From the Vice Chancellor

Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor and President

Odds are, if we all had refused the benefits of vaccinations none of us would have reached past our fourth birthdays. Even while worrying about how we could be protected from the boogeyman in our childhood closets, we had been protected against the real threats of Polio, Tetanus, Influenza, Hepatitis, Rubella, Hib, Measles, Whooping Cough, Pneumococcal Disease, Meningococcal, Rotavirus, Mumps, Chicken Pox and Diptheria. Before we turned nine, we added HPV and booster shots of many of the others. That’s how childhood mortality rates dropped by around 74 per cent in the 40 years from 1981 to 2021.

At no stage in recent medical history was anyone asked to drink snake venom to confer immunity against reptile attack (as medieval Chinese monks did). When science entered the picture, life (and the expectation that you could still have one) changed. When Edward Jenner conducted his smallpox experiment on an eight-year-old boy in 1796 he invented the world’s first vaccine. Louis Pasteur led the development of vaccines against cholera and anthrax in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and inspired the future giants of vaccines such as Salk, Sabin and Hilleman and all the others who have devoted their intellects to keeping people safe from harm since then.

They were scientists – people who keep humanity thriving. They, like we, deal in cold, hard facts as opposed to fanciful brain spurts that erroneously advocated stupidity like drinking bleach, injecting disinfectant or trialling untested medications like horse-wormer to ‘treat’ COVID-19 infection. Many things kill viruses in vitro. Many of them also kill people in vivo. One possible side effect of that type of unscientific stupidity is to end the life of the infected person.

A university is full of scientists, humanists, researchers, teachers and the people who support their work. We deal with fact, with evidence, and evidence has never failed us. That evidence now points to unvaccinated people being the ones who are mostly becoming infected with the Delta coronavirus strain. COVID has become an epidemic of the unvaccinated. Around the world, those with the lowest rates of vaccination are experiencing the highest rates of infection.

There is a simple response to that. Get vaccinated. As soon as possible. It’s not hard. It’s proven to work. And until we have been vaccinated in sufficient numbers, still do all the good stuff that we’ve learned: keep a physical distance from others and wear a mask.

But get vaccinated. We want and deserve to have our future back.

Professor David Lloyd
Vice Chancellor and President