I RECENTLY received the circular Covid-19 vaccination letter. It is not quite accurate.

It states categorically that I should receive the vaccination even if I have had the virus, as “even if you have already had Covid-19 you could still get it again. The vaccine will reduce your risk of getting Covid-19. If you do get it again, the vaccine can reduce how serious the symptoms will be.”

I had the virus in late November. Although I am old (and according to the Government need "protecting”), I was fortunate in not suffering unduly. A couple of days feeling “under the weather” and food delivered to the door and so on sufficed.

But according to information I have looked out, some highly respectable research indicates that I will have acquired an immunity that should last around six months. Furthermore that immunity includes the inability to spread the virus to others, which the vaccination does not. Therefore NHS Scotland, the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland are colluding in sending out information that is not strictly false but is not strictly accurate either. Yes, I could get it again, but it is highly unlikely within six months, by which time it seems that the effect of the vaccination might have worn off anyhow.

I can understand why they would want to send out that message, as the alternative complicates the management of the administration of the vaccine. Easier by far to just jab us all in order.

However, according to the figures I looked up today, 148,423 people have had and recovered from Covid-19. That is potentially 148,423 wasted vaccinations. And no one has attempted to clarify what is the impact of either of the vaccines on natural immunity.

This raises some interesting questions – like could the natural immunity provided by Covid-19 infection take the place of the first injection, and simply be boosted by the second?

In any case I would much prefer teachers to be given priority for vaccination and let the kids get back some sort of life –148,423 vaccines would go some way toward that.

Clare Darlaston, Glasgow G31.


AS the vaccines are rolled out, the death and hospitalisation rates for Covid-19 will decrease. Despite what the Scottish and UK governments say about statistics not changing until end of March, we will soon see a decrease in these awful numbers. For example, in two to three weeks' time, the 2.4 million people already vaccinated will be immune. The fundamental issue is who underwrites the risk when the infection rate decreases?

In the UK, there are 160,000 deaths from heart disease each year, and 26,000 serious or fatal car accidents, yet individual rather than state responsibility prevails on preventative measures. What gives the Government the right to endlessly control people's lives with draconian restrictions, when the risk from Covid-19 reduces to an acceptable level? I submit that in a free and democratic society, when the risk to society in general becomes less than the risk to the individual, citizens should have the right to control their own destiny rather than submitting to long-lasting, however well-intentioned, state intervention.

Dr Ian Forbes, Glasgow G41


WITH its usual alacrity the Scottish Government has managed to make us just that bit more miserable by its toughening and likely extension of the current lockdown. It may be necessary but that doesn't make it any less depressing.

Meanwhile, its distribution of the vaccine seems to be progressing with all the speed and urgency of a somewhat arthritic snail.

Would it perhaps be too much to ask that it now concentrates on spending as much, if not more, effort and time in rolling out its best hope of restoring our freedoms as it seems to do on the process of removing them?

Dave Henderson, Glasgow G12.


TODAY (January 13) I took my dad to his local village hall for his Covid-19 vaccination. The friendly, professional and efficient process was so slick that we almost forgot how momentous an occasion it was.

A huge thank you to all the researchers, scientists, and vaccine volunteers who made this possible. Also heartfelt appreciation to the local clinical staff acting as vaccinators, and back office administrators who organised the session. I look forward to my own appointment sometime in the spring.

Susan Ross, Cambusbarron.

* I RECEIVED my vaccination for Covid-19 at the Victoria Hall in Dunblane today (January 13). I wish to thank not only the young lady who gave me the jab most professionally, but also the assistants, many of them volunteers, who carried out their duties efficiently and with good humour towards the many oldies who were piling in at their allotted time

It was not as slick as the flu jag, due to the question and answer session required for each patient; however, what's a few minutes between friends? So thanks again to all concerned, not forgetting the office staff behind the scenes who set it all up.

Jim Eddie, Dunblane.


I AM pleased to note that at long last supermarkets have recognised that they are not as robust as they were with their Covid social distancing practices ("Union’s alarm at safety for store staff", The Herald, January 12).

Back in spring/summer you queued to get in and were counted in and out at the front door, thus managing numbers in stores. My wife is a merchandiser who has to go into supermarkets and maintain and replenish stock and has commented many times recently on how much busier the stores are and on the free-for-all in supermarkets where some folk appear to be treating store visits as a three-generation family outing and letting children treat stores as play areas.

When she and the store workers are trying to rearrange and replenish stock the phrase “excuse me” is noticeably absent as customers barge into you to get what they want with no thoughts of social distancing whatsoever. Hopefully the new restrictions will help those working in stores to stay safe and reduce possible spread of infections.

I often wonder, though: is the definition of “essential” goods needing redefined so that some areas of large stores should be closed off? I was recently in a large clothing/food store where clothes on the same level as food were for sale but for some strange reason clothes on the upper level were blocked off; yet stores selling clothing only are closed. Why?

Surely if a store is open for food and has to restrict upper floor access the same products on lower floors should also be restricted.

Dougie Jardine, Bishopbriggs.


ROSEMARY Goring is absolutely correct ("Surely our unsung supermarket staff should be bumped up vaccination list?", The Herald, January) 13. Her views can apply also to a further vital group apparently forgotten.

Two members of my family are teaching children of frontline workers. If they and others like them did not turn up to educate these children, their parents could no longer work and valuable services, essential to our well-being in the battle against Covid, would cease.

Why are these hard-working teachers, in particular as they are in continually open schools, not on any priority vaccination list?

Patricia Dewar Gibb, Glasgow G12.


THE claim from Gordon Brown's think tank Our Scottish Future that Scotland’s Covid-19 test and protect system is failing ("Record number of Covid patients in hospital and it’s set to get worse", The Herald, January 12) is highly questionable. It is certainly not supported by the statistical analyses it published.

To assess the performance of the system, you would need to estimate the numbers of infections prevented by isolating infected cases and their close contacts, whether positive or not. This is not what the published estimates purport to do. Instead, they base their calculations on a simplistic assessment of the proportion of prevalent infections identified by tests. This tells us precisely nothing about infections prevented.

In fact, the published estimates – 32% for Scotland – do not even correctly identify the proportions of infections identified by testing. To obtain these figures, the authors of the report cumulate tests over 14 days, when in fact the average duration of a Covid-19 infection is closer to 21 days, as indicated by ONS incidence and prevalence estimates. This alone produces a large underestimate.

However, the underpinning methodology is more fundamentally flawed, as demonstrated by the report’s data for Northern Ireland, which indicates that on some days there were more positive tests than infections. Something is seriously wrong here, and it’s most likely not with Scotland’s test and protect system.

Paddy Farrington, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at the Open University, Edinburgh EH9.

Read more: NHS Lothian drops policy blamed for slowing down care home vaccinations