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The Observer view on information about the rollout of the Covid vaccine | Observer editorial

It is right to celebrate the Oxford/AstraZeneca achievement but the government must tell the public when they will be inoculated

Tomorrow, Britain will witness an extraordinary moment in its grim struggle to limit the devastation caused by Covid-19 when the first Briton is injected with a vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The fact that this inoculation is occurring within a year of the emergence of a disease that has since ravaged the globe is an astonishing achievement, a tribute to world-class British science and a highly effective pharmaceutical industry. More importantly, the vaccine has arrived just in the nick of time. The newly discovered variant of Covid-19 is threatening to spread across the country and savage our beleaguered health service. A vaccine offers escape from the mounting horrors of this pandemic.

It is therefore right to celebrate the arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccine, though we should also note the pitfalls that await us. We are led by a government that has bungled so much of the Covid response – from its initial, criminally tardy response to the virus, to the shambolic distribution of PPE kit for health workers, to the pitiful rollout of test-and-trace programmes and to the bewildering U-turns on lockdown measures. We need drive and competence to undertake the speedy administration of the vaccine to millions of UK citizens. These qualities have not been displayed in abundance by the government to date.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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