MATT Hancock has hailed Sun readers for their “amazing job” helping with Jabs Army in the bid to get Brits vaccinated against coronavirus.
The Health Secretary praised the “unbelievably brilliant” effort and enthusiasm that volunteers have shown in the fight against the deadly bug.
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Across the country, a total of 2,500 vaccination centres have been manned by NHS staff, retired nurses and GPs.
In turn, they have been aided by Royal Voluntary Servicemen and women, including 50,000 selfless heroes from The Sun’s Jabs Army.
The Health Secretary said this evening at the Downing Street press conference: “The Jabs Army marches on.
“And they’re doing an amazing job in helping everyone get the vaccines.
“The voluntary effort in getting the vaccine rollout has been unbelievably brilliant – the number of people that have come forward, and the enthusiasm that has been shown.
“I’m very grateful to everybody who has given up their time.”
The Health Secretary also said that there are plans to recognise all those volunteers who have tirelessly helped the vaccine rollout over the last few months.
When asked about what the future holds for volunteers who have sacrificed their time and energy to battling the deadly bug, Mr Hancock said: “We are looking at a system of NHS reserves.
“The idea is that you have people who are committed to supporting the NHS through voluntary action, who have the training, for instance, and are on a specific reserves programme.
“We are piloting it right now, but that is exactly the kind of thing the Jabs Army might be called upon to do in the future in a broader sense because we’ve just seen the unbelievable support volunteers can give to the NHS when there is a big job to do.”
Earlier this week, the Duchess of Cornwall gave our Jabs Army volunteers the royal seal of approval.
Camilla, wearing a high-visibility vest on a visit to a vaccination centre, told those helping out: “Thank goodness for volunteers.”
And Prince William also met The Sun’s Jabs Army heroes earlier this month to thank them for their efforts.
The Duke of Cambridge, 38, hailed vaccination centre staff and volunteers for stepping up when the “chips are down”.
‘JABS ARMY MARCHES ON’
And dozens of famous faces, including Vernon Kay, Ross Kemp, and Katie Price have backed The Sun’s campaign to get as many people aiding the NHS as possible.
Tonight, Matt Hancock warned the fight against coronavirus “isn’t over yet” but announced a third of Brits have now received a vaccine.
Speaking at the press conference, the Health Secretary said cases have risen in a fifth of local council areas over the past week.
He said: “The data show we are moving in the right direction. The number of cases is now down to one in every 145 people and the rate of decline is continuing.
“The link from cases to hospitalisations and deaths, which has had a grim inevitability throughout 2020, is now breaking thanks to the vaccination programme.”
But he also warned: “The number of cases is now falling by only 15% a week. In some areas of the country that has flattened entirely and one in five local authority areas has seen a rise in cases in the last week.
“This stark picture shows that this isn’t over yet. The stay at home rules are still in place for a reason.
“Every action you take every time you put your mask on every time you stay at home you are playing your part. This is on all of us to keep this under control.”
The number of Brits jabbed is 28 per cent of the population, the third highest in the world behind Israel and the UAE.
Yesterday, the numbers who have had at least one dose rose by 448,962 after a slump for several days this week.
Last week, the vaccine roll out moved onto the next phase, with over-65s and younger people with underlying health conditions in England being offered the jab.
The success of Britain’s vaccine rollout helped drive the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, with all restrictions set to end on June 21.