Carmichael: Covid vaccine progress welcome but no excuse for test and trace failings

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed today’s news that a Covid-19 vaccine under development by Pfizer may have over 90% effectiveness. Mr Carmichael warned however that the prospect of a future vaccine could not disguise the government’s ongoing failure on test-and-trace which is vital to managing the current “second wave” of the pandemic.

Mr Carmichael said:

“The prospect of a vaccine with over 90% effectiveness is hugely encouraging. We have some ways to go but if these reports hold up then it is the first real prospect of a return to normality after the pandemic. After months of uncertainty this is concrete progress and a chance for optimism about the future.

“Even so we cannot let future hopes distract us from the need for further action in the present. We will not see a broad rollout of any vaccine before Christmas and so it is vital that the national governments get the Test-and-Trace programme out of its rut. Without progress on testing we will continue to be hostages to fortune and vulnerable to further waves of infection. Better cooperation with local authorities and health boards is essential.”

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