Roll-out of vaccines gives us all hope of better days ahead
Column by Grantham MP Gareth Davies
After a year of pretty awful news, it is very nice to be able to sit down and write this week about a genuine success story that should make us all proud to be British.
The UK has now vaccinated more people than any other country in Europe. Over the past week, we have delivered more than double the amount of vaccination doses than any other European country, with the exception of Denmark who have still only achieved half the rate that we have.
One of the reasons why we have managed to vaccinate so many more people than other countries is the fact that we were the first country in the world to approve both the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Since then, we have also now approved a third vaccine from Moderna vaccine and there 17 million doses on order ready for delivery in the spring.
The millions of people so far receiving the first vaccine is also down to the mobilisation of 80,000 health professionals to specifically help in the delivery of the programme and we now also have over 200,000 volunteers ready to help keep the hard work going on administration and logistics.
This was never going to be easy, but in times of crisis we have seen the very best of our people step up and act.
Here in Lincolnshire our NHS team continues to report positive progress on our local roll out. Lincolnshire was among the first in the country to start vaccinating back in early December and among the first to start vaccinating through our GP led primary care network.
While not all GP surgeries will deliver the vaccine, the government’s newly published Vaccination Plan sets out an ambitious target of ensuring that people do not have to travel far once they receive the call inviting them to be vaccinated.
Understandably, the order in which people are called to be vaccinated is focused on the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems – because the risk of mortality from Covid-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. This has all been determined by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
Infections here locally remain bleak, with rates in South Kesteven being extremely high and continuing to put pressures on our local services.
However, with the vaccination roll out showing early signs of success, there is hope for better days ahead – so let’s stay focused on that goal and keep doing our bit to protect each other and those working on the frontlines during this pandemic.