I was invited to join a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus earlier today when I was questioned on the implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the UK, vaccine hesitancy and how this can be addressed, and how we can ensure the programme is successfully completed.
The UK has made an excellent start to its Covid-19 vaccination programme and we should build on this success by supporting and investing in local primary care and pharmacy teams. The mass vaccination centres set up by NHS England may have a role but we must ensure that they do not divert staff, funding and vaccines from local vaccination centres run by primary care teams. Local centres can work flexibly and are more accessible for patients.
Finally, vaccine hesitancy is an important issue and we must work locally, as well as nationally, with the public and patients, to address this in the groups where it is highest – such as young adults, ethnic minorities, and people from poorer backgrounds.