New vaccine data encouraging, but we must not lose discipline

Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, responds to release of new data showing the effectiveness of vaccines.

1 March 2021

Responding to the release of new data showing the effectiveness of vaccines in reducing severe COVID-19 in older adults, Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said:

"As the NHS marks having delivered the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine to over 20 million people across the UK, new data that show this is leading to reductions in hospital admissions among the over-70s will be uplifting for health leaders and their staff who have been battling this pandemic for over a year now.
“This news comes as there are around 10,000 people in English hospitals right now with COVID-19, as some local authority areas have noted slight increases in cases, and as we are learning that the more transmissible strain first identified in Brazil is present in our country.
“All of this is worrying as we approach the first stage of the national unlocking next week and it highlights the need for the Government to stick to its cautious approach and ensure it is guided by the data and what experts are saying.
“Local leaders across the NHS are very aware of the disruption that COVID-19 has caused to the services that they are able to provide and the impact these pressures have had on their staff who are exhausted.
“As cases come down and the benefits of the vaccine continue to take effect, the NHS needs significant investment in the forthcoming Budget to help it recover the full range of its services, alongside managing the ongoing pressures of coronavirus, which are likely to be with us for the foreseeable future.”