Dean Russell MP welcomes Covid vaccine and urges people to take it

Updated: Apr 27

Dean Russell MP Watford talking about Covid-19 vaccine bottle

Watford's MP says there is "light at the end of the tunnel" after a coronavirus vaccine was approved.

Dean Russell welcomed the news that the UK became the first country in the world to approve a vaccine in the fight against Covid-19.

Mr Russell is also urging his constituents to take the vaccine when it is offered to them.

He said: "It is fantastic news that the UK is the first country in the world to approve a vaccine in the fight against Covid-19, paving the way for mass vaccination.

"Rolling out the Pfizer & BioNTech vaccine on a mass scale will be a logistical challenge.

"It needs to be stored in sub-zero temperatures so will be sent to hospitals who have ultra-cold facilities to safely store it.

"The Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency has stressed that the vaccine is safe, and that the UK has some of the highest safety standards in the world.

"The vaccine was approved in record time as it went through a rapid emergency approval process – no corners have been cut.

"Previous research and vaccine development with similar coronaviruses also made the process of creating a specific Covid-19 vaccine much faster than usual. Emergency funding mechanisms were put in place so money for research and development could be allocated quickly.

The advice from our world leading scientists and medical experts is to take the vaccine when it is offered to you. To echo the words of Professor Van-Tam, 'low uptake will almost certainly make restrictions last longer'.

"We all owe a big thank-you to the tens of thousands that put themselves forward for the trials, as well as all of those that have been working tirelessly in laboratories in recent months.

"It is thanks to them that there is now light at the end of the tunnel."

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, told BBC Breakfast on Friday vaccines will have reached hospital hubs, including to enable vaccinations to begin on Tuesday.

Mr Hopson said hospitals are working out how many care home residents, care home staff and over-80s they can get to.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is among a list of 53 NHS vaccine hubs in England which will co-ordinate delivery of the jabs.