THE Sun's brilliant Jabs Army won a top industry award tonight and has been praised by the head of the NHS for playing a “vital role” in bringing an end to the Covid crisis.
Our fantastic volunteers – part of the biggest civil mobilisation since the Second World War – have worked with the NHS to get a shot in the arm of nearly seven in ten UK adults.
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So far, they have clocked up more than 60,000 shifts helping protect their fellow citizens from the pandemic.
More than 18.4 million people have now had both doses, with a total of 35.7 million adults having at least one shot.
And tonight The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign was honoured with the title Editorial Campaign of the Year by Campaign magazine.
NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens told The Sun: “The success of the vaccine programme has not happened by accident.
“It is down to careful planning and the hard work of NHS staff.
“But we could not have done it alone. The Sun’s Jabs Army has played a vital role in helping us to protect millions of people at speed.
“They have provided an amazing 60,000 shifts of support and have been a part of one of the biggest volunteer mobilisations since the Second World War.
“It has been a difficult year for us all. But the worst of circumstances bring out the best in people and we hope this real sense of community spirit, brought by each and every volunteer, lives on beyond the pandemic.”
Heaping praise on Sun readers, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Congratulations to the Sun for a simply brilliant campaign.
“You’ve inspired thousands of volunteers, who have together helped deliver the biggest vaccination programme in our history.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “I want to say thank you to the Sun and the Jabs Army for their crucial role supporting the vaccine programme.
Keep ready to join
ARE you a Jabs Army recruit? The Royal Voluntary Service is urging everyone who has signed up to be a volunteer to keep checking when they can help.
For the jabs rollout to keep up its momentum they need more volunteer stewards than ever to keep up with demand. This can be done by going on the GoodSAM app to see which shifts are available in your area. Then simply book yourself in to help.
Royal Voluntary Service Chief Executive Catherine Johnstone CBE, said: “We continue to be blown away by the incredible work of our Steward Volunteers. I’d like to say an enormous thank you to every single volunteer.
“Your time and effort has been nothing short of amazing. There are still lots more people to be vaccinated so please do stick with us and keep checking your GoodSAM app for shift updates.
“We’re also encouraging people to sign up to our Next In Line list – registering to be called on to become a Steward Volunteer if there is an increased need in your area. Please do sign up at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/nextinline.”
NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said of the Jabs Army: “Sometimes the worst of circumstances bring out the best in people and this is certainly true with the tens of thousands of volunteers who have stepped up to do their bit.
“So on behalf of everyone in the NHS, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all the Jabs Army volunteers and The Sun for this fantastic campaign which has been at the heart of the greatest national mobilisation since the Second World War.”
- Sign up at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/nextinline
“It has been a true national effort and the campaign has shown our country at its best.”
Campaign said in a statement: “The Jabs Army campaign had to overcome the challenges of recruiting volunteers at the height of the second national lockdown.
“A new narrative of vaccine hesitancy was emerging in parts of society so the campaign set out to correct mistruths, debunk myths and encourage the country to get jabbed.
“The campaign smashed its target of recruiting 50,000 volunteers inside three weeks and won the backing of more than 50 businesses.
“The cross-party campaign also won support from the NHS, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, alongside a number of celebrities.”
The Sun says
WE’VE never been prouder of Sun readers.
NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens says our 50,000-plus Jabs Army volunteers have been a key part of the vaccine programme rescuing Britain from Covid.
Within days we will regain most of our freedoms. Next month we will even ditch masks and social distancing.
Our economy is roaring back.
Who foresaw this in the dark days of January? The rollout has worked a miracle. Credit to the inventors, drug firms, NHS and Government.
But, as Simon says: “We could not have done it alone. The Sun’s Jabs Army played a vital role.”
Our thanks to all of you who volunteered — you’re our heroes.
Jabs Army was named a joint winner alongside Co-op Food magazine's lockdown recipe series Back to Basics, which helped people eat at home during challenging periods of isolation.
The NHS is now inviting people aged 38 to 39 to book their jabs.
Brits under 40 are being offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab where possible due to a link to rare blood clots.
Call to arms – how MPs, celebs and big businesses backed our campaign
A HOST of celebs and politicians threw their weight behind Jabs Army as they praised kind-hearted Sun readers who signed up.
Their calls were led by Boris Johnson, who begged for volunteers to help 'return the country to normal life'.
The PM wrote personally to our readers, saying: "The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is a brilliant example of the power of collective action.
"It has already inspired companies and workplaces up and down the country to join the call to arms.
"So today, I call on everyone who has the time to join the legions of volunteers already signed up and to boost volunteer numbers further still."
Jeremy Clarkson urged Brits to get off the sofa and sign up to beat the lockdown blues.
He said: “Everyone is saying how bored they are. They’ve watched Netflix, gone through everything on the internet, read Google.
“Well let’s not be bored — let’s get off our bottoms and volunteer.”
His call was backed by a string of other celebs – including the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, who hailed our campaign as “fantastic”.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock saluted Jabs Army as he addressed the nation in a No10 press briefing.
He said: "Come and be a part of it. The Sun’s Jabs Army is marching and helping the nation.”
Former GMB host Piers Morgan branded the campaign as "excellent".
While celebrities like Bear Grylls, Gordon Ramsay and Bake Off's Matt Lucas have also thrown their support behind the campaign.
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