TYNDALE MP Guy Opperman writes...

The last week has been incredibly difficult across Tynedale and Ponteland. Storm Arwen has really battered our communities, and I am continuing to do all I can to assist those without power.

My team and I have been flat out helping hundreds of people affected, working closely with Northumberland County Council, the emergency services, and central government to help those without power, and ensure the most vulnerable in our community are looked after and safe.

It has been heartening to see the community response from volunteers who are working so hard to support local people.

My team and I are here to help, so if you have concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at: guy.opperman@parliament.uk or 0143 4239 205.

Storm Arwen has been so much harder for many because of the continuing COVID pandemic, with the emergence of the Omicron variant we must all now take sensible precautions, such as wearing masks on public transport, and testing those who undertake international travel.

This will give our scientists additional time to analyse this new variant and understand what – if any – impact it has on vaccines.

There is one simple, free and easy thing we can all do to protect ourselves though – get boosted.

Incredible British scientists helped create the COVID vaccine in record time, and the incredible rollout from our NHS has put our communities in a much better place than what we saw this time last year.

But now is the time to build on that protection to ensure we are all protected throughout this winter. The government’s scientists have now announced that all adults will be eligible for a booster jab, there months after their second jab. Children between 12 – 15 will be able come forward for their second jab twelve weeks after their first – and the most at risk will be soon eligible for a fourth jab.

We all need to get boosted. It will protect everyone. Doing so is easy, you can book online at nhs.uk/CoronavirusVaccine. The government has set a target to offer everyone eligible a booster by the end of January – and the NHS are working on plans to increase capacity so that everyone can get their jab.

My priority for our communities is to get the power and the water back on, but it is also to ensure that we get through this winter by protecting those vulnerable to COVID.