What a difference 24 hours makes! In a glorious surge of joy and relief, the mood worldwide has turned following the announcement by pharma giant Pfizer of what we hope and pray is a successful vaccine against Covid-19.
Global share prices have rocketed, many of us are daring to think about travelling abroad next year, and the prospect of a normal family Christmas seems within reach.
This pioneering breakthrough represents the first real chance that the disease could be conquered — far earlier than many dared to hope.
Yet there is one group that, with reckless and shameful irresponsibility, is doing everything it can to thwart the best chance we have of returning to normality. It is, of course, the shrill anti-vaccination movement — better known as anti-vaxxers.
They promote pseudo-science, wild conspiracy theories and political propaganda to undermine the public health message on immunisation.
They regard the very idea of a jab — any jab, but particularly one targeted at coronavirus — as a brutal infringement of liberty or a dangerous medical intervention.
Exploiting the present climate of political mistrust, they peddle their dangerous dogma through social media and rallies, such as the 2,000-strong event in Trafalgar Square only a few weeks ago, at which the crowd chanted ‘We don’t need no vaccination’ to the tune of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall.
Now, more than ever, it is vital that we do not give in to their gospel of fear.