Dr. Edward Jenner
Edward Jenner, the pioneer of the smallpox vaccination and father of immunology grew up and lived within the shadow of Berkeley Castle. A castle built during the Norman period, close to the River Severn, and as the crow flies not far from our own Cotswold escarpment.
Smallpox was a terrible scourge accounting for one third of child deaths, and an average of one in eleven of all deaths during the 18th century.
One of his patients, a local milkmaid became infected with cowpox via contact with a cows udder, a cow she called Blossom. Dr Jenner decided to extract liquid from the pustule on her arm and then carried out his first vaccination with it on an 8 year old local boy. Happily this proved to be a eureka moment to prevent smallpox.
He had a little hut in his garden which he aptly named his Temple to Vaccinia, where, on certain days, the poor of the district were vaccinated free of charge. The queues of people would stretch all around the town.
I mention this story because here in this area of Gloucestershire the doctors are very well aware of Jenner's heritage and legacy, and have already started to make huge inroads into getting the newly available vaccines against Covid-19 into everyones arms.
We have both received notification for our vaccine appointments this coming Sunday which indicates to us that the over 80 year olds in this area have now already been dealt with.
Good news is something that all of us really need.
Has the UK government finally got its act together re: vaccinations? Hopefully you too will soon be hearing from your own doctor.
Sit tight, stay calm, and be safe.