THE Oxford University team that helped develop the new Covid vaccine has backed our appeal for 50,000 volunteers to help roll out the jab.
They were joined by stars such as Harry Redknapp, Penny Lancaster, Shane Richie and AJ Pritchard, who called on readers to join the nationwide “Jabs Army”.
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Sign up at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
The Sun has joined the NHS and the Royal Voluntary Service to find volunteer stewards to assist in the campaign to make sure 15million people get a vaccine by March.
So far, 5,871 of you have pledged to join the effort — but more of you are needed.
And Professor Sarah Gilbert, of Oxford University, which developed the vaccine with AstraZeneca, said: “Many people have been sending the team congratulations and saying they wished there was something they could do — and now there is.
“Please consider signing up to help.”
Dr Maheshi Ramasamy, of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: “The importance of an effective vaccine in preventing Covid is clear. Please consider signing up to help deliver vaccinations to those most at risk.”
The more people who volunteer, the quicker we can roll out the jab and get back to normal
Last night, ex-Spurs manager Harry also urged people to join, saying: “We owe it to the NHS to help after what they’ve done for us over the last year.”
I’m A Celeb winner Harry, 73, said: “Everyone who can sign up should — let’s all get behind the NHS and do our bit.
“The more people who volunteer, the quicker we can roll out the jab and get back to normal.
“The NHS have done an utterly fantastic job.
"But they are now overwhelmed, there are vaccines but not enough people to help give them out. If Sun readers sign up, it would be a huge help.”
Loose Women’s Penny Lancaster added: “If ever there has been a time to step up and help, you can, by marshalling people at vaccination stations so they can safely get their jabs.
How to sign up
VOLUNTEERS for the Jabs Army are being asked to first register online at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
You will then receive an email with log-in details to sign up online.
Finally, you will be asked to download the GoodSAM app on a smartphone which will match you to a role in your area.
Services will be opening in the coming days and weeks, with different areas up and running at different times, so you might not be required on site for some weeks. Not everyone who signs up will need to be called upon.
You need to commit to only two six-hour shifts a month at a vaccination service, and no prior experience or qualifications are required.
You will work as part of a team that will include NHS staff and volunteers. The Royal Voluntary Service will conduct appropriate background checks.
Go to nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
“We need people to enable others to get vaccinated and stop this virus’s killing spree.”
Volunteers only need to commit to two six-hour shifts per month at a vaccination service near their home and no prior experience or qualifications are needed.
Brothers AJ and Curtis Pritchard, known for their appearances on Strictly, I’m A Celeb and Love Island, also last night pledged to become volunteers.
AJ said: “Let’s all jive down to help others get a jab. By becoming a volunteer, you’ll be doing your bit to help save a life.”
And Curtis said: “By becoming one of Britain’s Jabs Army volunteers, it will enable the historic vaccination roll-out to happen as quickly as possible.”
Boris Johnson last night sent a message to his 3.2million Twitter followers praising our drive.
He said: “The Sun’s campaign to help our NHS roll out the UK vaccination programme as fast as possible is a fantastic initiative.
“The British public volunteered in droves to support the NHS last year and I have no doubt they will be determined to help again.”
- Sign up at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
Our tears and pride by Oxford jab chief
THE team behind Britain’s Covid vaccine cried tears of joy when the jab was given the go-ahead on Wednesday.
Andrew Pollard, the leading professor behind the vaccine, was told the amazing news on Tuesday evening but had to wait until the following morning to tell all of his team.
The director of the Oxford Vaccine Group said: “From the team, there were certainly smiles, tears and relief.
“And from me huge admiration for the academic teams who could stand up three phase 3 international trials in record time and bring a vaccine from concept to authorisation in just 11 months; and great respect for the trial volunteers.”
Millions of Brits will be offered the Oxford Covid jab from tomorrow.
Andrew has not yet had the vaccine but admits he would love to have the one he helped create.
His team are continuing to work long hours and Andrew says he is proud of them for “continuing to step up”.
He said: “We were working in the lab on New Year’s Day because what we are doing is so important.
“Our mission is to have a vaccine available and easily distributed, not for profit, for the world and so the work continues.”
He says “the pressure has been immense at times” but the support of his family has been vital.
Of a return to normality, he adds: “If we have high vaccine coverage, at least of the majority of the vulnerable, it’s highly likely we can start to cautiously return to normal.”
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