EASTBOURNE MP Caroline Ansell says there is great hope but we must still be cautious.

Here’s her latest thoughts:

We have reached a major milestone – 10 million vaccines given.  There has been more excellent vaccine news this week with initial studies showing the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab can stop two thirds of people from catching Covid.

The real vaccination challenge has always been to stop transmission of the virus so this is great news and there is hope other vaccines will do the same.

However, we have some way to go before we can be absolutely confident the vaccines are working to reduce infections, hospitalisations and deaths. There are also concerns around new variants of the virus but experts remain confident the vaccines will remain effective against them.

All this means we must still be cautious and we must stick to lockdown, which is also doing its good work.  Please do keep to the restrictions and stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

Our hospital is still under pressure but there too, there is cause for some optimism and that home births and our midwife-led unit will very soon return. Babies will be born in Eastbourne and that gladdens my heart. We’re expecting a little one in my family any time soon.

With three teenage sons at home, Education and the experience of home schooling parents, has been very much on my mind.

I know from speaking with Headteachers across the town, how important catch-up funds are going to be to provide the more intensive, individual teaching that will help to bridge the learning loss of these last covid months; I have the Easter and Summer Holiday Food and Activities programmes for those children in receipt of free school meals firmly in my sights too. 

In this same spirit, I asked in Defence Questions in the Commons on Monday, what additional support was being made for the children of armed forces families?  Having been in loco parentis for service children during my teaching career, I know a great deal about the sacrifices the whole family make and the potential adverse impact to their children’s learning.  I am pleased our Military Covenant, soon to be enshrined in law, recognises this. “