Vaccination sticker envy came to the fore at a meeting where councillors were in a happy mood after hearing some good news on the state of the battle against covid in Bedford.
Some of the councillors at yesterday’s (Thursday) meeting of the local outbreak engagement board were beaming with pride and displaying the stickers they have received after being vaccinated against the virus.
“I’ve got my sticker,” said recently jabbed Bedford borough mayor Dave Hodgson (Lib Dem), in making a point to Labour Cllr Louise Jackson (Harpur), who didn’t get one.
“I am appalled,” replied Cllr Jackson, who is the council’s health and well-being portfolio holder.
“The only people I have heard who have had stickers are men actually,” she added to laughter as Cllr Wendy Rider (Lib Dem, Brickhill) waved her vaccination card in the background.
To which the mayor replied: “If the extent of our concern is who gets a sticker I think we are in a good place.
“Maybe males respond better to having stickers.”
Tory leader Cllr Graeme Coombes (Wilshamstead) also chipped in, confirming to Cllr Jackson that he too had received a sticker.
The mayor took sympathy on Cllr Jackson by offering to send her a sticker in the post, but she didn’t respond.
Even the medics got in on the act, with Professor Vijay Nayer confirming that he hadn’t had a sticker.
The meeting received an update on local statistics which showed that over 80 per cent of the 50-54 age group had received their jabs, with the percentage rising through the age cohorts.
Now people aged 45 and over are being jabbed and the protection is being offered to the younger cohorts who make up the bulk of the working population.
Councillors also heard that the borough is now back to where it was at the end of August / early September last year with four or five people testing positive each day. That gives a case rate of below 20 per 100,000.
But Ian Brown, the council’s chief officer for public health, sounded a note of caution.
“As we see from around the world we can’t take anything for granted with this virus,” he said.
“We have not seen a rise since the easing of lockdown on March 29 but it is too soon to see if the loosening on April 12 will have an effect,” he said.
“We are likely to see an increase in transmission.”
Mr Brown and the mayor repeated public health advice that people should maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently, wear a mask, and keep spaces well ventilated.
by David Tooley
Local Democracy Reporter