A large part of Nadhim Zahawi’s role as minister for Covid vaccine deployment (Report, 28 November) will be communicating the benefits – and any risks – of the vaccines. He’ll need to not merely ask that people trust the new vaccines, but also to show why trust is well placed. For decades, social scientists have studied why people do and do not take up vaccinations. This includes powerful analysis of how decision-making is shaped by trust in government and biomedicine, personal and professional biographies, and the exigencies of everyday life. It’s essential that these insights inform the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines. Zahawi must appoint a high-profile social science lead who can leverage expertise to shape vaccination campaigns and maximise uptake.
Prof Martyn Pickersgill
Co-director of research, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh
• The news that Britain is the first country in the world to approve a Covid vaccine is fantastic. Congratulations should go to our prime minister for the triumph of Britain being first to import the vaccine – developed by two German scientists with Turkish roots, and manufactured in Belgium on behalf of an American pharmaceutical company.
Now, at last, we are free to save our economy by shopping for Chinese-manufactured goods and relaxing in pubs drinking Dutch lager.
Beverley, East Yorkshire
• Why is no one suggesting using the blood donor service as a vaccination service? They have a trained and experienced workforce, know how to insert needles and do tests, they are cognisant of health, privacy and data protection issues, have knowledge of potential venues for vaccine delivery at local and regional levels, have the necessary equipment for the safe storage of vaccines, and experience of managing community goodwill and service uptake. As far as I am aware, they are not currently running public blood donor sessions, so they may well have significant capacity too.
• There has been much praise for the scientists for their work on developing the current vaccines, but please don’t forget all those hundreds of thousands of participants in the clinical trials. Without them allowing the use of their bodies, none of this would have been possible.
Old Buckenham, Norfolk