Immunisation works.

It uses inactivated viruses, or parts of virus walls to stimulate the immune system, priming it to be ready to fight the real killers.

As a medical student I worked in South Africa.

I saw babies with their front teeth knocked out so they could be fed whilst suffering from tetanus (lockjaw).

Also, I have had older patients with wasted limbs due to childhood polio. This is all history since widespread immunisation.

Smallpox is now eradicated by immunisation, along with most of the killer disease that filled Victorian cemeteries.

We are now in the cosy condition of forgetting the perils of many infectious diseases and only see the side effects.

It is true that every effective treatment has some degree of side effects, but on balance, the benefits at a population level are overwhelmingly in favour of immunisation.

Edward Jenner, a Berkshire doctor, developed smallpox vaccination by using cowpox to stimulate the immune system.

James Gillray mocked this with a picture of cows emerging from patients’ bodies.

Gentle humour suggests the Russian vaccine causes patients to speak Russian.

Some of the internet rumours are more damaging.

The notion that nano tracking devices will let Bill Gates control recipients or alter brain function is absurd, yet it is proving entrancing and could sadly lead to people missing out.

That patients’ DNA cannot be damaged by an mRNA vaccine is not understood, leading to unfounded alarm.

We could gain herd immunity by letting the disease rip and neglecting lockdowns, as some MPs suggest.

It would sacrifice the vulnerable and overwhelm hospital ITUs. There is a better way.

If people want their lives back; to save folk in care homes and to get the economy going, we all need to get vaccinated, when it’s available.

Immunisation can bring this pandemic to an end.