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Written Question
Coronavirus: Disease Control
20 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will introduce ongoing monitoring of covid-19 variant strains.

Answered by Maggie Throup

The UK Health Security Agency undertakes regular monitoring of United Kingdom and international COVID-19 genomic data. This comprises of updates on previously reported viral variants and detection of novel variants.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Disease Control
20 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to take steps to monitor the long-term immunity of people who have contracted the omicron covid-19 variant.

Answered by Maggie Throup

There are several ongoing studies on the immunity to COVID-19 conferred by prior infection. An assessment of long-term immunity in those who have contracted the Omicron variant will be included as evidence emerges over time. Since June 2020, the SIREN study has assessed, through serial antibody and swab testing, the protection granted by prior infection and vaccination in a large cohort of healthcare workers.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
19 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of adults were offered a covid-19 booster vaccine by the target date of 31 December 2021.

Answered by Maggie Throup

Every eligible adult in England aged 18 years old and over was offered a COVID-19 booster vaccination by 31 December 2021.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
19 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to provide additional covid-19 vaccination sites.

Answered by Maggie Throup

There are now hundreds of walk-in sites and general practitioners and pharmacies have been asked to increase their vaccination services. Vaccination sites have been asked to operate 12 hours a day, seven days a week wherever possible, with some sites extending to 24-hour operation. Additional ‘pop-up’ sites will also be opening in local areas in convenient locations for communities.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
18 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the uptake of the covid-19 booster in (a) Greater London and (b) the London Borough of Barnet.

Answered by Maggie Throup

The latest data published the UK Health Safety Agency on 11 January 2022 shows that 54.8% of eligible adults in London and 58.4% of eligible adults in Barnet are vaccinated with a booster or third dose. Nearly two million doses were administered in London in December. In total, 3,818,256 people in London have now received a booster vaccination.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
18 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to roll out a fourth covid-19 vaccine dose to certain age groups.

Answered by Maggie Throup

On 7 January 2022, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that the priority for the COVID-19 booster programme remains to increase coverage of the first booster dose across the adult population, particularly in older adults and those in clinical risk groups. A second booster dose was not advised at this time as there is evidence of continued high vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation due to the Omicron variant following a first booster dose.

The JCVI continues to consider the latest available data and will review the booster programme, particularly in relation to the timing and value of any second booster doses for the most vulnerable.


Written Question
Cataracts: Surgery
18 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many more cataract operations will be performed as a result of the additional £2 billion being allocated to the NHS.

Answered by Edward Argar

This information is not held centrally, as this funding will not be distributed through set allocations.


Written Question
Vaccination
17 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to publish its vaccine strategy.

Answered by Maria Caulfield

England’s vaccine strategy has been delayed due to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The strategy is kept under review as our understanding of COVID-19, its vaccines, vaccination programmes and its impacts develop.


Written Question
Eyesight: Health Services
17 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will introduce a national eye care strategy.

Answered by Maria Caulfield

There are currently no plans to introduce a national eye health strategy. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement are recruiting a National Clinical Director for Eye Care to lead improvements in eye care services.


Written Question
Unemployment: Brexit
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on unemployment levels.

Answered by Simon Clarke

The free trade agreement with the EU is the first the EU has ever reached based on zero tariffs and zero quotas, supporting families and businesses in every part of the UK.

Labour market data since January 2020 has been affected significantly by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and does not provide an indication of the effect of leaving the EU on unemployment or average earnings.

According to the latest Office for National Statistics nominal average weekly earnings stood at £586 in October 21. Unemployment stood at 1.4 million in the 3m to October 2021.


Written Question
Average Earnings: Brexit
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what effect the UK leaving the EU has had on average earnings.

Answered by Simon Clarke

The free trade agreement with the EU is the first the EU has ever reached based on zero tariffs and zero quotas, supporting families and businesses in every part of the UK.

Labour market data since January 2020 has been affected significantly by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and does not provide an indication of the effect of leaving the EU on unemployment or average earnings.

According to the latest Office for National Statistics nominal average weekly earnings stood at £586 in October 21. Unemployment stood at 1.4 million in the 3m to October 2021.


Written Question
Housing: Sales
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what effect the UK leaving the EU has had on the residential housing market.

Answered by Christopher Pincher

HMRC publishes monthly data on UK Residential Property transactions and their latest seasonally adjusted data is available up to August 2021.

This data shows that in the 19 months since the UK left the EU there have been 1,996,090 transactions and this compares with 1,871,840 transactions in the 19 month period prior to leaving the EU.

The volume of property transactions is influenced by a large range of factors and differences should not be attributed to any single factor. For example, the figures for the period after leaving the EU will include the impact of Covid restrictions and temporary changes to Stamp Duty rates.


Written Question
Plastics: Recycling
13 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to encourage the recycling of alkaline polymers through local authorities.

Answered by Jo Churchill

Alkaline polymers typically have highly specialist applications, and as a result are not a significant part of household waste. As such, they are not currently a priority for local authority recycling.


Written Question
Iron and Steel: USA
12 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of the EU’s steel tariff deal with the US on the UK’s steel industry.

Answered by Penny Mordaunt

Securing a deal with the US on their Section 232 tariffs is a priority. Both the steel and aluminium industries are important pillars of our economy.

The US-EU deal has only just come into effect, but we are working closely with industry to understand the possible impacts and prepare for our own resolution with the US. The Secretary of State stands ready to take the necessary action to minimise the impact of a US deal with the EU on UK industry. This includes responding to the department’s consultation on the UK’s rebalancing measures.


Written Question
Pupils: Absenteeism
12 Jan 2022

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the unauthorised absence rate is in schools in England.

Answered by Robin Walker

In the most recent full academic year for which data is available, 2018/19, the unauthorised absence rate in schools in England was 1.4%. This data is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england.