Steve Allen 4am - 7am
New photos show the huge scale of UK's 'heroic' vaccine effort
24 April 2021, 22:30 | Updated: 24 April 2021, 22:31
New images showing the scale and personal moments of the UK's Covid vaccination effort have been released.
The never-seen-before photographs capture moments in museums, stadiums and cathedrals as the operation to roll out jabs got under way with an army of health workers and volunteers.
Photojournalists Jude Palmer, Glenn Edward and Liam McBurney have showcased the story of Britain's rapid vaccination programme, as the Government now campaigns to get under-50s to receive their dose.
Images include smiling vaccinators and volunteers, socially distanced patients waiting for their injections at Salisbury Cathedral and an elderly couple holding hands at a vaccination site.
Another photo shows how no effort has been spared in getting the vaccine to the most needy, even in the more remote parts of the UK.
It shows a man getting his jab in his garden on Rathlin Island, off the coast of Northern Ireland.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "These incredible photographs show the heroic efforts of thousands of vaccinators and volunteers in every corner of the UK who have given so much to protect the most vulnerable in our society against this cruel virus.
"While there is much to celebrate with over 45 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered so far, the battle is not yet over.
"I urge everyone to do their bit - when you get the call, get the jab."
Government data up to April 23 shows 33,508,590 first doses have been given out. The UK population is estimated at 66,796,807, so the latest figures show that more than half the population have now had their first jab.
The photographers captured the images in February and March.
Ms Palmer said: "It's been an honour to witness the incredible rollout of the life-saving vaccine first-hand and document this in a meaningful, compassionate way.
"The photography project tells many genuine stories of people involved in the vaccine programme and those that have come forward to have their vaccine already, from their smiles, laughs, nerves, and sighs of relief as we get one step closer to a more normal way of life."
Mr McBurney, from Belfast, captured the image on Rathlin Island, which showed Dr Gavin Chestnutt administering the vaccine to 92-year-old Duncan Smythe.
Dr Chestnutt said: "It's been a real honour to play such a central part in the vaccine rollout programme and witness people's physical relief as they get their first and second jabs.
"To save elderly people travelling to the clinic through snow and frosty conditions, I've been travelling round on boats and by car to reach the most remote corners of Northern Ireland.
"Most overwhelming has been to see how grateful everyone has been for getting their vaccine and finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel."
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the images provide an opportunity for people to look back on the vaccination programme and reflect on the efforts made to protect those most vulnerable to Covid-19.