Coronavirus Response

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:48 pm on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:48 pm, 20th July 2020

Yes, I like the new Barry—he is like the old Barry, before he got very cross with me over Brexit. Welcome back; it is really nice to see you. If I may, I will make this clinical point, which I normally avoid: it is also really good for your blood pressure.

We have been working really hard with Huddersfield and the local authorities in the hon. Gentleman’s part of the world to bring the virus under control. It has been a real team effort and an example of how things should be done working together. I appreciate the hon. Gentleman’s words on that. I hope that the whole local team will see that this is a big cross-party effort and that there is not some sort of fake attempt to create division. This is everybody working together to try to tackle this virus, and that is how it should be.

On the latter point, I agree with the hon. Gentleman very strongly about tackling the anti-vax movement, and he is right to raise that. He is also right that this is not just about the covid vaccine, but the flu vaccine too. We are moving to make sure that a far higher proportion of people in the NHS get the flu vaccine. This winter, the expectation will be that every single person who works in the NHS will get the flu vaccine, unless there is a very good, essentially clinical, reason. Making that happen is a big part of the work I am doing with Simon Stevens and the NHS leadership, to drive that through.