As we enter December it is a good time to pause and reflect on the past 12 months. This year, we might be forgiven for wanting to put these past months behind us and focus on the future.
2020 has been an unpredictable, difficult year, with each and every one of us experiencing the same difficulties in a collective way that has probably not occurred since the Second World War. As always in times of trouble, our communities sprang into action, delivering food and essentials to the vulnerable and shielding, signing up to support the NHS, and checking on our elderly neighbours. The reports of the disappearance of community spirit in the last decade have clearly been wildly exaggerated. Especially, I have to say, here up North.
Now though, we have cause for real hope. A brighter future, and a better 2021 beckons. The UK is the first country in the world to have its rigorous medicine regulators, the MHRA, approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and the UK Government has already purchased 40 million doses, enough to vaccinate 20 million Britons, as two jabs are required for the 95% effective protection.
This week we will see the first people in the world being vaccinated and protected from this awful virus, outside of the large trial groups. I’m pleased that they will be British, those in the most vulnerable categories and I’m proud of our fantastic science sector for working so hard to keep people safe. Elderly people in care homes, and care home staff, are at the top of the priority list, followed by frontline healthcare staff and other elderly people. It will take time to defeat this virus, but we are well on our way.
The Government has prepared rigorously, ordering 355 million doses of vaccine – more than any other country- from seven different types, including 100 million of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was also submitted to regulators for approval. Whilst it will take time for the vaccine to be rolled out across the UK, I know that everyone will pull together and soon enough we will see an end to these awful restrictions.
I am hopeful as I look towards the future, I trust it will be a good year for Britain: one where we protect our people from the pandemic, where we are able to remove restrictions in order to once again live our lives as we choose, and a year where finally we are able to allow the British entrepreneurial spirit to roar with its typical ingenuity and brilliance once again.
2020 was a year to forget, let us all hope and indeed strive to make 2021 a year to remember. I wish you all a happy and safe Christmas period, and a fantastic New Year.
If you a resident of Morley and Outwood that needs my help please do not hesitate to contact me on: Andrea.Jenkyns.MP@Parliament.UK and I will always do my upmost to assist you.