Get your booster jab:
I had my vaccine booster jab at the Ahmadiyya Mosque in Leamington. I would like to thank the wonderful team of volunteers I spoke with including retirees who had retrained to serve during the pandemic, nursing students and dedicated members of the public.
The clinical team led by Dr Ollie Lawton of the Leamington Primary Care Network was friendly, professional, and reassuring.
Though they are happy with rates of take up so far, they were keen to impress upon me how vital it is that people come forward for their boosters – as the defences from the first two jabs wear off after around 6 months.
Rates of infection are still worryingly high, and professionals are acutely aware that, of those in intensive care, a great majority are those who have not been vaccinated.
Similarly, clinical lead Dr Poppy Roberts told me they are especially keen to persuade pregnant women to come forward for jabs. She says – despite early uncertainty – the trials and testing undertaken by vaccine providers show it is completely safe for pregnant women to have the jab. She says getting jabbed is particularly vital as scientists have identified a link between catching the virus and higher rates of stillbirths.
Thank you to the Mosque and the Ahmadi community for allowing clinicians to use its facilities on Wednesdays from 8am till 8pm – with another centre being run at the Sydni Centre on Saturdays. A real community effort.
Last week Parliament honoured some of those involved in Operation Pitting: the extraction of Afghan nationals and UK personnel from Kabul. It has now been over 100 days since the Taliban unexpectedly stormed to power after the UK and US militaries withdrew.
Although too few were granted safe passage and taken to safety because of Government failings, those servicepeople on the ground saved lives in the days and weeks that followed.
I spoke with extraordinary RAF aircrews and logistics people and expressed my appreciation for their selfless efforts.
But many thousands remain – and they too must have our help. My team and I are still supporting families in the Warwick and Leamington constituency who desperately want to get their relatives to safety. And I have called on the Government to take more action and start by immediately opening the Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme to make this possible.
A reminder that the deadline to make a nomination for the 2022 event will quickly be upon us.
Please cast your nominations on my website before January 7 – and do it as soon as you can so we have more time to make this year’s event as good as it can be.
To make a nomination, click this link and fill out the form: mattwestern.org/mp-awards/
It is also your last chance to sign my petition calling for a referendum to decide on whether the merger of Warwick and Stratford district councils goes ahead. Don’t lose control of local decisions. Please read more and sign here: https://mattwestern.org/campaign/put-it-to-the-people/
Likewise, please, if you haven’t already, fill in my survey on women and vulnerable people’s safety in Warwickshire. I’ve already had more than 200 responses and they have been hugely enlightening. Things must change. And this is your chance to guide me in the direction of a productive campaign to combat male violence. Please fill out the survey and read more here: https://mattwestern.org/survey-womens-safety-in-warwickshire/?fbclid=IwAR3vf9lNt0qvbBxGBLXB8tPAWH0r5GNA0ZoGIGuN-EnzZSpf6m8HvIgDImE