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Covid-19 Vaccines

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 17 November 2020

Yesterday, the House will know that we secured 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, so we have now secured access to 355 million vaccine doses through agreements with seven separate vaccine developers. We have secured them for the whole UK.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. What assessment has he done of the logistics necessary to deliver a vaccine to more rural areas, such as Cornwall?

We have done a huge amount of work. The deployment of the vaccine is, of course, being led by the NHS, which reaches into all parts of the UK. Our principled approach is that we will deploy the vaccine according to clinical need in every single part of the UK at the same time. That, of course, includes rural areas. A significant amount of work has gone into how best to deploy to rural areas, especially as some of the people who clinically will need to get the vaccine first are also those who might find it most difficult to travel. It is a very important question on which a huge amount of work is being done.

I thank my right hon. Friend and fellow one nation Conservative for his hard work and that of his Department in impossible circumstances this year. Kate Bingham and the vaccine taskforce have done an amazing job in securing so many doses of vaccines, as and when they become available, which will be centrally procured by the UK Government and equally available across all parts of our United Kingdom. Does my right hon. Friend agree that that shows the power of all parts of the UK speaking with one voice and working together for the good of our entire Union?

I feel very strongly about this, and I agree very strongly with my hon. Friend. We should take forward this vaccine and ensure it is available fairly and equally across all parts of our United Kingdom. Of course, it will be deployed in each of the devolved nations through the devolved NHS. I have been working closely with my counterparts, and the four NHS organisations have been working together. Ultimately, let us hope that should a vaccine become available—we still do not yet have one authorised—it will be a moment at which the whole country can come together in support of making sure that those who are clinically most vulnerable will get support first wherever they live.