Hundreds of walk-in vaccination sites including stadiums and shopping centres will be open in England this weekend in a drive to have people jabbed as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.
NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said the country was in a “race to the finish line” in its vaccination programme as summer freedoms loom.
The “grab a jab” campaign comes as the UK recorded a further 15,810 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases as of 9am on Friday – up 50% on the 10,476 new cases reported a week earlier.
The NHS will publicise the sites locally so people can choose the best location for them, or they can type in their postcode at nhs.uk/grab-a-jab to find their nearest sites.
Among the sports grounds involved are the 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.
Sir Simon said: “With more than 63 million jabs already delivered by the NHS in England, we’re now in a race to the finish line, and with this new online service, it is easier than ever to find a convenient place to get your vaccine.
“With every jab give, we are one step closer to our summer freedoms.”
Some 75,963,777 jabs have been given in the UK up to June 24, of which 43,877,861 were first doses.
The Government has set a target of July 19 for offering a first dose to all adults – the date when the final stage of lockdown easing is scheduled to go ahead.
Looking ahead to the date, former health secretary Jeremy Hunt told The Times: “I think it’s hard to describe the lifting of restrictions, after the year we’ve been through, as anything other than a joyous moment of celebration.”