Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon & East Thurrock, has welcomed the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine at Basildon Hospital.
Yesterday marked the start of the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine – the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history – it is a momentous occasion that provides fresh hope that we can beat this pandemic, reclaim our lives and get our economy moving again.
The UK has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with an initial 800,000 now available. The first vaccines will be administered to the most vulnerable people in the country, beginning with care home residents and their carers, all those over 80, and frontline health and social care workers. Thanks to the work of the Vaccine Taskforce, the UK has built one of the largest and most varied vaccine portfolios in the world and today the UK has become the first country to begin vaccinating people.
94-year-old war veteran Frederick Benton, photographed above, from Grays was the first person in Essex to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine from the NHS yesterday at Basildon Hospital, which is among the first in England to begin the rollout.
Speaking on BBC Radio Essex Stephen Metcalfe said: “It is fantastic news and a step in the right direction that we are seeing the vaccine being rolled out in Basildon and across the country, this is hopefully the beginning of the end of this period.
With that said, we mustn’t get too excited, supplies of the vaccine are still fairly limited and we still have got to practise social distancing, washing our hands and coverings our faces until we know we have beaten this virus.
I encourage everyone, when they are offered the vaccine, to step up and take it.’’
Secretary for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, said: ‘’Months of trials involving thousands of people have shown that this vaccine works and is safe. By coming forward, you are taking the best possible step to protect yourself and your loved ones, and to protect the NHS.
Help is on its way and the end is in sight—not just of this terrible pandemic but of the onerous restrictions that have made this year so hard for so many—but even while we can now see the route out, there is still a long march ahead.’’