OUR Jabs Army campaign today hit its 50,000 target as brilliant Sun readers volunteered to help end the Covid pandemic.
We launched Jabs Army on New Year's Day and asked you all to sign up as steward volunteers at NHS vaccination hubs across the UK.
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In just two weeks we have hit our target of 50,000 volunteers with our stewards forming a key part of the Covid-19 vaccination team by making sure the centres run smoothly and safely.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock today praised all those who have given their time to help as he addressed the nation.
He thanked Brits who are helping the community by becoming a volunteer or signing up for clinical trials.
Mentioning our campaign, Mr Hancock said: "Or the 50,000 people who have now signed up for The Sun’s Jabs Army – smashing the target in the battle against this disease.
"I want to thank each and everyone of you and The Sun newspaper for leading this effort."
Sign up at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
It comes after The Sun's editor Victoria Newton today called on This Morning viewers to help us in the final push.
She said: "We are working with the Royal Voluntary Service to help provide stewards to go down to this vaccination centres. I went myself on Friday and volunteered – it's incredible.
"You don't need any experience, no skills. You basically turn up for a six-hour shift, you help direct people to the right places to go, help elderly people fill in their forms, maybe sluice down the chair when they've sat on it and had the jab."
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.”
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.
The Sun's editor said it was "so good" to see people having the jab – including our Royal snapper Arthur Edwards.
She added: "The best thing we can do as a newspaper is show people how safe it is."
So far, 4million vaccines have been administered as part of ambitious plans to give out 200,000 doses a day this week.
The aim is to ultimately get 15million jabs into arms by March – which is a huge logistical mission.
That's why Britain's biggest businesses including BT, Morrisons, British Airways, PaddyPower, Sky TV and others all backed our campaign.
The firms called on their collective 500,000 workers to sign up as volunteers to help the NHS achieve its historic victory over the pandemic.
Celebrities like Bear Grylls, Gordon Ramsay and Bake Off's Matt Lucas have also thrown their support behind the campaign.
And you can STILL join the effort to rollout the vaccines, and you only need to commit to two six-hour shifts a month at a vaccine service.
Just sign up via the NHS volunteer responders’ app – full details of how to join are below.
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 login 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
"It is really busy and I absolutely love it. I’m delighted to be playing a small part," says volunteer Fiona Pleasant, 61, who's helping out at her local vaccination centre in Woodford, east London.
"It’s inspiring to see what the NHS is doing here. I am happy to give my time for as long as I am needed. It is very rewarding."
The retired primary school teacher also says those she's helping to get the vaccine are extremely grateful for the work of medics and volunteers.
"The elderly people who are coming in are generally very calm and relaxed, and just happy to be given their slot," Fiona says.
"They are tremendous.”
Volunteer at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
SAFETY for our Jab Army volunteers is paramount.
Here we answer your questions about how you will be protected while working as a Steward Volunteer in a vaccine centre:
When I do my voluntary duty will I be safe from catching Covid?
Volunteer and patient safety is the NHS and Royal Voluntary Services’ top priority.
While is no upper age limit for volunteering but being a Steward Volunteer is a frontline role and is not for anyone who is in a medium or high-risk category.
Team leaders will ensure volunteers have the correct equipment to keep them safe at all times and social distancing will be in place throughout volunteer shifts.
There are lots of other volunteering roles available on the website.
Will I be asked to wear PPE?
Yes, the safety of volunteers is extremely important and you will be provided with appropriate PPE at the vaccination centres by your team leader.
Will I come in direct contact with patients?
One of the key jobs of our Steward Volunteers is to make sure people queuing up to receive their jabs are keeping to a safe social distance.
This is also includes yourself, so, where possible you will be two metres away from patients and other volunteers.
What training will I be given?
You will be provided with a comprehensive ‘Getting You Started guide’ to explain everything that is required on site.
As this is a non-clinical role, no specific training is required and once you arrive on site, team leaders will take you through a site introduction and briefing.
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