When the new anti-Covid vaccines become available, most of us will welcome the opportunity to prevent this ghastly virus spreading to our family, friends and colleagues.

The new vaccines will protect you and your family, and will also protect other people in your community – by helping to stop the virus spreading to people who cannot have vaccines.

Since vaccines were introduced in the UK, diseases like smallpox, polio and tetanus that used to kill or disable millions of people are either gone or seen very rarely. Other diseases like measles and diphtheria have been reduced by up to 99.9 per cent since their vaccines were introduced.

In the 1940s, it took years to develop a vaccine against polio, because scientists had to discover the polio virus and learn about how it grows and how to culture it. Things have since dramatically changed. Covid-19 was identified by January 9, and its genome was published. Scientists have been studying coronaviruses for years, with Covid-19 simply being one of them. Vaccine development is becoming faster as it is all done using new cutting-edge technologies.

The best way to get herd immunity is through widespread vaccination. The whole purpose of a vaccine campaign is to reach herd immunity and protect our community without getting sick or dying from the disease.

Will Podmore,

Clavering Road, Wanstead