The Sun has hit its target to get 50,000 readers signed up to volunteer at Covid-19 vaccination hubs across the UK.
The success comes two weeks after the paper’s Jabs Army campaign launched on New Year’s Day in a national drive to ensure vaccine centres run smoothly and safely.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the campaign at the Downing Street Press Conference on Monday: “I want to thank each and every one of you and The Sun newspaper for leading this effort.”
The news comes after Sun editor Victoria Newton called on viewers of ITV’s This Morning to help join the final push for volunteers.
She said: “We are working with the Royal Voluntary Service to help provide stewards to go down to vaccination centres. I went myself on Friday and volunteered – it’s incredible.
“You don’t need any experience, no skills. You basically turn up for a six-hour shift, you help direct people to the right places to go, help elderly people fill in their forms, maybe sluice down the chair when they’ve sat on it and had the jab.”
Sun stars including columnist Jeremy Clarkson and other influential voices such as Match of the Day host, Gary Lineker, and Good Morning Britain presenter, Piers Morgan, were amongst those who had thrown their weight behind the campaign.
Their calls were led by Boris Johnson, who joined the call for volunteers to help ‘return the country to normal life’.
The PM wrote personally to readers, saying: “The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is a brilliant example of the power of collective action. It has already inspired companies and workplaces up and down the country to join the call to arms.”
Companies including Morrisons, BT, Sky and Wetherspoons encouraged their combined workforce to volunteer as stewards and donate unused spaces such as car parks to help with the vaccination programme.
On reaching the target, Sun editor Victoria Newton told Press Gazette she was “very, very happy” with the campaign and thanked readers for signing up “fast and furiously”.
Volunteers can still sign up here or by scanning the QR code in the Sun newspaper.