On Friday, I had the latest of my regular, in-depth meetings with Gloucestershire’s NHS and County Council leadership teams, where we discussed the ongoing Covid vaccine rollout and the county’s overall response to combatting Covid.
It is really good news that Gloucestershire is performing incredibly well with our vaccine rollout. At the end of last week, 55,000 out of the county’s 129,000 residents in the top four vulnerability groups have had their first dose.
As of last Friday, over 11,000 vaccinations have been provided to NHS staff, social care staff and those who are 80 years or over as an inpatient or whilst attending outpatient clinics. Gloucestershire Health and Care are also working with Primary Care Networks to establish roving teams to vaccinate those who are housebound.
For my constituents who live near the Welsh border and are registered with a Welsh GP, I have raised concerns with the NHS in Gloucestershire about the logistical situation. Having heard back from them, I understand that if you are registered with a Welsh GP, the Welsh Health Board will be delivering the vaccine and is committed to doing so by 15 February.
However, given recent remarks by the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, indicating that the Welsh Government was deliberately slowing down the rollout of vaccine, I want to see daily data to ensure all of my constituents, wherever their GP is registered, are being treated equally.
I have been having regular meetings with the Vaccine Deployment Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, and will be having my next meeting with him before the end of this week.
Last week, I also held a virtual meeting with members of the FOD’s important tourism, leisure and hospitality sector. It was a valuable chance to get feedback on the Government’s financial support packages, which were improved on 5 January, and to update them on my meetings with Ministers where I have been pushing for the Government to publish a plan showing how the vaccine rollout translates into a return to normal life.
The NHS continues to be the best source for further information about vaccines on www.nhs.uk/CovidVaccine