Council leader: 'Scientists around the world say the vaccine is safe'

Erin Horn looking in a mirror while taking a Lateral Flow Test as children arrive at Outwood Academy

A young women taking a lateral flow test - Credit: PA Images

For some, the final easing of lockdown restrictions on July 19 was very welcome.

For others, I know there will be unease about whether restrictions have been lifted too soon and what it might mean for the spread of Covid-19.

You can accuse the government of being many things, but clear often isn’t one of them. I want to offer some common-sense advice to make up for that.

What we know is that the Delta variant is now dominant in the UK and is much more transmissible. This has been driving up cases in Barking and Dagenham as with the rest of the country.

It’s still true that wearing masks makes a difference in enclosed spaces and having two doses of the vaccine offers a really good level of protection.

I would ask that everyone who can book their vaccine but hasn’t, please book your first and second doses.

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The sooner you are protected, the better. We have all seen stories of people who have refused the vaccine getting ill and sometimes dying, while most people who have been fully vaccinated get milder symptoms.

Council leader Darren Rodwell says vaccines have been rigorously tested to ensure their safety and t

Council leader Darren Rodwell. - Credit: Andrew Brookes

Scientists around the world have said the vaccine is safe. There is a lot of misinformation flying around, but the world’s best and brightest agree that the best way to get through this pandemic safely is for as many people to get vaccinated as possible.

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I would also ask that we all act sensibly when it comes to mask wearing. Please respect those who choose to continue wearing masks and who will socially distance themselves. If you enter a space where you are expected to wear a mask or are asked to wear a mask, then do it.

This will include on all TfL services, in NHS and council buildings and in most major supermarkets.

Lateral flow tests, the ones which give a result in half an hour, are an easy way to protect others around you.

If you’re going to go somewhere crowded - like a theatre, a nightclub, a wedding or a festival - do a test and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Wearing a mask and taking a test is not just about protecting yourself, it’s about protecting others around you. Let's proceed with caution, continuing to look out for one another.

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