More than twelve million people across the UK have now received their first vaccination against the worst effects of COVID-19, with half a million of those being fully vaccinated with the follow up dose.
At this stage of the pandemic, our scientists have deduced that prioritising first doses for as many people as possible on the priority list will protect the greatest number of at-risk people in the shortest possible time and will have the greatest impact on reducing mortality, severe disease and hospitalisations and in protecting the NHS.
Here in Brentwood and Ongar, all residents at eligible care homes with older residents have been offered the vaccine, and the process of visiting those who are housebound in their own homes has also begun. If you have any concerns, please visit the new Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership (MSEHCP new website which was launched this week, giving residents the latest information and advice on the local COVID-19 vaccination programme www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/
Sadly, this was also the week in which we lost Captain Sir Tom Moore, who died in hospital after a short period of illness. Sir Tom was, in the words of the Prime Minister, ‘a hero in the truest sense of the word; in the face of this country’s deepest post war crisis, he united us all, he cheered us all up, and he embodied the triumph of the human spirit.’ I am sure you will be pleased to hear that the Captain Tom Foundation has been launched – ensuring that the extraordinary work he started in his tenth decade will continue for a long time to come.
In these days of lockdown boredom, the antics of Handforth Parish Council have put meme-makers into overdrive. I have had the good fortune to meet with the Clerks and Chairs of many of local parish councils in the last four years and can confirm that their conduct is exemplary.
Our parish councils have worked tirelessly, often online, during one of the most difficult times in recent history to help those most vulnerable in our communities, and their efforts have not gone unnoticed by all those who have received support. They certainly do have authority here – and rightly so.
Pictured: Alex Burghart MP with exemplary members of High Ongar Parish Council pre national lockdown