A host of football players and pundits – past and present – have hailed the UK’s Covid- 19 vaccination programme as the ‘best defence’ of 2021.
Football legends Chris Kamara, Eniola Aluko, Chris Hughton, Carlton Cole, Jules Breach and Harry Redknapp appear in a short film, choosing their best defenders of the season so far – with the Covid-19 vaccination programme coming out on top - and encouraging the public to take-up the jab when offered.
The film’s release comes as more than 20 million UK adults have received both doses of their Covid-19 vaccine. More than 36 million people in the UK have had their first dose of vaccine. As part of the government’s plans to tackle rising cases of the B1.617.2 variant of concern first identified in India, appointments for a second dose of a vaccine will be brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for the remaining people in the top nine priority groups yet to receive their second dose.
Strengthened surge testing, genome sequencing and enhanced contact tracing measures are also being deployed across the North West to control the spread of the variant. Sky Sports presenter and football pundit Chris Kamara said: “I would encourage anyone who is offered the jab to step forward to take it – I already have, and it was so easy. It’s the best way back to doing the things we love, not least getting back to watching football the way we know it.”
Director of Women's Football at Aston Villa and former England player Eniola Aluko said: “It’s great to see more and more people receiving the vaccine, especially now younger people are becoming eligible.” Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am hugely grateful to Harry Redknapp, Chris Kamara, Eniola Aluko, Chris Hughton, Carlton Cole and Jules Breach
for lending their support to help get the UK vaccinated.