Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell is sending out a positive message today. Here’s her assessment of where we are:

The government’s vaccination programme – the biggest ever – is now in full swing and progress in East Sussex is very good indeed.

We remain in the dark grip of the virus but the light in the distance is getting stronger with every local jab given.

As of 12th Jan, 70,000 people have received the vaccination in East Sussex and the pace is accelerating as systems are refined.

I have been assured by East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who are leading the local programme, that we have enough vaccine doses to do our bit in meeting the Prime Minister’s mid-February national target of vaccinating 15 million vulnerable people who make up 88% of Covid fatalities.

The DGH started delivering the vaccine last week, which is mission critical to keeping the NHS on its feet and it will help the trust with resilience over the coming weeks and months as more and more staff are vaccinated and develop protection.

We have four sites delivering the vaccine in Eastbourne and the three primary care vaccination hubs cover each Primary Care Network that covers the town.

We are really leading the world in this area. Our British developed Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is cheap and easy to store and administer. It will help countless developing countries protect their populations from Covid-19 as well as carrying the biggest burden here. We are also ahead of our European neighbours in our vaccination programme.

There is understandably great pressure to vaccinate key workers, our teachers, police officers and supermarket staff to name just three groups exposed to risk of infection in the course of their duties, and it will happen.

We owe a great deal to all those on their respective frontlines but it is our most vulnerable who are the highest priority. The first four priority groups are: care home residents, over 70s, health and care workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable and they make up the 15 million.

I have spoken to care homes in Eastbourne and Willingdon and I know the vaccination drive for residents and staff is going well but I am monitoring the situation constantly.