Vaccines victory as Boris Johnson’s lockdown dilemma grows – The Yorkshire Post says

THE FACT that the Government – and rest of the country – is now agonising over the further lifting of lockdown restrictions later this month is down to the unprecedented success of the UK’s vaccine programme.

On another milestone day, three-quarters of all adults are now said to have received their first Covid jab – a quite remarkable rate of progress given that it is only six months since the first vaccines were authorised for use.

And while Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock looked to take credit for this success in a keynote policy speech and, in doing so, deflect attention away from the torrent of criticism that he’s continuing to face over social care, it should be pointed out that the appointment of a dedicated Vaccines Minister – Nadhim Zahawi in this instance – was one of Boris Johnson’s more inspired decisions.

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That said, this is not a time for complacency or smugness – the criticism levelled just last weekend by Sheffield’s Lord Bob Kerslake in his capacity as a former head of the civil service after Mr Hancock’s reputation was torn apart by the Prime Minister’s former aide Dominic Cummings.

Boris Johnson faces difficult dilemmas over the lockdown as the vaccine rollout reaches a new milestone.

Quite the opposite. The coming days will see Mr Johnson face one of his most unenviable decisions yet – either to effectively lead Britain out of the lockdown, or extend the restrictions, at significant further cost to the economy, because of the risks posed by new variants of the virus.

Yet, in doing so, it should be remembered that Britain would not even be in this position without the successful rollout of a vaccine programme that is truly the envy of the world.

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Twickenham - the home of rugby - has become a makeshift vaccination centre.