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Almost half of people in Rutland have had a Covid-19 booster jab

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We all have our clear duty in the battle against Covid-19 and the new Omicron variant: get boosted, writes Rutland MP Alicia Kearns.

It’s that simple. If you do one thing today, and you’re over 18, please book your booster jab. There is now a monumental national effort underway to get a booster into every adult arm by the New Year.

Here in Rutland and Melton, almost half of us have received our booster dose – as of last week, 39,999 in our communities had answered the national call to get jabbed once again.

Alicia Kearns MP for Rutland
Alicia Kearns MP for Rutland

That’s 47 per cent, a number that is sure to increase as the booster jab becomes available to every adult.

One can’t mention omicron without mentioning the new regulations that are being proposed. Two weeks ago, I wrote that the measures were precautions rather than restrictions. I stand by that, and my concern is that this week I am being asked to introduce measures before the House of Commons before the assessment of Omicron has even returned from the Government’s laboratories. No decision should be taken before this assessment comes before us. To that end, I will be voting against the Government on its plans to introduce vaccine passports in indoor venues. This country is also not one that discriminates on a medical basis, and I do not support moves to coerce or restrict based on vaccination.

With 93 per cent of all adults in Rutland and Melton having received their second dose, in my book the people of this country do not need to be forced to get jabbed. If we look back to this time last year, the reason we aren’t facing another lockdown comes down to the incredible vaccination effort – one of the best in the world.

It’s been an enormously challenging few weeks in Westminster. I am deeply angered by reports of parties during national lockdown. That while we all worked to respect the restrictions put on our lives as best we could, it appears there may be those who broke lockdown restrictions. It is right that an investigation is underway and it must be transparent in its findings.

I did not attend any parties of any sort during lockdown, not least because I was shielding in Rutland and Melton ahead of the birth of my child. The past few weeks have damaged the reputation of the House of Commons and the Conservatives. We can and must do better. It is certainly my aim to help to achieve that.

Locally, I am very focused on the solar farm being proposed at Mallard Pass. Planning isn’t within my remit as your MP, but a solar farm of over 2,000 acres is a significant change to our county. I’ve written to every affected local councillor to encourage them to make their views heard, and you can do so too at www.mallardpasssolar.co.uk.

I’d like to thank all the children of Rutland who submitted entries for my Christmas card competition. Otto from Edith Weston Academy was the winner, and I was delighted to be able to give him a House of Commons teddy bear last week. I was also able to give Millie and Meliha from Edith Weston Academy teddies too as runners up. It was such a joy to get hundreds of beautiful designs, many of which are now on my window at my office in Melton Mowbray.

Finally, I’d like to wish you and your families a happy, and safe, Christmas. I’d also like to thank you for all your support in the two years since I was elected as your MP. It is an enormous privilege, and together we can achieve great things for our communities and county.

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