Angus, the latest regions to hit the jackpot in the Scottish Government's coronavirus lottery draw ("4,000 pupils in coronavirus hotspot sent home to isolate", The Herald, November 11).

As we all know, after months of restrictions, while the Government is absolutely brilliantly fast at imposing sanctions it is notoriously slow at easing them. So I'd advise the good citizens of these areas to prepare for weeks, rather than days of enforced misery. Here in Glasgow, for example, we were put on a " circuit breaker" for two weeks about six weeks ago.

I assume that Nicola Sturgeon imposed the restrictions on these areas "with a heavy heart" and "didn't make the decision lightly", as she always does. The problem is, that as far as many of the public are concerned, these sentiments are increasingly hard to believe as they are invariably followed with TV footage of despairing pub and shop owners seeing their livelihoods going down the drain.

Increasingly, the perception is that the Government simply doesn't care about what is happening to the wellbeing of a large proportion of the people they are meant to represent as they pursue their coronomania policies towards social and economic ruin.

Dave Henderson, Glasgow G12.