Yesterday I had the good fortune to receive the Covid-19 vaccine as part of the State of Illinois 1b vaccination phase that includes school employees. Some of our teachers have already received their first dose as well. A number of others have appointments for this week. If someone had told me last January that in a year’s time, I would be excited about getting a shot with the anticipation one might feel prior to going on vacation, I would have told them they are out of their mind. And as Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at Southampton University said to the Financial Times, “If you had predicted in January (2020) when Covid-19 first appeared that you’d have an effective vaccine approved less than a year later, people would have laughed in your face.”
I received the Pfizer vaccine and wondered who the brains are behind this marvel. I learned that a Turkish-German couple, Dr. Şahin and Dr. Türeci, developed it. Theirs is a fascinating story that others have written about, including in the above linked article in the Financial Times, which also references the thinking they have adopted from Dr. Şahin’s school in Cologne. The motto of the school is: “Es gibt nichts Gutes, außer man tut es” — “Nothing good happens if one doesn’t make it happen.”
What an inspiration for our world, and a motto to embrace. Dr. Şahin’s and Türecize’s zest for learning was embedded with them at a young age. Şahin loved to read and would spend a great deal of time in the library. He considers himself an ideas man with a great interest in how things work. Türeci considers herself a detailed realist. Together, they have applied their creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, resilience, and perseverance to the development of the mRNA technology that their vaccine is built upon and which holds great promise for many future vaccines to be developed.
Think about how proud their teachers must be of them now!
Each day Roycemore teachers are inspired by this possibility in the young people in their classrooms. Their love and expert guidance supports students to acquire the same skills and competencies as the inventors of the Covid-19 vaccine. The potential we see in each young person to “make good happen” and change the world drives us each and every day.