This is, in no small part, due to the growing hope and expectation since Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to receive a Covid vaccine exactly 100 days ago.
Not an hour has passed since then of social media coming alive – for once positively – with pictures of people receiving their jabs and, more recently, relatives enjoying emotional reunions with loved ones in care homes.
It is testament to the foresight when initial decisions were taken on the vaccine programme; they stand in contrast to the Government’s lack of readiness over PPE supplies, and so on, 12 months ago.
The consequence means Britain is now in a position to invite all people over 50 to come forward and receive vaccines sooner than originally envisaged as the number of people incoculated exceeds 25 million.
These now include one Boris Johnson who revealed his own call-up with a certain degree of gleefulness at Prime Minister’s Questions as the European Union continues to harbour doubts about the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine ahead of the latest pronouncement by the European Medicines Agency.
Now, while the EMA’s verdict is awaited with interest, it’s imperative that Britain’s senior scientists and health chiefs continue to be totally transparent over the efficacy of the vaccines.
This is crucial in maintaining public confidence about the vaccine, and ensuring that as many people as possible are protected, before the defining test – the reopening of society and families socialising again without a risk to public health. So far, the signs are encouraging – and far more hopeful than a year ago.
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