12 May – Christine Traynier, St Laurence Catholic Church

A Lasting Legacy

In the midst of hearing about the sad death of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh I received a text offering me an appointment for my second COVID19 vaccine, which I had no hesitancy in booking.

It has been quite remarkable how this country has managed to roll out the vaccines so efficiently and speedily this year. I was at first unsure that vaccinating us senior citizens before the younger working population was the right thing to do. However, the remarkable statistics showing the drop in deaths and hospital admissions bear out that it was the correct decision. For the first month since last November, Covid-19 is no longer the major killer in this country. Our NHS provides us all with a free vaccine. I would be quite happy to pay for mine if it meant someone in a more disadvantaged part of the world could receive one. Until we are all vaccinated none of us are safe. As I write this, Africa has only received 1.6% of the vaccines so far distributed and South America 6.5%. I was glad to hear a couple from Portsmouth, Stephen and Janice Lampard, have started a campaign to help pay for coronavirus vaccines in countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia.

Many commentators are wondering what Prince Philip’s main legacy should be. He had a strong dedication to service and was a man of strong Christian principles, and was interested in research, industry and the Commonwealth. This has given me an idea. A lot of research and development on the vaccine has taken place in this country. What better legacy than to set up in the Duke’s name a charity whose mission would be to deliver the coronavirus vaccine to all members of the Commonwealth and beyond? I feel that, with the Duke’s outlook on life, he would much prefer that to any statue.