AMIDST the gloom of lockdown, there is at least one bright light. The government vaccination programme has hit its target a day early.

15 million people have been offered the Covid-19 injections a day earlier than expected.

More importantly for us here, Hereford and Worcester have achieved their targets of all those over 70 and those with critical conditions a week early.

Our NHS and volunteers are the best in the country. Indeed, the reason we were only one week ahead of schedule is not because of our local efforts, but because of the supply of vaccine.

Now we start on the process of moving along the vaccination scale and we are working through cohort 5, 65 to 69-year-olds.

That should be completed by Friday and then we make a start on cohort 6, 16 to 64-year-olds with underlying health conditions.

That is expected to be completed by the end of March, when we start moving through the rest of the population, including second vaccines.

For people like me, late 50s with good health, that suggests it won’t be until April that I can expect to get my jab. And given I can do the vast majority of my work safely from home, my plan is to stay put until, at the very least, I’ve had the jab, or advice changes.

Vaccination is important. Ultimately, the only way we get back to any sort of normalcy to achieve herd immunity.

With the obvious awfulness of doing this by infecting everyone, the only way to achieve this and a consistent reproduction rate of less than 1 is by inoculation.

In the wider population, all the figures – hospital admissions, infection rates, death rates – are coming down.

Whilst brilliant news, this doesn’t automatically mean we can all head out to socialise.

We are expecting an announcement on February 22 to start to give a steer as to how this will begin to end.

But I’m not expecting any earth-moving news. The government has learnt by mistake that the right way forward is to under-promise, over deliver.

There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there. People think this is all a government plot. I have no idea where these all come from. The government has just one plan - to get us all, safely, back to work and back into our jobs, leading our normal lives. No more, no less.