The fortitude and community spirit that the majority of people here in Crawley have shown over these last two months has been truly commendable. We hear heart-breaking news each day but the corner has been turned and thankfully the pandemic is claiming less victims each week. We’ve all played a part in limiting the transmission of the coronavirus and it’s still up to us to continue this, as we practice social distancing until such time that enough progress has been made to reduce this practice.
One potential method of eliminating the need for strong social distancing measures is the development and implementation of a vaccine. On Sunday, the government announced funding of up to £93 million to open the new Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre twelve months early, further accelerating our country’s world-leading efforts to find a vaccine.
The UK is a world leader in the global efforts to find a vaccine. If a breakthrough is made, our country needs to be ready to manufacture a vaccine. This £93 million of funding will allow the centre to open a full twelve months ahead of schedule, ensuring that it opens by Summer next year, and that it is ready to produce enough vaccine doses to serve the entire UK population in as little as six months.
While this Centre is under construction, the government will be establishing a rapid deployment facility, with a further investment of £38million. This facility will support efforts to ensure a vaccine is widely available for everyone as soon as possible. It is reassuring to know that we have world leaders in science and medicine who are working tirelessly as part of a global effort.
It is right that every avenue is fully explored although it is also good to hear some scientists saying that it is possible that the virus may burn itself out. Uncertainty can be unsettling but we should never lose faith. We all want the pandemic over and for our economy to be able to fire on all cylinders once again. Efforts to create a vaccine may end up playing a key part.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
20th May 2020