NHS will give boosters on Christmas Day as PM says getting vaccine is ‘teaching of Jesus’

Around 200,000 festive appointments are available as Boris Johnson, in his Christmas message, says getting jabbed to protect your friends and family ‘is the teaching of Jesus Christ’

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Boris Johnson delivers Christmas message to the nation

NHS workers are planning to give Covid boosters on Christmas Day as Boris Johnson said getting a jab follows the “teaching of Jesus”.

Around 200,000 appointments for a third dose are still available across the country over the festive period, with some on December 25.

The health service said its “jingle jab” campaign will include scores of local vaccination sites including town halls and local pharmacies.

While booking is advised, there will be some options available for people without appointments including in Eastbourne, Hartlepool, Croydon and Dewsbury.

It comes after a record 119,789 Covid cases were confirmed yesterday, with Tory ministers refusing to rule out new restrictions after Boxing Day.

While data is beginning to confirm Omicron is less severe than Delta, it also spreads much faster meaning the NHS could still be overwhelmed.

In his Christmas message to the nation, the Prime Minister said getting jabbed is the Christian thing to do because it protects those around you.

People queue outside the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) for the NHS Scotland vaccination centre



Mr Johnson said: “I hope I can be forgiven for taking pride in the immense spirit of neighbourliness that the people of this country have shown.

“Getting jabbed not just for themselves, for ourselves, but for friends and family and everyone we meet.

“And that, after all, is the teaching of Jesus Christ, whose birth is at the heart of this enormous festival – that we should love our neighbours as we love ourselves.”

Health chiefs are worried that the proportion of eligible people who’ve had a first dose of vaccine has hovered around 89% for far too long.

It is now 89.8% of over-12s. Those who’ve not had a jab include committed anti-vaxxers but also people who are hesitant for personal or cultural reasons.

Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS Covid vaccination programme, said: “WI want to thank every NHS staff member and volunteer whose goodwill and determination to protect their communities will keep the booster rollout going this Christmas weekend.

Boris Johnson said getting jabbed follows ‘the teaching of Jesus Christ’

“This Christmas, before sitting down to your dinner with your family, I would encourage anyone not already boosted to come forward, book an appointment and get the gift of a jab.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid paid tribute to NHS staff and volunteers giving up their time with family and friends to help the booster rollout over Christmas.

He said: “Thank-you for everything that you’ve done and everything that you’re doing – this Christmas and all year round.

“You continue to be the very best of us – you achieve phenomenal things and I’m proud to call you colleagues.”

Boris Johnson added: “If the pile of scrumpled wrapping paper is bigger this year it is precisely because across the country, in the run up to Christmas, we have been giving each other an invisible and invaluable present.

“We have been getting that vaccination that protects us and stops us infecting others.”

He went on: “Let’s think of all those who are being good neighbours and thinking of others.

“All those in the NHS working over Christmas, our care workers, everyone involved in the incredible vaccination campaign.

“Those looking after people who have lost loved ones this year, and who would otherwise be on their own.

“The many thousands of people who are selflessly self-isolating to keep others safe from Covid.

“And though the time for buying presents is theoretically running out, there is still a wonderful thing you can give your family and the whole country – and that is to get that jab, whether it is your first or second, or your booster.

“So that next year’s festivities are even better than this year’s.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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