00:44 GMT25 January 2021
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    It’s great news that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has now been approved. I cannot wait to get my sleeve rolled up and have the jab. What about you? However, why are we waiting to Monday to roll it out?

    We all and especially the politicians, need to roll up our sleeves and get a truly National Vaccination programme mobilised now.

    We need to mobilise the police, the fire service and the armed forces today.

    We should be making urgent appeals for former medically trained people to help out and we need to get a vaccination programme working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    At the same time as vaccinating we should be training more volunteers to be able to administer the vaccine and the tests.

    Earlier in the pandemic calls went out for volunteers to help in the fight and the great British public responded magnificently but were sadly never really used. I am sure that if the call went out now millions would step forward. Let’s do it. TODAY.

    Rather than MPs being back in the Commons wasting breath debating the EU trade deal they need to get their priorities right. Look, the deal is going to go through as Starmer is backing it, so do we need the pantomime antics of Iain Blackford and co today?

    No, what we need is a decision, a clear decision on school closures today and now that we have enough vaccine on the way we need to re-assess who is going to get it first.

    Lock down and compensate!

    Clearly with the new variant now on the rampage there will be a need for tougher lockdowns. I just hope that Hancock and Boris seize the initiative and come down hard.

    They should drop the useless and confusing tiers and just give us a uniform lockdown across the UK.

    And that does, I’m afraid, mean closing all the schools, Universities, non-essential shops and hospitality.

    I also trust that the Government have spent the Christmas period working out a fully costed compensation plan for the hospitality and other industries that will be directly affected.

    Both the bad news and the good news need to be delivered at the same time and that time is today.

    Boris needs to get the public on side more than ever and capitalising on his triumph with the EU treaty deal he needs to bring them with him.

    The fact that this new vaccine can be split into two doses over 12 weeks is also brilliant news.

    So now we can prioritise getting the first dose into more people’s arms in the shortest time and thereby having more people protected in a quicker time. Therefore, the priority now is to check who is going to get and in what order.

    I propose that the priority needs to be changed so that all frontline NHS staff also get it first.

    In this group I mean Doctors, Nurses, paramedics and of course people who work as cleaners, receptionists etc in hospitals and medical practices.

    Then we need to vaccinate all police and emergency services.

    Noelene Lewis receives the first of two injections with a dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Justine Braid at a NHS vaccine centre that has been set up in the grounds of the horse racing course at Epsom in Surrey, Britain December 16, 2020
    © REUTERS / Steve Parsons/Pool
    Noelene Lewis receives the first of two injections with a dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Justine Braid at a NHS vaccine centre that has been set up in the grounds of the horse racing course at Epsom in Surrey, Britain December 16, 2020

    Boris should close ALL schools until at least end of the February half term holiday. This will give us time to vaccinate children and of course all teachers in the first phase of the vaccine rollout.

    There should be no debate about making all University courses Zoom only for the next term thereby allowing us time to vaccinate students and university staff and of course stopping the spread back into University towns.

    We need team effort

    There is also a massive responsibility on us, the public, to keep following the rules, even if we think some of them are a bit ludicrous or contradictory. So that means keep washing your hands, keep social distancing and wearing a mask. We all still need to limit our social interactions. This has to be a team effort and together as a team we can and we will win.

    The ‘Tin hat’ brigade can still express their opinions if they wish, but the out and out anti-vaxxers need to shut up with their dangerous rhetoric.

    Please can we all forget what is being spouted in the echo chambers of Twitter and Facebook and look at the polls of people who haven’t got all day to argue, or more accurately hurl abuse at each other in the social media world.

    Poll after poll shows support for tough and even tougher methods to be employed in this fight, so Boris should just get on with it.

    I was out and about in Leamington yesterday and was amazed by how many people are now wearing masks even in the street. The message is getting through and the British public are doing their bit and are quite clearly worried, even scared of catching Covid 19.

    We all know there have been major mistakes made by Boris and his team during this terrible year but now is the time to put them aside until the inevitable public inquiry once we have our nation safe.

    Likewise, arguments about civil liberties around the idea that airlines might not let you fly if you haven’t had the vaccination need to be dropped.

    I don’t know about you but I want to get back to normal, I want to go to a pub and fly around the world and if that means I have to produce a Vaccine Passport before I can do those things, I don’t care and I think most people in the UK would agree with me.

    Finally, we must congratulate all of our brilliant scientists and those around the world for creating this vaccine.

    One final point: how have we as a nation gone from applauding the NHS workers a few months ago to now suggesting they are employed in a hoax or a ‘scandamic’?

    We need to drown out these dangerous Covid denier voices by the applause we give out to frontline NHS workers.

    I say reinstate the clapping this Thursday, what a brilliant start to the New Year that would be?

    Let’s do it!

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    COVID-19, AstraZeneca, vaccine, United Kingdom
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