Boris Johnson’s Christmas message says vaccines are a gift

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Boris Johnson’s Christmas message this year says that families should get their vaccines as an act of Christmas giving. As his address was released on Friday 24 December, the prime minister said that receiving your jabs is a “wonderful thing you can give your family and the whole country” and would be key to saving next Christmas from uncertainty.

He told the nation: “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 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’s your first, your second or your booster – so that next year’s festivities are even better than this year’s.”

Boris Johnson’s Christmas message has echoed the sentiment from the NHS which calls for people to “get the gift of the jab” this festive season, as it is revealed that many vaccination centres will be open on Christmas day. Some 200,000 appointments are available across Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day thanks to staff and volunteers giving up their holiday, health bosses said.

The new set-up comes amid fresh concerns that people are avoiding getting their booster jabs so that they can avoid the side effects over the Christmas period. Up-take of third doses remains strong, with nearly 31.7 million people having had theirs to date.

But more than 1.6 million people per day would still need to get boosted for the country to hit its target of having everyone triple-jabbed by the end of the year.

Dr Emily Lawson, the head of the NHS Covid vaccination programme, said to the Metro on Friday 24 December: “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.”

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Written by

Claire Gordon