PM Jacinda Ardern said in response to reports that her 1 p.m. COVID-19 live stream was overwhelmed by anti-vax misinformation. video / pool
For Jenny McGee, an international intensive care nurse at Invercargill, the consequences of not receiving a COVID vaccine are clear.
Known around the world as ‘Nurse Jenny’ after helping UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson with his COVID transition, McGee is now reviewing unvaccinated intensive care units around the world and the hope is that New Zealanders can avoid the same fate through vaccination.
The 37-year-old kiwi, who currently works on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, says asking former skeptics for a vaccine while fighting for their lives against the virus is devastating.
“One of the most heartbreaking things I’ve seen here and seen in London as well is that patients will come and say, ‘Okay, give me the vaccine now, I’m ready. for that ”, and so on. It’s late, she told the Herald.
“When people are arguing for a vaccine at this point, by the time it is too late, a vaccine will do nothing for them.
“They are horribly sick with Covid and there is a lot of regrets. “
It relies heavily on nurses like McGee, who pride themselves on providing the best possible care, even under the most difficult circumstances.
McGee said the relatively low vaccination rate in the Caribbean was in part due to widespread misinformation, which sparked fear among those who feared debunked side effects.
Even some local doctors were exacerbating the problem, wrongly advising a minority of GPs against vaccinating patients due to underlying health issues – those most at risk for the virus.
Similar to patients in London, McGee noted rumors of vaccine infertility – a claim that has been repeatedly denied.
McGee, however, said there was no doubt the highest paid were those who turned down a jab before Covid took hold.
“The evidence is there, it’s anecdotal.
“You can’t pretend that all of these people have this or that position, the common denominator here is that they are illiterate.”
McGee, formerly of St Thomas’ Hospital in London, left Britain for 12 months after being dominated by two waves of Covid-19, which at times plagued the English medical system.
Before stepping down from her post in March, she gained international attention when she worked with Johnson, frustrated with the way nurses were being treated.
Now able to spend her time on the luxurious beaches of the Caribbean, McGee said she was surprised at how much the experience had affected her.
“I see [images of myself from then] And I look terrible, I look tired and tired and exhausted and since leaving London I have realized how January and February have affected me.
“I was on my way to work and I was on autopilot because of the horror of what we were seeing, it just had to be stopped.”
As New Zealand grapples with a global shortage of critical care nurses, McGee said it was important for managers to ensure their staff did not burn out under the enormous pressure of intensive care. COVID.
It has been 18 months since Invercargill’s wife immigrated to New Zealand and is desperate to return home to her Nelson-based brothers and parents.
Even with her partner, McGee admitted it was difficult without the support of family – becoming champions of nurses around the world and mentioning their names in parliament, even The process of buying your first car and owning it was difficult.
“It’s not fair to go through everything we’ve been through in the last 18 months and not be able to share it with your family and I think that’s the hardest part.”
She hoped the higher vaccination rate would allow New Zealand’s borders to open early next year, so 10,000 foreign kiwis could find their vana.
In the meantime, he encouraged anyone receiving the jab to learn from what he saw and stay informed.
“It’s important that people really read about this topic because it affects others if you don’t get the vaccine. “
Citing the effective roll-out of vaccines in the UK, McGee said it gave hope to those who feared they would never see a world without a pandemic again.
“We’ve had a great summer… and there are so many nurses and people going on in the medical field that maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“Things are slowly getting back to normal and it’s all happening because of the immunization program. “