We’re edging towards Christmas with some hope and good news after what has been an extremely challenging year for people.

We now have the real prospect of an effective Covid vaccine and we’ve secured some 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and over 300 million doses of the leading candidates, including the latest jab from Moderna, and from our very own University of Oxford.

We’re also working hard to find solutions across several other important areas, including researching other therapies, securing manufacturing capacity and supply chains, and supporting the national testing effort. All aspects are key if we are to successfully lift lockdown and start the road to economic recovery.

We’re rolling out 600,000 rapid tests across England so that people in high risk groups can be tested weekly. These tests can tell whether you’re infectious in minutes. In this part of the world, we’re currently carrying out about 395 tests a day in Test Valley and 351 a day in Basingstoke and Deane. I’m happily informed that there is plenty of testing available at sites and enough lab capacity to support the processing of these tests.

We are getting through this, and I look forward to Andover bouncing back as soon as it is safe to do so. We will soon be able to do the everyday things we cherish – seeing our family, attending church, going to the pub. Until we get there, let’s continue to look out for each other.