Message from Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council, 13 Nov 2020
The development of a vaccination for coronavirus has very much been in the news following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 9 November.
Clearly the development of a vaccine offers a real glimmer of hope to all of us at the end of what has been the most challenging year many of us have ever experienced.
To be able to hug family and friends, to socialise again, to enjoy life without worrying constantly about COVID-19 is something I know we all want. The prospect of a vaccine means that all of this may be possible.
But we need to be clear; we are not there yet, and we won't be for some time.
I am the Chair of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Health and Wellbeing Board, which brings together political leaders and key health partners from across South East London. I wanted to update you on how we are working together to get everything in place so that when a vaccine is available, we will be ready to go.
The vaccine will be rolled out via GPs, through services we provide in people’s homes and through mass vaccination centres. The logistics of this are complicated and the task is huge. I can assure you that the Council is working extremely hard to put these plans in place.
We are investigating suitable sites and working through everything we need to deliver this. We will of course keep you updated as soon as possible and make sure that Royal Greenwich residents and partners have the information they need.
Access to the vaccine will be determined at a national level, but I’m delighted that after lobbying on your behalf, I have a clear commitment that the entire health and social care workforce in the Royal Borough of Greenwich will be eligible for the vaccine in one of the top priority groups. We will share more details of this when we can.
The vaccine will be prioritised for our most vulnerable residents including our health and care staff, with the roll out dependent on approval by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. I’m proud that our team has worked extraordinarily hard to support our care homes. As a Council we made sure that our residents and staff were tested throughout the pandemic and continue to support our care homes to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Finally, I know that some people will have concerns about the vaccine and what this all means for themselves and their families. I understand that this is an anxious time for everyone.
I want to work with everyone to build confidence in our community and to ensure everyone has access to all of the information that they need. I hope that whether you are a resident, a teacher, a business owner or an employee of the Council, we can work together to get as many people vaccinated as possible and hopefully build a way out of this together.
In the meantime, please continue to do your bit to protect one another - think Hands. Face. Space - and keep the Royal Borough of Greenwich safe.