Many of us will have found it hard not to have shed a tear last week as we watched the first Covid-19 vaccinations be delivered in Glasgow. After almost a year of unknowns, many months of us all having to make great sacrifices, times when it was hard to think of a world in which Covid didn’t dominate the headlines - finally we have an end in sight.

Paula McMahon, a bank nurse for immunisations was the very first person in our city to receive the jag and her words have stuck with me since I initially read them - “I got my jab and then straight after I gave one.” - the quote perfectly encapsulating the sheer persistence and dedication of our frontline NHS workers. We know they went above and beyond long before this pandemic to take care of us when we needed them, but since March they have really stepped up in the most difficult of circumstances to keep us safe.
We owe so much to all of those key workers.

From day one of lockdown, they kept going to deliver the essential services that we rely on and which continue to be a lifeline for many of our most vulnerable citizens. Their efforts have saved lives and I will be forever grateful to them.

Coronavirus Glasgow: First nurse vaccinated against Covid-19

My only wish is that those in power had listened to their concerns and calls. Too many of our frontline workers did not have the proper PPE required to do their jobs, were not able to access testing facilities and did not receive the support they were begging for. Ultimately, they did not feel safe at their work and that should shame us all.

Even with a vaccine now being distributed, it will still be many months before it is rolled out to all Glaswegians. As someone who, rightfully, is much further down the priority list I know how critical it is that we do not become complacent and we remember the restrictions which will remain in place. But there is no doubt the vaccination news has given us all a well overdue dose of hope.

The Christmas period will present one of our greatest challenges yet. As we await the final guidance on what restrictions will be relaxed and for how long we must be cautious, consider if the plans we make are required and take all steps necessary to ensure we keep our families and friends as safe as possible.

Glasgow Times: Paula McMahon Paula McMahon

I know how tough this year has been for Glaswegians and I know how difficult this Christmas will be for many people who will not be able to be with those closest to them, or for those families who have lost loved ones over the past 12 months.

Nothing will make up for the grief and loss that has been felt this year. But we now turn to a new year, with some cautious optimism that an end is in sight. So let us resolve now that 2021 will be the year of Building Back Better when we finally put this pandemic behind us.