COP26, vaccine research and third doses were the topics raised by columnists in the newspapers.

The Guardian

Polly Toynbee said Cop26 will briefly ignite the news, but asked for how long afterwards.

“With the climate summit less than a fortnight away, the government’s inadequate “plan” for net zero shines a flickering light on how much more needs to be done,” she said. “Cop26 risks exposing the weak will of the world’s leaders to take action. Commitments still fall 60% short of the 2050 net-zero target, needing $4tn investment this decade alone.”

She said the government plans fail to spell out how we’ll get to net-zero emissions by 2050, at what price, and who will pay.

“The NHS long-term plan pledges net zero by 2040. But here is the sobering truth that reflects every aspect of the climate catastrophe confronted at Cop26: good though this progress is, the health service still has vast, as yet unfunded capital costs to reach net zero.”

The Daily Express

The newspapers’s leader column said the record time that it has taken to create a vaccine to Covid has been a true miracle of science.

“Medical advancements and our ability to tackle appalling new diseases are not limited to vaccines,” it said. “The announcement by Health Secretary Sajid Javid that the UK has secured access to two antiviral drugs that will be used in the community to try and stop people ending up in hospital is further evidence of how far we have come.”

It said we should celebrate and nurture the ‘amazing scientific knowledge and research in this country and around the world and be grateful.’

“The Government should be congratulated in investing in drugs and vaccines to end the current crisis, but now we must look to the future. One area that is still too tightly regulated is family access to care homes for the visitors of elderly residents. Clearly, there is a need to protect the vulnerable from the virus but this should not come with a visitor ban which is cruel and needless.”

The Independent

James Moore said the vaccine rollout was described as a ‘phenomenal success’ and said it certainly started that way.

“But I’m afraid people with compromised immune systems - among the most vulnerable to the depredations of the virus - have cause to question that,” he said. “My wife is a case in point. She is on immunosuppressants as a result of rheumatoid arthritis As such, she should have had a third shot by now. But while she has repeatedly called people and rattled cages, shuttling back and forth between GP and hospital, she hasn’t been able to so much as secure a booking for, let alone receive, the vaccination she desperately needs. The hard fact is that this is a screw up. A mess. And a godawful one. It needs fixing. Now.”