Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:41 pm on 30th December 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Doughty Stephen Doughty Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and International Development) 5:41 pm, 30th December 2020

I am delighted to hear from my constituency neighbour, my hon. Friend Kevin Brennan, that his mother has received the vaccine, and I am delighted that the Oxford vaccine has been approved—I pay tribute to all the scientists behind that—but we are in a race against time now. We have heard this afternoon that there will be only 530,000 doses of the vaccine available next week, not the millions that were promised; Jonathan Van-Tam has been telling us that there is a global fill and production capacity issue; and the Prime Minister is now refusing to give guarantees on the number of doses that will be administered each week by the NHS.

Will the Leader of the House therefore speak to his colleague the vaccines Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, and ask him to make an urgent statement to the House? I think that we should be sitting next week, virtually. If we do not, will the vaccines Minister do a virtual session online for Members of Parliament? The last one, before Christmas, was an absolute shambles, which hardly gives us confidence. Our constituents want to know what is happening with the vaccine, and they want to know now.