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Government inefficiency risks undermining Covid vaccination programme

Professor John Bell has stated that the whole country could be vaccinated in five days if the authorities got their act together. Where is the leadership to make this happen?

We have large empty hotels, pharmacies, assembly halls, church halls, community halls and schools, many of which would be ideal to help the mass vaccination programme. So use them. We are now told that seven vaccination centres will be open for 12 hours a day, as if that is wonderful. Sheer madness. The centres should be open 24 hours a day with dedicated public transport to the centres; the elderly vaccinated during the day, younger people vaccinated at night.

We have already been told that Public Health England’s stifling bureaucracy is holding up the vaccination effort. Boris Johnson said last year that it was like being in a war, so take emergency powers, requisition space for vaccination centres and enforce swift action, just as you would in a war.

Far too much talk of “hoping” and “intending” and not enough “doing” will ensure that the programme is, at best, only a partial success.  

Glynne Williams

WalthamstowBlame game

I find it rich in the extreme that the government is now putting the blame for increasing Covid infections onto the public, when only three weeks ago that same government relaxed restrictions over Christmas. This despite clear and multiple warnings that the nation would pay for it in increased hospitalisations and deaths in January.

For reasons of short-term popularity they allowed multi-generational families to meet at a time when it was already known that the new variant was up to 70 per cent more transmissible.  

Sadly but predictably, blaming someone, anyone, for their own incompetence has proved to be a trademark of this Conservative government.  

Arthur Streatfield


You recently published a report about the Cumberland Infirmary having to send patients to Dumfries and Newcastle as it has become overwhelmed by Covid (News, 6 January).  

Last Saturday, as part of my daily exercise, I walked down the road at the end of my street, the A7, and on to the Eden Bridge. I was amazed by the amount of traffic, so amazed I did a count with the stopwatch on my phone. Excluding vans and lorries, there were about 80 cars a minute going over the bridge – where were all these people going?

I couldn’t help comparing that to last April when I was able to walk down the middle of the bridge unhindered. People in Carlisle seem to be unaware of what’s going on in their local hospital. Sadly this is probably fairly typical of what’s going on elsewhere.

Reuters: 1 day ago

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