Today I was speaking in a debate on coronavirus regulations.
I used the debate to call on the Government to turbo charge our vaccination programme and to improve support for people who have to self isolate.
Our NHS has done a fantastic job on the vaccination programme so far. But I am really concerned that the roll-out is now stalling. In Leicester, only 40% of over-50s have so far had the booster jab. On current national trends we wont complete the booster jab programme until March 2022. This is not fast enough.
Its not just the booster jab programme that is flagging. Vaccinations for young people aged 12-15 are happening far too slowly. We are way behind other European countries on this who rolled out vaccination programmes for children in the summer while our Government delayed.
If we want to get a grip of rising Covid infections then turbo charging the vaccination programme is key. But, I also argued that as well as speeding up the vaccine roll out, we need to deal with the fundamental, long-standing problems that we have had with supporting people to self-isolate during the pandemic—namely, the need to give proper financial support and sick pay in order to help them do the right thing.
Doing all this will be key in getting on top of the virus, dealing with the growing pressures on the NHS, and keeping children in school, parents in work and our economy open for business. Whether it is plan A or plan B—we need a plan.
You can read my speech here- Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Is – Hansard – UK Parliament