'Together we will beat this horrid virus'

The Broadway Theatre, Barking, saw its 10,000th injection recently

The Broadway Theatre has been vaccinating hundreds of local residents almost every day - Credit: Ken Mears

This month I had the privilege of visiting the main Covid-19 vaccination centre here in Barking. 

The Broadway Theatre has been transformed into a first-class vaccination centre, vaccinating hundreds of local residents almost every day. 

It was fantastic to see our NHS heroes, the army, town hall staff and local volunteers working side by side to deliver the vaccine for us all. 

Everyone at the Broadway Theatre is keen to expand capacity and get vaccinating even more people, so I will support them every step of the way. 

I have been working with the council and the NHS to make sure we have the most effective rollout possible in Barking and Dagenham. Together, we are doing everything we can to reach out to all communities in the borough - encouraging everyone eligible to get the jab.

Margaret Hodge official parliamentary portraits

Margaret Hodge says that despite lockdown easing, we must follow guidelines - Credit: House of Commons

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I have also been badgering the government week after week, urging them to get a bigger and more stable supply of vaccines delivered to Barking and Dagenham. This will help us to plan better over the long-term and complete the vaccine rollout as quickly as possible. 

I have also been urging the local NHS Trust to work around the clock to deliver a vaccine to every single carer in our borough. Carers look after the most vulnerable people in our community, I want to make sure they have been vaccinated so they can work safely and our care homes can reopen. 

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Everyone over 50 can now book a vaccine appointment. If you're over 50, I encourage you to go on the NHS website today to book. And if you are somebody's main carer then I also urge you to book an appointment. We all know that the vaccine is the best way to keep yourself and loved ones safe.

Together we will beat this horrid virus and get some normality back in our lives soon.

The Easter holiday this year will not be the same as before - and we must remember to follow the guidelines to keep safe - but I hope families can safely meet up outdoors or virtually to celebrate and spend some quality time together.

Happy Easter!

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