Vaccine is marvellous news – but we’ve still got Matt Hancock in charge of it

‘Can we do it? Yes we can.‘ Matt Hancock is now reduced to the words of Bob the Builder (Image: EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

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Millions of people had two thoughts at the same time this week.

The first was: “A vaccine!!!! Marvellous!!”

Then a quarter of a second later: “Oh no, how will the Government arse this up?”

Because no sane person wants to hear the words: “At last we have the formula to save Britain from ruin and plague. The people in charge of it are Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock.”

They’ll probably hand the contract for distributing it to SERCO, who had part of the test and trace contract, which in one week missed 124,000 people.

To miss 124,000 people you’re looking for is an amazing achievement. It’s like going to Blackburn town centre and not being able to find Blackburn.

There was positive news from Pfizer about a Coronavirus vaccine last week
(Image: Reuters)

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It reminds you of the famous Oscar Wilde line: “Lady Bracknell, to miss one person is unfortunate, but to miss 124,000 we must be a bunch of incompetent idiots.”

If they’re allowed near the vaccinations, three weeks later they’ll announce they’ve accidentally mixed up the vaccine with weed killer.

Hancock will say: “This may result in patients feeling dizzy, but it guarantees they won’t be covered in dandelions so we’ve renewed the contract.”

Or the distribution will be handed to a firm that usually sells carpets door-to-door, but comes strongly recommended as it’s owned by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s brother-in-law.

The Government has bought enough vaccine to cover 20 per cent of the population, but they also promised a world-beating test and trace system by last May.

So we can’t help worrying that tons of the stuff will be lost, because Chris Grayling took it home after mistaking it for bubble bath.

Or the head of test-and-tracing Dido Harding took a lorry-load of it as a sample, and drove it into Cheddar Gorge because she couldn’t test and trace the route to her own office.

Luckily the vaccine will be coming at the ideal time, in the month when we cut off a 50-year union with the continent the vaccines are coming from, with the roads full of lorries all the way through Kent.

This is perfect if you live in Folkestone, as you’ll be able to walk up the M2 to a gridlocked lorry, and take as much as you like. You can pour it into a glass with a choc ice and have a vaccine-cream soda if you like.

If you’re not in Kent you’ll have to wait five years until the lorries can get past the ring road around Maidstone.

But we shouldn’t be sceptical, because on BBC’s Question Time, Hancock was asked how he’d overcome difficulties of distributing the vaccine, ensuring there were no delays due to Brexit and informing the population how it works.

He replied “We just have to do it. Can we do it? Yes we can.”

So he’s thought it through so thoroughly, he’s reduced it to the words of Bob the Builder.

If they muck it up as usual, I expect he’ll go further and make a statement in Teletubby language, that goes: “Uh-oh, lost vaccine. Aaah it fell in sea sea, splash splash.

“Oooo poor people with underlying health conditions, never mind.

“Uh-oh.”

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