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Iain Dale: Why would any sensible person even think about booking a holiday in countries with low vaccine rates?

Iain Dale presents the evening show on LBC Radio and the For the Many podcast with Jacqui Smith.

On Tuesday afternoon I had my Coronavirus vaccine at the Royal Horticultural Halls in Victoria.

Apparently this is a minor scandal.

Twitter has spoken, and how dare I have a vaccination given that I am 58, not over 70. I’m a queue jumper, it seems. There must be some sort of VIP list, they say. Twitter knows more about my medical state than my GP does, apparently.

There really are some very strange people out there.

I calmly explained that I am a Type 2 diabetic and that that my GP classes me as “clinically extremely vulnerable”. She therefore put me in the shielding group right at the start of the pandemic.

I’ve had letters from the NHS telling me to shield and I’ve obeyed the instructions to the tee.

I haven’t been out of my house since mid December, apart from the odd visit to the corner shop to drop off Hermes parcels.

But, but, but, the Twitter trolls splutter. Diabetics are in Group 6, not Group 4. You’ve stolen someone’s vaccination, they allege.

Deep sigh. No matter how often you explain that if you’re classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable you’re in Group 4, it does absolutely no good. I might have killed a first born. If I had jumped any queue or been on a VIP list, I doubt very much whether I’d have had to wait 45 minutes to get through to my GP surgery to actually book the appointment!

Anyway, it all went very smoothly and I was in and out within five minutes.

I tried manfully not to bare as much flesh as Johnny Mercer managed to when he was pictured having his jab, sans chemise. Of course, I also took a camerawoman with me to film the whole thing. It wasn’t for any other reason than I wanted to show any vaccine sceptics how simple the process is and they have nothing to fear.

It worked, judging by the reaction to the video on social media – with several people saying they would now book to get the jab. Job done.

And if you really want to watch me get the jab (it’s a niche fetish market), here you go:

– – – – – – – – –

The latest manufactured row during Covid is whether we should or shouldn’t book a summer holiday either in the UK or elsewhere.

Matt Hancock booked a UK staycation last week but then Grant Shapps suggested no one should be booking a holiday at all until things become clearer.

Frankly, people are intelligent enough to be able to judge for themselves whether it’s wise to book anything at the moment.

Why would any sensible person even think about booking a holiday abroad in a country where very few people have been vaccinated or where the infection rate is still high?

I think it’s highly likely that come the summer we will all be able to travel freely within the UK, but the holiday experience itself may be very different to what we are used to.

Beach holidays, yes. Brisk walks in the Peak District, yes. Alton Towers or Center Parcs? Doubtful.

– – – – – – – – –

Laura Kuenssberg got a bit huffy in an unguarded moment after she had asked her question at the press conference on Wednesday.

“But he didn’t answer the question,” she spluttered into her microphone.

No, he didn’t. Probably because he couldn’t.

As one of my Twitter correspondents said: “How can a government faced with a virus that can easily mutate do other than say the future is uncertain. Get a grip, media!” Quite.

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