As Christmas draws nearer, the news that covid vaccines are beginning their rollout in earnest is hugely welcome. At last we can see an end in sight.
I know everybody has had to make some really tough sacrifices this year, from following lockdown restrictions and staying indoors to not spending as much time with loved ones as we would have hoped. But your efforts are paying off.
In Brighton and Hove, the infection rate has been in decline but we need to keep it that way and that means we need to keep taking precautions for a while longer.
So please, keep social distancing, keep wearing your masks and washing your hands.
To roll out a vaccine on a national scale will not be easy. We may find issues with supply chains, distribution and PPE (personal protective equipment) so let’s not expect an overnight miracle.
The UK has a good record on vaccination campaigns. Mass vaccination meant we successfully eradicated smallpox in the 1970s.
The HPV vaccine was introduced in Britain in 2008 and, by 2014, 2.3 million girls had received the vaccine which analysis shows may protect against 90 per cent of cervical cancers.
The influenza vaccine that is distributed annually is a success, preventing illness and death every year.
We’ve known for a long time the only viable long-term solution to covid-19 would be vaccination.
Sadly, there is a lot of silly and conspiratorial talk floating around the internet when it comes to vaccines.
But the medical science is clear and the results from vaccine testing so far have been overwhelmingly positive.
Covid is a killer. It has already caused huge damage to our society.
Just like we shared the responsibility for keeping one another safe and for keeping one another fed, we now share the responsibility to take up the vaccination and combat the virus.
So please do take up the vaccine when it is offered to you.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the leader of the Labour opposition on Brighton and Hove City Council.
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