From today healthcare professionals across the UK are administering a new vaccine to protect against infection from Covid 19. The Worcester MP Robin Walker has hailed the rollout of the programme, stating that the vaccines will be ‘lifechanging’ for residents in his constituency.

The current vaccine is produced by Pfizer and was approved for use in the UK by the medicines regulator the MHRA after a strenuous programme of testing, last week. 800,000 doses will be given over the coming weeks, with up to 4 million more expected by the end of the month.

There were jubilant scenes at University Hospital Coventry where 90 year old Margaret Keenan, originally from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, received the first dose of the vaccine. Seventy Vaccination Centres have been set up at hospitals across the country, with Care Home residents and their carers at the top of the list of those to be protected.

Worcester residents will be able to receive the vaccine from next week. Those eligible will be contacted directly by the NHS with the top priorities being NHS staff and the over 80s.

Robin said:

“This really will be lifechanging for many people in Worcester. The Covid crisis has taken over all aspects of our lives so the rapid national rollout of a vaccine which has been proven to be effective and safe is a symbol of hope that we are finally on the path back to some kind of normality.”

“It is only fair that vulnerable people and those on the front line of the fight against the virus are first in the queue to receive the vaccination. I will definitely be getting the vaccine, but only when it is my turn. I will encourage each member my family to get one as soon as they become eligible along with any constituents who may be entitled. It’s important that people remember that it isn’t only themselves that they are protecting by getting vaccinated, it could be for loved ones or anyone with whom you come into contact.”

“The UK has some of the most rigorous testing processes and our regulator has been following the research process from the beginning to ensure the vaccine’s safety.  I know that the MHRA is renowned around the world for the quality of its assessments. It is therefore an incredible achievement to be able to roll this out within a year of research beginning.

“As case numbers continue to fall across Worcestershire I hope we will soon be able to move to the lowest tier of restrictions, but as always we continue to be led by the science. Sadly the arrival of the vaccine doesn’t mean an immediate end to the impact of the pandemic on our lives but it marks a major step forward. It will take some time for it to reach all of the most vulnerable people and longer still to produce immunity across the population so for the time being we must continue to take sensible precautions. I am hopeful though that the rollout of this vaccine faster than any other country in the world will help the U.K. as a whole deliver a stronger, faster recovery in 2021.”