DESPITE the extremely disappointing, but necessary decision for another national lockdown, local MP Robbie Moore has hailed the rollout of the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca as a ‘landmark moment’ in the UK’s fight against COVID-19.

The rollout of the vaccine has allowed a significant expansion of the UK’s immunisation programme. Unlike the vaccine developed by Pfizer, the Oxford Vaccine can be stored at fridge temperatures, meaning it can be more easily distributed to care homes, and those who are unable to visit larger vaccination centres.

More than 2.3 million people have now been vaccinated against COVID-19, and daily reports of the number of new vaccinations has been made available since 11 January.

The government has pledged to ensure that everyone in the top four priority vaccination groups – approximately 13.5 million people - will receive their first dose of vaccine by the middle of February. The Army has been brought in – under the leadership of Brigadier Phil Prosser - to work hand in glove with the NHS and local councils to set up a vaccines network using their extensive battle preparation and logistics knowledge.

Given the high case rate across the country, Robbie Moore has pledged to make it his ‘number one priority’ to ensure the vaccine is rolled out quickly, efficiently and effectively, so we can protect friends and family, and return to normal life as soon as possible.

Robbie said: “Although our infection rates in Keighley and Ilkley are well below the national average, I know how anxious people are for their friends, family and loved ones to be vaccinated - especially those who are vulnerable.

“Vaccines provide a clear route out of the lockdown, and back to normal life, but we have to ensure everyone is vaccinated as soon as possible. The efforts of the entire government must go into getting this done. I will be working closely with our local NHS Trust, and the Minister for Vaccines, Nadhim Zahawi MP to ensure the vaccine is rolled out as fast as possible, and to make sure any issues are being addressed.

“If you are waiting to be vaccinated, please remember that our local NHS is working as fast as possible, and you should wait to be contacted by the NHS. Do not contact them yourself, to avoid further pressure on our NHS, and prevent further delays."