As I write this article, we are in another national lockdown to bring the new coronavirus variant under control, which has been spreading very quickly.
The NHS is under pressure as COVID-19 cases are increasing, resulting in more patients being admitted to hospital while the NHS rolls out the vaccination programme.
The good news is that another vaccine, Moderna, has now been approved by the UK regulatory agency and the Government has secured 17 million doses to date.
Moreover, we are making good progress on the vaccination rollout. Thanks to the hard work of our NHS, the Armed Forces and councils, more than 7.4 million people across the UK had received their first vaccination as first went to press.
“The vaccine delivery plan emphasises local government’s vital role”
I know that the Government is doing all it can to ensure that the vaccination rollout is delivered successfully and promptly, and I warmly welcomed its delivery plan that was published in January.
Under this ambitious plan, all individuals in the top four vulnerable groups will be vaccinated by the middle of February, and tens of millions of people will be immunised by spring.
It is also good to see that the vaccine delivery plan emphasises local government’s vital role in the success of this programme.
Government wants to work closely with councils to ensure local implementation plans are suitable to each area and all residents are well informed.
I recognise that we are all tired of the restrictions. However, I am confident that vaccination rollout along with our collective effort brings us much closer to the end of the pandemic.