The end of 2020 brought the news that we’d been waiting all year for. The first vaccine was approved for use in the UK and it’s now starting to be rolled out. I’m hugely grateful to all the scientists who have made this happen.
Around the world, they’ve been working non-stop – just like our frontline healthcare professionals – to put a stop to this virus and allow us to get on with life as normal.
For all of those who volunteered to take part in the vaccine trials, you all deserve a huge thank you for enabling this to happen so swiftly.
There’s never been a vaccine developed for a coronavirus before – this is a huge achievement for the experts who have worked day and night on this.
The hesitation that some people are feeling is natural, but it’s important that people are reassured that these vaccines go through a rigorous testing process.
As a society, we take so many medications daily, without question. How many of us get the annual flu jab? I do, working in our NHS.
We all simply trust that they will make us feel better and stop us from getting ill. That’s because our independent regulators work hard to trial vaccines and drugs to ensure that they’re safe to use. It’s no different for this vaccine.
Thousands of the smartest minds across the world have been working non-stop to develop a vaccine – it’s why we have so many prospects on the horizon.
It’s important to recognise that these experts know more about the science of vaccines than random accounts on social media do. In recent years, the spread of misinformation has increased dramatically.
It’s crucial that the Government launches a large-scale public information campaign to answer questions on the vaccine and encourage uptake.
Dangerous myths circulate on social media – it’s simply not good enough to just ignore them and hope they go away. Labour has offered to work with ministers to tackle online harms.
If the vaccine is good enough for scientists and the regulator, it’s good enough for me and my family.
Too many lives have been lost from this virus. The UK has now passed the tragic milestone of 65,000 deaths from Covid-19.
Each of these 65,000 people has a family struggling with the reality of grief during Covid-19. These are all lives lost too soon.
We now stand the chance of getting on top of this virus, but we can only do so if the vaccine is rolled out safely, and swiftly, across the country, starting with those who need it most.
It’s crucial that we keep each other safe between now and mass rollout. We won’t see changes overnight and we still need to look out for our communities.
We must do all we can to stay out of big rows about the vaccine on social media. Instead, we need to regain the spirit of coming together like we did in the first days of the pandemic and work to eradicate this virus.
Even the darkest nights will end – but we still have a little way to go before we reach the dawn.
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