Update from Sir Mike Penning MP – January 2021

We are not far off having been battling the SARS-CoV-2 virus for a year. This terrible virus has caused immense suffering to so many people. I really feel for the many people who have lost someone dear to them. This really is not ‘just another flu’. It is an incredibly contagious coronavirus which can strike down even the fittest of people. It is right that we have to take extreme measures to stop the spread, even when these restrictions go against everything we believe in.

We are now well into the third lockdown of this pandemic and I know that many people are completely fed up with it. I do understand that. I also understand that for many it is more than being fed up, they are in trouble financially and do not know whether their job or business will survive.

However, we need to support our friends in the health and care sectors who need us to stay at home to reduce the spread of the virus. If we can reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment, then we are doing our bit to help them.

I particularly feel for those who have been left without Government support and I have been lobbying on behalf of these groups of people. I am a member of the ‘Excluded APPG’ – an All-Party Parliamentary Group where MPs from across all parties work together to lobby the Government.

The good news, of course, is that vaccinations are now well under way. It is an absolute triumph that one of the major vaccines was developed in the UK and I am in awe of the work done by the team at Oxford University and AstraZeneca. We owe a lot to everyone who has been involved in the development, manufacture, transportation, and delivery of the vaccines.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to volunteer at the Vaccination Centre in Maxted Road. It is genuinely heart-warming to see the Vaccination Centre in full flow.

The NHS has sent letters to people in the priority groups in our area inviting them to attend one of the national centres (the nearest is in Stevenage). Alternatively, you can wait until you contacted by your GP to go to our local centre in Hemel Hempstead.

Do not turn up without an appointment as you will be wasting your time.

At time of writing, I am hopeful that the lockdown is starting to have an impact. However, we must stay at home and get vaccinated if called.

My office remains open on a skeleton staff, with others working remotely, if you need help please feel free to email on mike.penning.mp@parliament.uk .

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