An urgent appeal has been made for thousands of people to step forward and help with the Covid booster jab programme in a race to counter the new Omicron variant.
Boris Johnson said “tens of thousands” of volunteers were needed as the vaccination programme is ramped up.
What Boris Johnson said in his volunteer appeal
In a direct appeal to the public, Mr Johnson said: “As part of our Get Boosted Now vaccination drive we need to increase our jabbing capacity to unprecedented levels.
“But to achieve something on this scale, we need your help.
“So today I’m issuing a call for volunteers to join our national mission to get jabs in arms.
“We need tens of thousands of people to help out, everyone from trained vaccinators to stewards.
“Many thousands have already given their time but we need you to come forward again, to work alongside our brilliant GPs, doctors, nurses and pharmacists, to deliver jabs and save lives.
“So please come forward if you can.”
Why the booster programme has been ramped up
The acceleration of the rollout comes after data suggested that two doses of the vaccine offered only reduced protection against the fast-spreading Omicron strain.
However, a third dose significantly increases the protection provided.
Every adult in England is eligible for a third dose by the end of December - a month earlier than previously planned.
NHS: ‘We cannot do this alone’
NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “In the face of the grave threat posed by the new Omicron strain of Covid, the NHS is seeking to offer vaccine booster protection to all eligible adults by the end of the month, a new national mission in which everyone can play their part.
“There is no doubt that our incredible NHS staff will rise to the challenge but we cannot do this alone, we need the support of the public and volunteers to once again support the Covid vaccination programme.”
How to apply to become a booster volunteer
The NHS is looking for a range of volunteers from people helping to organise queues to trained vaccinators to administer the jabs.
There are currently almost 3,000 vaccine sites across the country, staffed by over 90,000 volunteers.
After the NHS last week announced a recruitment drive for 10,000 paid vaccinators, 4,500 people have registered their interest while 13,000 have come forward as volunteer stewards.
If you are interested in volunteering and helping the booster rollout, go to the NHS website here for more information.
A version of this article originally appeared on NationalWorld.com