Government official 'should be appointed' to oversee vaccine roll-out

A minister should be given a role to oversee the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine.

That is Labor’s proposal, which would lead to the creation of a “vaccine minister”.

The purpose of the role would be to be accountable and avoid repeating mistakes made when purchasing personal protective equipment and testing and tracking.

The ministerial role also includes regular updates to Parliament on the progress of the vaccination program.

Shadow Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said a “huge effort” is needed to achieve the introduction of a vaccine nationwide.

He said: “After months of sacrifice, people are looking with hope for a vaccine that will save lives and provide a way out of lockdown restrictions.

“But after the ministerial mistakes in purchasing personal protective equipment and the £ 12 billion for the failing Test and Trace system, no one wants more avoidable accidents.

Boris Johnson needs to reassure the country that ministers have the means and plans to carry out the vaccination program as promised.

“We need a tremendous effort to achieve a vaccine rollout of a size and scale that we have never seen before.”

Mr Ashworth also urged ministers to provide the resources necessary to ensure the smooth application of a vaccine.

He said, “Our NHS has moved on this year, but is exhausted and overburdened.

“We cannot limp into the next critical period in our battle with the coronavirus. The government must urgently provide the resources needed to ensure rapid and smooth deployment of a vaccine.

“The necessary plans must be in place now.”