A lot of us, me included, have been getting our booster jabs in the past few weeks. The UK was the first country in the world to administer a vaccine, we delivered the fastest rollout in Europe, and we have begun the fastest booster campaign too.
We are now, however, facing an emergency in our battle with the new Omicron variant and we must urgently re-enforce our wall of vaccine protection to keep our friends and loved ones safe.
That is why I fully support the launching of Omicron Emergency Boost, a national mission unlike anything we have seen before in the vaccination programme. Through this mission, everyone eligible aged 18 and over in England will have the chance to book their booster before the New Year.
To hit the pace we need, we will need to match the NHS’s best vaccination day – and then beat it day after day. This will require an extraordinary effort, which is why Swindon Borough Council are asking for as many volunteers as possible to help out at the STEAM vaccination clinic.
Very soon clinics will be running from 8am until 10pm on a daily basis to ensure as many people as possible receive their boosters. If you are interested in helping out, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and telephone number.
This efforts falls within the wider context of the votes in Parliament on the move to Plan B in England. People must now wear a face covering in indoor public spaces, work from home if possible and show a negative lateral flow to get into nightclubs and some large events if they are not double vaccinated.
I have received large volumes of emails from fellow residents on both sides of this debate – some suggesting that these measures are not required and others saying that the Government is not going far enough.
Omicron is spreading extremely fast within the UK and doing nothing is simply not an option. Even if Omicron is less severe, it could lead to massive numbers in hospital if too many people get sick at the same time.
I personally believe that these measures strike the right balance – there are no business closures and no restrictions on social gatherings. Work from home is in guidance and there is no mandatory “stay at home” order.
There are understandably strong opinions on both sides of the debate, but my advice to everybody here in Swindon and across the country is to get your vaccines. We have seen over the past year that vaccination is the key to beating Covid-19.
The vaccine save lives. Getting jabbed will offer greater protection to yourself and those around you.