Hurst says: “For goodness sake, just get it done. It’s in your interest, as well as that of your family, friends, workmates, and your country.”
England’s 1966 World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst has led some of Britain’s sporting legends to urge people aged 70 and over yet to receive their coronavirus vaccination to join them in getting the jab.
Crystal Palace and former England Manager Roy Hodgson, former England cricketer turned commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, 1969 Wimbledon Ladies Singles Champion Ann Jones CBE, five-time British Champion Jockey Willie Carson OBE and 1981 Grand National winner Bob Champion CBE have all received their first vaccination from the NHS, as members of the top four priority groups. They are set to receive their second doses within 12 weeks.
These top four groups account for 88% of COVID deaths, which is why the vaccines will play such a crucial role in saving lives and reducing the demand on the NHS.
With over 60s due to receive the vaccine soon, former England Rugby Union captain Sir Bill Beaumont CBE and double Olympic Decathlon Champion Daley Thompson CBE have said they will step forward and receive their jabs when asked to do so.
More than 13 million people have now received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine across the nation, as part of the largest vaccination programme in British history. This includes one in four adults in England, over 90% of everyone over 75 and over 90% of eligible residents of care homes for the elderly.
This week the Prime Minister and Health Secretary urged anyone aged 70 and over who has not yet been vaccinated to contact the NHS by visiting www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or calling 119 to arrange a jab.
It is just one of more than 80 elite and grassroots sport venues that have been partly converted into either a large vaccination centre or GP-led service in support of the vaccine rollout – ranging from Villa Park in Birmingham, Epsom Racecourse and the Manchester Tennis Centre, to Harlow Sports Centre and Glossop Cricket and Bowling Club.
Vaccinations have also been taking place in a number of arts and cultural venues, including the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, the Thackray Museum of Medicine in Leeds and the Derby Arena.
The NHS is delivering COVID vaccinations at more than 1,500 sites across England alone, from mosques, to museums and cathedrals. Sites have been chosen to ensure that the vast majority of the population live within 10 miles of at least one vaccination service.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
The public has a vital part to play in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the government has called on people to:
Help out: help those eligible for the vaccine by supporting friends, family and loved ones with their appointments, as well as volunteering to help those in the community
Join up: sign up to clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines, as well as treatments
Stay informed: keep up to date with accurate and trusted NHS advice and make sure to share the facts with friends and family
Further plans on expanding the vaccination programme to the other priority groups will be set out soon.