Should we thank Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon for 10 million vaccinations within a month?

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I could go on for hours about the government’s lamentable response to the Covid-19 pandemic. But the one the government has got right, in my view, is the speed and volume of vaccination.

Some of my favourite heroes are Edward Jenner, Alexander Fleming, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain. – Not the sort of names you hear bandied about with your normal Shakespeare, Churchill, Nelson hero names. But, we owe much of our longer life expectancy to those scientists. The whole idea of the vaccine itself is a miracle. The fact that the scientists were able to come up with several vaccines for Covid-19 is a super-miracle.

But it is even more of a miracle that the UK government did its ordering very promptly and voluminously – and that the scientific bodies approved the vaccines speedily.

I hear we should thank Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon.

They starred in the 2011 film “Contagion”, which, I understand, has guided Matt Hancock’s vaccination policy.

PoliticsHome reports:

Matt Hancock has revealed that a Hollywood film about a global pandemic helped him prepare for the vaccine roll out.

The Health Secretary has confirmed reports that he was prepared for the global demand for the coronavirus vaccine after watching the 2011 film which shows the world in the grip of a major pandemic.

The film, starring Matt Damon, has been praised for its scientific accuracy in depicting the spread of a global virus, and the international rows which developed as countries raced to secure doses of a vaccine.

Created with scientific advice from leading pandemic experts at the World Health Organisation, the movie focuses on an infection which crossed from animals to humans and deals with the rise of anti-vaxx movements.

Speaking to LBC News, Mr Hancock said while the movie was not his “primary source of advice”, he confirmed it had helped prepare him for the “moment of highest stress” after the vaccine was created.

It sounds laughable but I think we should be grateful to the film.

I would state finally that I strongly believe that we must share our good fortune with less fortunate countries.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.