During a statement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Winchester’s Member of Parliament urged the Government to avoid a delay to step four of the roadmap.
Steve Brine said in the House; “On any possible delay to stage four of the roadmap on the 21st of this month, I totally get the logic of my Right Honourable Friend is talking about and he's absolutely right to reserve judgement until one week before, as was always the case when the roadmap was published.”
The MP further quizzed the Secretary of State, Matt Hancock, over the possible reasons a delay might occur, asking; “Can I gently press him to tell the House what we’d be delaying for? Would it be a world without covid - therefore without any possibility of a variant of concern in the future, which I don't think is his belief – and can he see, though, for why for many that would be to write Covid a blank cheque and just continually delay?”
Matt Hancock responded saying; “Our goal, sadly, is not a covid free world because that is impossible. The goal is to live with covid, much as we live with some other unpleasant diseases, including of course flu, and that does mean that there'll be vaccinations long into the future and it means that especially in winter and in hospitals, for instance, we'll have to be very careful to prevent infection spreading.
It means we'll have to live with this virus, manage our way through it, but with the supreme power of science and the vaccine at our hand, which will be so powerful and is already proving, including through the data I announced to the House just now, proving to be an incredibly powerful ally in getting us through this. But at the moment it's only 76% of people have had the jab, only 52% of people have had both jabs and unlike the previous variant, the 2nd jab appears to be even more important for this time round.”
During the Mr Hancock’s statement earlier in proceedings, it was confirmed that vaccine appointments will be opened up for 25-29 years-olds. This was warmly welcomed from across the House including by Steve Brine in his opening remarks.