Wednesday 17 July 2024
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NHS call for thousands of volunteers to support National Booster Effort

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard have joined forces to issue a rallying cry for thousands of volunteers to come forward and support the NHS booster campaign.

The public will be urged to play a crucial role in the UK’s fight against Omicron by helping the NHS to get as many jabs into arms as quickly as possible. No task will be too small to contribute towards this national effort.

Yesterday the Prime Minister announced a new ambition for every eligible adult to have the chance to get their jab by the end of the year.

This follows new evidence that suggest the Omicron variant is extremely transmissible and two jabs are not enough to protect against infection.

The new target means the NHS will be massively ramping up its vaccine operations in the next few days, and it needs as many people as possible to play their part by volunteering their time to help.

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Urging volunteers to sign up to the booster drive, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“As part of our Get Boosted Now vaccination drive we need to increase our jabbing capacity to unprecedented levels.

“But to achieve something on this scale, we need your help. So today I’m issuing a call for volunteers to join our national mission to get jabs in arms.

“We need tens of thousands of people to help out – everyone from trained vaccinators to stewards.

“Many thousands have already given their time – but we need you to come forward again, to work alongside our brilliant GPs, doctors, nurses and pharmacists, to deliver jabs and save lives.

“So please come forward if you can.”

There are now almost 3,000 vaccine sites across the country, staffed by over 90,000 volunteers who have given up 1.1 million hours of time so far.

In the next week hundreds more sites, mobile units and pop ups will be springing up across the country. These will be in a range of locations that will make it as easy as possible for people to get boosted – such as at football stadia, shopping centres and racecourses.

This means volunteers are needed to perform tasks such as registering patients, managing queues and giving jabs.

Last week the NHS announced a recruitment drive for 10,000 paid vaccinators and support staff and that it will also work with the Royal Voluntary Service and St. John Ambulance to recruit a further 40,000 volunteers for roles such as admin and stewarding queues.

In the last week, 13,000 people have come forward as steward volunteers, and a further 4,500 people have registered their interest to take up one of the 10,000 paid vaccinator roles. The government and NHS now want to go even further.

NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said:

“In the face of the grave threat posed by the new Omicron strain of Covid, the NHS is seeking to offer vaccine booster protection to all eligible adults by the end of the month, a new national mission in which everyone can play their part.

There is no doubt that our incredible NHS staff will rise to the challenge but we cannot do this alone – we need the support of the public and volunteers to once again support the Covid vaccination programme.

“Since we first issued a call to arms we have had an outstanding response but Omicron has shifted the goalposts and we are now renewing our plea to the nation – I would urge anyone who has volunteered in the past, or considered it but not taken up the opportunity, to come forward now – search ‘NHS vaccine team’ today and find out more about how you can help us save lives.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“To help us turbocharge our COVID-19 booster programme we need people across the country to join our national mission to get boosted now.

“We are so grateful to the volunteer vaccinators from organisations such as St John Ambulance and Royal Voluntary Service who have made an enormous contribution by administering millions of vaccinations since the start of this year.”

People interested in either a voluntary or paid role are urged to visit the Join Vaccine Team page or search ‘NHS vaccine team’. People who volunteered or were trained for paid roles previously are also being contacted to help out again.

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