AS this wretched year nears its end, let’s have a little moment of celebration.

We have a vaccine. It is safe. We are going to be among the first to get it. It will be free on the NHS. Woohoo!

When the virus first appeared on these shores ten months ago, no one could reasonably have expected that we would be on the cusp of a mass vaccination programme before 2020 was out.

Congratulations to the scientists who have co-operated on a global basis to make this happen. Congratulations to the manufacturers who appear able to rustle up millions of doses out of nowhere, and even congratulations to the bureaucrats and politicians who have pulled out all the stops.

After euphoria comes the caution. Immense logistical difficulties lie ahead, so we cannot cast off our masks and celebrate. With the end in sight, we must still abide by the rules.

And, of course, there are concerns. We don’t know the long term effectiveness of the vaccine. We do know we have reached this point very quickly, although there is absolutely no evidence that corners have been cut. There is no reason not to trust the experts who have brought us so speedily to this point of hope that is so welcome.