'Vaccines may be light at the end of the tunnel – but we are still in darkness'

Today Michael Gove announced VE Day.

Victory over Europe in the war to see off the EU’s outrageous attempt to nick our Covid jabs.

It was some rare good news in a year of pandemic hell made worse by Boris Johnson’s mishandling, mistakes and mixed messages.

It means the threat of disruption to the UK’s vaccine supplies is lifted, and the remarkable rollout of jabs can continue without interruption.

Vaccines may be the light at the end of the tunnel.

But for now we are still shrouded in the tunnel’s darkness.

What do you think of this week’s vaccine supply debacle? Join the debate in the comments below…

Medical staff put on their PPE and sanitise as they prepare to access ICU
The Sunday Mirror went behind the scenes at University Hospital Southampton ICU

Just ask our reporter Amy Sharpe, whose harrowing and heartrending despatch from the frontline of an ICU is essential reading today.

University Hospital Southampton’s ICUs handled 45 patients before the pandemic.

Last week they were coping with nearly double that figure.

And lead consultant Dr Sanjay Gupta was confidently bracing his staff to take more as other hospitals hit breaking point.

What really pains him is the knock-on effect of those who break lockdown rules.

One more Covid patient in ICU means one less being treated for cancer or having life-saving heart surgery.

Amy witnessed the agony of the young as well as the old. Those who could speak repeated the message that sticking to the rules is vital.

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UH Southampton is not the exception, but the norm. Other doctors and nurses in other ICUs across the nation are fighting similar draining and desperate battles to save lives.

Without their superhuman efforts, the
death toll would be many more than the 100,000 -plus so far.

Infection rates and hospital admissions are beginning to fall thanks to lockdown, but bed occupancy and deaths will take longer to come down. So there will be no let-up for the medics.

That is why yesterday’s good news about the vaccine should not blind us to the likelihood of more bad news round the corner.

There will be a time to celebrate VE Day, but that time is not yet.

Virus End Day is some way off, and it will only come if we all knuckle down and do our bit.

Don’t fail Babs

Everyone loved Babs. Including Boris Johnson if the delighted look on his face is anything
to go by in the publicity shots of the two of
them together.

The PM told Barbara Windsor he would do his best for her when she visited No10 in 2019 to hand in a letter from the Alzheimer’s Society calling for better dementia care.

Yet the money for the dreadful illness which killed her has fallen by nearly half over the last three years.

Barbara’s husband Scott hits out today at the Tories for not fulfilling an election pledge to pump an extra £83million into research.

We hope that will shame the PM into action.

To keep his promise to Babs.

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And to the voters.



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