By: Pooja Shrivastava
ANY adult in England can receive Covid-19 vaccination over this weekend as ‘grab a jab’ campaign is underway across the country. The new cases continue to be on the rise, latest figures say, while media reports claim that a new variant has been reported in the UK.
Under this weekend’s ongoing ‘grab a jab’ campaign , stadiums, shopping centres and theatres are transformed into walk-in vaccination sites where any adult over-18 will be able to get a Covid-19 vaccine, even without an appointment.
Vaccination sites are reportedly popped-up in the sports grounds of Newcastle Eagles basketball arena, Watford’s Vicarage Road, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and Birmingham’s Edgbaston cricket ground. Buses offering jabs will also operate in Dudley, Colchester, Ipswich and elsewhere, while community vaccinators will visit the housebound.
NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens said the country is in a “race to the finish line” in its vaccine programme as nearly 44 million people in the UK have received at least one dose.
“With every jab give, we are one step closer to our summer freedoms,” Stevens said.
Latest government figures show that about 83.3 per cent of the adult population have received a first dose of a coronavirus jab and 60.9 per cent have had two doses.
The UK government has set a target of July 19 for offering a first dose to all the adults – the date when the final stage of lockdown easing is also scheduled to go ahead while the authorities also aim to have at least 65 per cent of England population to be double-jabbed by that time.
The campaign comes as the UK recorded a further 15,810 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases as on Friday (25), up by 50 per cent on the 10,476 new cases reported a week earlier.
Meanwhile, six cases of the Lambda variant have reportedly been identified in the country, all of which have been linked to overseas travel.
The Lambda variant, first detected in South America, has been designated as a variant under investigation by Public Health England (PHE) due to a rise in international cases and several notable mutations, though PHE maintains that there is currently no evidence this variant causes more severe disease or renders vaccines less effective.
The Lambda variant now accounts for 82 per cent of new infections in Peru, where it was first discovered in August, and is said to be spreading in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.