Last weekend we reached our national goal of offering a coronavirus vaccine to the top four priority groups by 15 February.

Over 15 million people have now had their first dose of the Covid vaccination, from the elderly in adult care homes to our frontline health workers.

Those most vulnerable to the virus have been offered the vaccine, with take up among the over 70s at over 90 per cent.

We have reached an important milestone in our fightback against the virus.

We are now working to vaccinate all priority groups in phase one – including all the over-50s and those who are aged between 16 and 64 who are clinically extremely vulnerable to the coronavirus – by the end of April.

From this week, an additional 1.7 million people will be asked to shield and will be added to the vaccine priority list.

The programme will then expand to all adults by September of this year.

The question of vaccine prioritisation for specific occupations has been asked a lot.

It is something the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation has said it will look into when we reach Phase two of the vaccine programme, and Government departments are feeding into a piece of work to inform any decisions that might be made.

While the rate of progress going forward will depend on supply (an issue I have discussed at length with the Minister responsible for the vaccine rollout), we should be proud of what we have achieved so far.

I am enormously grateful to all those who have been involved in this huge national Covid vaccination effort.

With hope on the horizon, over the past few week I have spent a lot of time speaking to local businesses in north Oxfordshire, including gyms and hair salon owners, early years providers and the Governor of HMP Bullingdon, to hear how they have been getting on and discuss our possible next steps.

The Chancellor will give his next Budget statement on Wednesday 3 March.

I know he is considering the situation carefully and will continue to do what he can to support and stimulate the economy in the months ahead.

Before then, the Prime Minister will set out a roadmap saying as much as he possibly can about the route back to normality.

We all want this lockdown to be the last – and we want progress to be cautious but also irreversible which is why it is so important that everyone continues to follow the rules.