Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:23 pm on 14th December 2020.

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Photo of Rosena Allin-Khan Rosena Allin-Khan Shadow Minister (Mental Health) 6:23 pm, 14th December 2020

Everything has to be evidence based. We in the Opposition have been labouring under the misapprehension that the Government have control over the messaging that has been going out. The mixed messaging relayed day after day by this Government has left people utterly confused. That is why I am saying that we need assurances from the Minister and the Government that the millions of people living under these restrictions will in fact be safe over the Christmas period, were families still to mix.

Finally, we turn to the bright light at the end of the darkest of tunnels: the prospect of a vaccine. I welcome the news of new vaccines, and I praise all the teams who delivered them and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency for its efficiency. We all have a duty now to explain that vaccines are safe, vaccines work, and if and when people are offered one, they must get vaccinated. When I am offered the vaccine, I will eagerly join the queue, not just because I am a doctor but because I have seen the tragic consequences of this disease up close. All of us in this House must speak up for the science and against irrational conspiracy theories and malign myth making, and we must get our people vaccinated.

Is the Minister satisfied that the Government are doing enough to build public confidence in the vaccine? Is she confident that we have the infrastructure to roll out the largest ever mass adult vaccination programme? What about those in tier 3—people in Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Tyneside and Teesside, Lancashire, Manchester, Birmingham and the Black Country, Hull, Yorkshire, Bristol and, soon, London? Will they get the vaccine quickly and efficiently? What plans have the Government made to deliver the vaccine for tier 3? Can the Minister update us on the position of vaccinations for people in care homes? People were promised a vaccine, and they need reassurance that they were not given false hope.

As we near the end of a terrible year, let us reflect on the strength, resilience and genius of our constituents, on the communities that came together, on the values of solidarity and compassion that unite us and on our common resolve to make 2021 a better year for all—especially the bereaved, the lonely, the vulnerable and the people who saw their worlds turned upside down by this terrible disease. They deserve a Government on their side, yet millions feel let down and left on their own. In 2021, that must change.