Professor hopes Covid jab boosts his prospects of a return to China

A Blackpool professor hopes his Covid jab will be the first step in a bid to return to his work at a university in China.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 3:45 pm

Prof Peter Hughes, who teaches civil engineering and English at Henan Polytechnic University, has been back in the resort for more than a year because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

His return here for a winter break in January last year coincided with the early days of the virus in China and several areas being locked down as it quickly escalated.

Still keen to go back when circumstances allow, the 61-year-old feels it will be at least the autumn, if not next year, before that is possible.

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Professor Peter Hughes after his first Covid jab at Blackpool's Winter Gardens
Professor Peter Hughes after his first Covid jab at Blackpool's Winter Gardens

But he was delighted to receive his first dose of the Covid vaccine at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens hub (inset) – and believes that is a key step forward on the road to something approaching normality.

“I thought it was very important to have the jab,” said the former property worker, who studied for 10 years at the University of Central Lancashire before taking up his work in Asia.

“I can appreciate some people are against it and can respect their views – it’s a matter of choice – but for me it’s a vital step and I will hope I can get back to China at some stage.

“When I came back, there were predictions that there would be cases here. It is amazing to think just how many and how much it has changed our lives, but the NHS has done a great job and the vaccine rollout has been very impressive. The process at the Winter Gardens was very smooth indeed.

“I have a date for my second and we will have to see how the situation develops over the coming months.”

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