THE Sun's editor Victoria Newton today urged This Morning viewers to sign up to our Jabs Army campaign as we close in on 50,000 volunteers.
We launched our Jabs Army push on New Year's Day to beat coronavirus once and for all by asking readers to volunteer at NHS vaccination hubs across the UK.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Sign up at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
This Morning's Holly and Phil today spoke to Sun editor Victoria, who revealed we need just 789 more sign-ups to smash our target of 50,000 volunteers.
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.
"What's been phenomenal is in the space of two weeks, we are very, very nearly there.
"We've got as of this morning 49,211 so I think if we get more viewers now and Holly and Phil to sign up on air we might just do it.
"We need 789 more – go on, do it."
It comes as 5million over-70s and "extremely vulnerable" Brits will be invited to get their Covid jab from today.
Letters will be sent to the next two priority groups as the UK plans to jab 140 people every minute with ten new vaccination centres opening this morning.
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.
"Arthur had no pain, no side effects, feels wonderful and is able to go and live his life now."
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN
So far, 3.8million 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 Natwest, BT, Morrisons, British Airways, PaddyPower, Mecca Bingo owner Rank Group and Sky TV and others have all backed our campaign.
The firms have called on their collective 500,000 workers to sign up as volunteers to help the NHS achieve its historic victory over the pandemic.
The stewards will form a key part of the Covid-19 vaccination team by making sure the centres run smoothly and safely.
Katie Price and her boyfriend Carl Woods have become the latest celebs to back the cause.
She told her Instagram followers: "@thesun #JabsArmy is so close to its 50k volunteer target.
"I’m joining so we can look after our loved ones, beat Covid and get life back to normal one jab at a time. Let's do this!!"
You can join the effort to rollout the vaccines too, 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 for Jabs Army
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
Last week, Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan praised the campaign, describing it as "excellent".
Piers' co-star Susanna Reid has also backed Jabs Army, along with Jeremy Clarkson, Mark Wright and Chris Evans.
"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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