Vaccines Minister demotion was ill-advised as pressure on NHS grows – The Yorkshire Post says

BORIS Johnson’s decision to downgrade the role and status of the Vaccines Minister in his last Cabinet reshuffle now appears to be even more ill-advised.

People arrive at a Covid-19 vaccination centre at Elland Road in Leeds.
People arrive at a Covid-19 vaccination centre at Elland Road in Leeds.

It was previously held by Nadhim Zahawi who attended Cabinet before Mr Johnson handed the job to Shipley-born Maggie Throup, a junior and little-known health minister.

And this change in personnel probably explains, albeit with the benefit of hindsight, that insufficient attention was given to the need to begin the rollout of booster jabs earlier in the autumn.

Sajid Javid has assumed control of the Covid booster programme from Maggie Throup, the Vaccines Minister.

Yet, while Sajid Javid has confirmed that he, as Health and Social Care Secretary, is in full charge of the Covid booster programme over Ms Throup, the NHS still needs the necessary political leadership in the interim.

After all, Ministers are asking NHS staff, soldiers and volunteers – already fatigued by the pandemic – to go beyond the call of duty to assist with this latest “national endeavour”.

As such, it is testament to the professionalism of all concerned – and the seriousness of the health threat – that the region’s GP practices, and others, have reacted so quickly to Mr Johnson’s call-to-arms in Sunday’s televised address to the nation.

Shipley-born Maggie Throup is the Vaccines Minister.

In the meantime, the public can show their support by having their vaccines at the earliest opportunity and showing forbearance, and understanding, if their own GP practice cannot accommodate promptly the genuinely non-urgent appointments at this time.

The quicker that the whole country is immunised from Covid, the sooner that life can return to normal – including face-to-face GP appointments where appropriate.

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