Following what I know has been a difficult Christmas and New Year for many, especially with the move into Tier 4, it is really good news that the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine has been authorised for use in the UK.
Vaccines are the exit route from the pandemic and I know that NHS teams across the UK have been working tirelessly to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of people with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, despite the significant logistical hurdles.
The new Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will really help our efforts to protect people most at risk from COVID-19 as it can be stored at fridge temperatures, making it much easier to distribute to care homes and other locations across the UK.
The vaccine is being rolled out to the priority groups including care home residents and staff, people over 80 and health and care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and risk, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
Many of you have contacted me asking why you have not heard anything and why you have to wait for the vaccine when you are in one of the listed groups.
I understand from the NHS that the COVID-19 vaccines will become available as they are approved for use and as each batch is manufactured and you will be called in as soon as there is enough vaccine available.
Some people who are housebound or live in a care home and who can’t get to a local vaccination centre may have to wait for supply of the right type of vaccine as only some vaccines can be transported between people’s homes.
So, it is a time to be hopeful but at the same time, it is so vital everyone continues to play their part to drive down infections.