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Alan Bacon: Vaccines to the rescue

January 29, 2021 1:38 PM

Alan BaconVaccines to the rescue! It's great that we now have three vaccines approved for use in the UK, and vaccinations are now in full swing at Chesham Town Hall.

I very much hope thatas many people as possible will take up the offer of a jab as soon as it is offered to them. It could a life saver.

At the same time, we have to carry on doing everything we can to potect ourselves and other people from Covid, which does mean obeying the rules and being as careful as we possibly can. It means the government and council continuing to try to build a properly functioning test and trace system.

We must not be deceived into believing that vaccines are a silver bullet that will suddenly bring the pandemic to an end and we don't need to do anything else. Vaccines certainly promise to be a game-changer. I can't wait to have mine and I hope I don't have to wait too long, but government targets and promises have been missed all along the line.

It's important to read the small print. The current target is to vaccinate all the over 70s, and care home patients and staff by the middle of February, isn't it? That's an estimated 15 million people? Well, not exactly. If you read carefully, the target is to 'offer vaccine' to everyone in these groups.

Regrettably, we know that some people will refuse so that reduces the number straight away. Also, the target only says the accine will be offered by that date, not necessarily be administered by then. And that's only the first dose. The second does are now being put off for three months so that more first doses can be given, but before long the system will have to cope with administering secod doses while still continuing to give first doses.

Let's treat all promised silver bullets with caution. Dealing with Covid is likely to be a long hard slog.

Cllr Alan Bacon, Shadow Portfolio holder for Health & Adult Social Care, Buckinghamshire Council.