People told booster is 'best Christmas gift' as 'Super Saturday' sees record jab numbers

19 December 2021, 14:09 | Updated: 19 December 2021, 14:19

People are being urged to get their jabs before Christmas
People are being urged to get their jabs before Christmas. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Hundreds of vaccine supporters will take to the streets of England's major cities to promote taking the Covid-19 booster jab after a record number of vaccines were administered on Saturday.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Almost 900 people will hand out leaflets in popular areas such as Brighton Pier, Liverpool One and King's Cross every day until Christmas on behalf of NHS England.

They hope to spread awareness about the new Omicron coronavirus variant and to encourage every adult in the UK to get their vaccine booster injection before Christmas.

Read more: 'Beginning of the end' for PM as Lord Frost quits cabinet over Covid plans

Read more: Major incident declared in London as 'worrying' number of frontline staff have Omicron

It comes as daily jabs given reached another record high on Saturday, when more than 900,000 injections were administered - of which more than 830,000 were boosters.

A rate of around one million a day is needed if every adult is to be offered a booster jab by the end of the year.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid hailed Saturday's record, tweeting: "A record 906,656 jabs were delivered in England yesterday - including over 830,000 boosters.

"Fantastic to see so many coming forward to #GetBoostedNow, securing vital protection for themselves and their loved ones."

Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS vaccination programme, urged people to keep up the enthusiasm and get their jabs.

"With the highest ever number of boosters and vaccines recorded on Super Saturday, and the NHS Covid vaccination programme delivering a string of records already this week, millions more people are getting their protection from the virus," she said.

"The NHS message is clear, book your booster today to guarantee your vital and lifesaving jab."

An additional £22.5 million has been provided by the Government to promote vaccination in the 60 local authorities with the lowest vaccine uptake.

The Community Vaccines Champion scheme will run informative events across the local authorities and create pop-up vaccination centres in places of worship.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said the Government is doing everything in its power to "get jabs in arms".

Read more: Pressure piles on PM as Simon Case quits No10 Xmas party probe after 'event in his office'

Read more: Omicron less efficient at attacking lungs and causing severe disease, UK study suggests

"We are in a race between the virus and vaccine and we are doing everything in our power to get jabs in arms as quickly as possible," he said.

"We are calling on people to get boosted now as part of our national mission to reinforce our wall of defence against the rapid spread of Omicron.

"I want to thank the thousands of people who have heroically stepped up to support our vaccine drive. We're all in this together - please play your part."

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng urged the public to roll up their sleeves to help businesses over Christmas.

Writing in the Sunday Express, he said: "The more people who get jabbed, the more protection we have.

"The more protection we have, the faster we can beat Covid-19.

Read more: Piers Corbyn arrested on suspicion of urging people to burn MPs' offices down

Read more: North Shropshire by-election defeat down to public mood on pandemic, says Tory MP

"The faster we beat the virus, the sooner our economy will recover, and businesses can get back to doing what they do best.

"Give the best gift you can this Christmas, and get boosted now."