James Heappey MP column: Key to normality is making sure hospitalisations remain low

By Tim Lethaby

16th Jul 2021 | Local News

Getting everyone to a second Covid vaccination is even more important (Photo: Lisa Fernando)
Getting everyone to a second Covid vaccination is even more important (Photo: Lisa Fernando)

It has been a tough week for everyone following the Prime Minister's announcement that the planned full unlocking for June 21 will now be postponed until July 19.

I know how disappointing this must be, but the Delta variant has meant we need a little more time to win the race between the virus and the vaccine.

The variant is more transmissible and therefore the need to vaccinate everyone with a double dose is even more important. The vaccine gives you excellent protection against serious illness from the virus.

While cases are still low in Somerset (as they have been throughout this pandemic, thankfully) the key is to ensure hospitalisations remain low.

With such disruption over the past year, hospitals are working enormously hard to ensure people get any treatment which was missed and so any small rise could impact the NHS disproportionately.

This is a cautious approach and it is one I support – albeit reluctantly. I know some businesses will be extremely frustrated by this decision, but the expectation is we can unlock once and for all and return to normality with nearly all of us vaccinated.

Somerset has the best vaccination rate in the UK for double doses and so we can be confident that we will get there sooner rather than later.

I do hope some of the announcements will be welcome – with the number of guests for weddings and funerals now not limited to just 30. However, I understand the disappointment.

Anyone over the age of 21 can now book their jab and I would urge everyone to do so, then we can get back to our normal lives once and for all.


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