I've had my booster, says North West Norfolk MP James Wild
Having regularly urged readers to get boosted, I’m pleased to say that I’ve now had my booster jab and topped up the protection from the first two jabs I had earlier in the year.
The sheer scale of the vaccine programme is impressive and QEH recently delivered its 100,000th jab with two million delivered so far across Norfolk and Waveney.
Records are being broken almost daily with over 900,000 boosters being given on Saturday. Some 105,000 vaccines were given in Norfolk and Waveney last week – including 99,000 boosters, 2,000 first doses and 4,000 second doses. This is thanks to NHS staff, volunteers and everyone involved in working flat out in the run up to Christmas as well as the willingness of so many people to come forward for their jabs. If you can support this effort then please visit NHS Responders website and sign up.
The importance of the vaccines is demonstrated by the fact that the unvaccinated are many times more likely to end up in intensive care than those who are vaccinated. As I write 54.9 per cent of people in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk have had their booster and I encourage everyone to join them and get the protection the vaccines offer.
With the spread of Omicron people are adapting their behaviour. The number of contacts people are having on a daily basis has reduced. This is affecting our hospitality businesses who have suffered so much during the crisis. Given the ongoing uncertainty about the severity of Omicron and the impact on hospitalisations and deaths, I asked the Chancellor to look at further targeted support on top of the business rates and VAT cuts that are already in place.
So I very much welcome the £1billion of additional support for the hospitality, leisure, and cultural sectors announced earlier this week. This includes new one-off grants of up to £6,000 for eligible hospitality and leisure businesses. These will provide the same amounts as when businesses were fully closed earlier this year – whereas now they can trade. And £100 million of new discretionary funding is being given to local authorities to support other impacted businesses – on top of the £250 million of grants they hold which is yet to be allocated to businesses.
There is also a further £30 million to support theatres, museums, cinemas and other cultural institutions. Finally, the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to help businesses cover employees who fall ill is being reintroduced.
Christmas can be a lonely time for many people so do look out for anyone who you think may be struggling. If anyone needs help then the Samaritans are there to support you and can be contacted day or night by calling 116 123 or sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org .
As it is almost Christmas, I thought I’d share my favourite Christmas films in case anyone wanted a recommendation! In no particular order they are Home Alone, The Christmas Chronicles, Jingle Jangle, Die Hard, and Nativity.
Whatever you are planning, I wish all readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!