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NHS ‘grab a jab’ weekend in final drive to boost vaccine uptake

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To maximise protection before Covid restrictions are lifted, the NHS staff will be jabbing at the Tate Modern art gallery on London’s Bankside this evening where DJ and influencer Zoe London will also be performing.

With hot weather forecast for the weekend, pop-up clinics will be running in all Commons across South West London, Greenwich parks in London and Liverpool’s Sefton Park.

Shoppers will be able to grab-a-jab at the Trinity Retail Centre in Leeds and Primark in Broadmead Shopping Centre in Bristol. Any adult will be able to turn up and get their first vaccine if they have not already taken up the offer.

The British Open golfing championship in Sandwich, Kent, is also joining the push with a GP-led clinic dubbed the ‘vaccine caddies’ offering a dose to eligible to golfers, caddies, staff and the 30,000 spectators expected daily.

NHS staff and volunteers will also attend Oval cricket ground this weekend where people can get vaccinated.

The online web tool that allows people to find their nearest centre by simply entering their postcode will be updated from today (July 16), making it easier than ever to get a jab in the arm.

Over 68 million vaccinations have been delivered by the NHS in England since making history when Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a clinical trial in Coventry, in December 2020.

GP, NHS medical director for primary care, and deputy SRO for the vaccine programme, Dr Nikki Kanani, said, “From high street shops to mosques and sports grounds, our incredible staff together with our wonderful volunteers are doing all they can to make sure it is easier than ever for people, particularly young adults to get protected.

“We have made phenomenal progress so far, as part of the biggest and fastest vaccination programme in our history with more than half of people aged 18-29 have already had their first vaccine and over 29 million adults have received vital protection.

“As we approach 19 July, there has never been a more important time to get your first vaccine, it not only protects you and your family but also your friends and those around you.

“So while you’re out enjoying the glorious weather we are expecting this weekend, do your bit and ‘grab a jab’ too.”

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said, “This sunny weekend – whether you’re out shopping, enjoying a picnic in the park, or playing sports – our vaccine pop-up sites across the country are near you and it has never been easier to grab a jab.

“Our vaccination programme is saving lives and preventing millions of infections by building a huge vaccine wall of defence, allowing us to cautiously ease restrictions and get closer to normal life.

“We all have a part to play in defeating this virus, so I urge you to do one life-saving thing this weekend and get your jab to protect not only yourself, but your loved ones too.”

Vaccines Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said, “Whether you are spending this weekend listening to live music, watching sport or soaking up the sun, our phenomenal NHS staff will be offering pop-up clinics close by, making it quick and simple to get vaccinated.”

Over one third of all walk-in appointments that weekend were people from an ethnic minority background and nearly half of people aged 30-39, the third largest age group in the country, were jabbed with a walk-in appointment.

Second doses are also available to people who had their first dose eight weeks ago or longer, in line with JCVI guidance.

So far, the NHS Vaccination Programme, the biggest in health service history and fastest in Europe, has jabbed over 38 million people across the country – more than 85 per cent of all adults.

Anyone aged 18 or over are being urged to visit their nearest walk-in centre this weekend or book their appointment on the National Booking Service website.

People who attend a walk-in clinic for their first dose will have their vaccination record updated online and will then be able to book in their second dose appointment using the national booking system.

Earlier this week the NHS sent out 650,000 texts encouraging people to get jabbed eight weeks after their first dose in line with JCVI guidance.

 

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