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Papers issue rallying calls for UK vaccine efforts

Posted on: January 12, 2021 by Mariella Brown

Regional and national newspapers have launched coronavirus vaccination campaigns to help drive government efforts to vaccinate more than 13 million over-75s and vulnerable people by mid-February.

In the regional press, titles owned by JPIMedia have urged the Prime Minister to use the country’s 11,000 local pharmacies as coronavirus vaccination centres.

The papers’ editorials this week urged the government to expand upon the 200 pharmacies currently in use as vaccine centres to ensure that readers are “only a short walk away” from a community vaccine centre they can trust.

The ‘A Shot in the Arm’ campaign appeared on front pages of several JPI titles on Monday (January 11) including the Sunderland Echo, Yorkshire Post and Sheffield Star.

In national press, a campaign by The Sun as seen the backing of some of Britain’s biggest brands to provide resources and assistance to the NHS.

Morrisons, BT, Sky and Wetherspoons are among brands supporting the paper’s Jab’s Army campaign in order to encourage their huge combined workforce to volunteer as stewards and donate unused spaces such as car parks to help with the vaccination programme. 

Over 22,000 Sun readers have already officially signed up to become volunteers to make sure the jab centres run smoothly.   

Sun Editor-in-Chief Victoria Newton said: “This is one of the most important campaigns The Sun has ever run. Never has the country needed our brilliant loyal readers more. 

“I will be volunteering, along with other members of The Sun’s staff and we are calling on Britain’s biggest brands to get involved and back the campaign in any way they can.”

The Daily Mirror meanwhile has joined forced with the Labour Party and TUC launching a ‘Let’s vaccinate Britain’ campaign last week.

The paper hopes to encourage readers to join as volunteers in the recruitment drive of 50,000 stewards needed for NHS vaccine centres.

Labour leader Keir Starmer told the Mirror: “Between us, we can make a huge difference to delivering the vaccine and making Britain the first country in the world to roll it out successfully.”

Members of the public can volunteer as a vaccination steward by registering here: https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/