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Amazing new images capture Covid vaccine rollout in Birmingham and across UK

Birmingham Mail logo Birmingham Mail 24/04/2021 David Bentley

Standing in a socially distanced line at your GP surgery or still waiting for your call-up to arrive, it can be difficult to grasp the full extent of the nationwide effort to deliver a Covid vaccine.

But now a new series of stunning, unseen photographs has captured the breadth of the vaccination programme at sites across the UK including Birmingham's Aston Villa Football Club ground.

The images are being published by the UK Government ahead of a major new campaign marking the second phase of the rollout, set to urge all under-50s to get their jab when the time comes.

The heart-warming images illustrate the massive task being carried out by NHS teams across the UK, with the help of volunteers and members of the public.

This is the largest vaccination programme in British history and the images show moments across the UK, including in Salisbury Cathedral, the Royal Welsh Showground in mid-Wales and on Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland.

a man brushing his teeth in front of a mirror posing for the camera: A health worker prepares a dose of Covid vaccine at Aston Villa Football Club © www.thisisjude.uk: Glenn Edward, Liam McBurney and NHS A health worker prepares a dose of Covid vaccine at Aston Villa Football Club

From care homes to cathedrals and museums to stadiums, photojournalists Jude Palmer, Glenn Edward and Liam McBurney have been touring the UK over the past few months to record the roll-out and the people at the heart of it.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: "These incredible photographs show the heroic efforts of thousands of vaccinators and volunteers in every corner of the UK who have given so much to protect the most vulnerable in our society against this cruel virus.

“While there is much to celebrate with over 45 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered so far, the battle is not yet over. I urge everyone to do their bit – when you get the call, get the jab."

a man in a green field: Dr Gavin Chestnutt, GP Partner at Ballycastle Medical Practice and part-time farmer, vaccinates a 92-year-old man in his front garden overlooking the Rathlin Island coastline, Northern Ireland © https://www.thisisjude.uk, Glenn Edward, Liam McBurney and NHS Dr Gavin Chestnutt, GP Partner at Ballycastle Medical Practice and part-time farmer, vaccinates a 92-year-old man in his front garden overlooking the Rathlin Island coastline, Northern Ireland

Jude Palmer, photojournalist, said: "While the pandemic has been an incredibly difficult time in our history, it had to be documented. It’s been an honour to witness the incredible rollout of the life-saving vaccine first-hand and document this in a meaningful, compassionate way.

"The photography project tells many genuine stories of people involved in the vaccine programme and those that have come forward to have their vaccine already – from their smiles, laughs, nerves, and sighs of relief as we get one step closer to a more normal way of life."

The Government has already hit its target of offering everybody in cohorts 1 to 9 - those aged 50 and over, the clinically vulnerable and health and social care workers - and is on track to offer a jab to all adults in the UK by the end of July.

a person holding a baby: A patient is comforted and reassured when getting their vaccination at Herne Bay Community Centre in Kent © https://www.thisisjude.uk, Glenn Edward, Liam McBurney and NHS A patient is comforted and reassured when getting their vaccination at Herne Bay Community Centre in Kent

Over 33.3 million people have now received a first dose of a vaccine – over 62.8 per cent of the UK adult population – with 11.6 million receiving their second dose.

This means over 21.8 per cent of the UK adult population have now received both doses of a vaccine, – giving them the strongest possible protection from this virus, with 45 million vaccines administered overall.

a person wearing a costume: A woman goes for her vaccine at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Wales © https://www.thisisjude.uk, Glenn Edward, Liam McBurney and NHS A woman goes for her vaccine at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Wales

Alice Tooley, 25, a Volunteer Service Co-Ordinator at refugee charity RETAS in Leeds, who is featured in the photographs said: “I was invited to get the vaccine because of my frontline work with vulnerable adults.

"Getting the vaccine was important to me as it meant I could continue my work with asylum seekers and refugees feeling confidence that I wasn’t putting them or myself at risk of the virus.

“As younger people my age get called for theirs, I hope they jump at it the way I did so, as a collective, we all play our part in getting back to a more normal way of life.”

a pile of snow next to a fence: Salisbury Cathedral has been transformed into a vaccination centre © https://www.thisisjude.uk, Glenn Edward, Liam McBurney and NHS Salisbury Cathedral has been transformed into a vaccination centre

Dr Gavin Chestnutt, 42, GP Partner at Ballycastle Medical Practice and part-time farmer, is seen vaccinating a 92-year-old man in his front garden overlooking the Rathlin Island coastline, Northern Ireland.

He said: “It’s been a real honour to play such a central part in the vaccine rollout programme and witness people’s physical relief as they get their first and second jabs. To save elderly people travelling to the clinic through snow and frosty conditions, I’ve been travelling round on boats and by car to reach the most remote corners of Northern Ireland.

“Most overwhelming has been to see how grateful everyone has been for getting their vaccine and finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel."

In England, approved vaccines are available from over 270 hospital hubs, 1,000 GP-led sites, 160 vaccination centres and 300 pharmacies in England.

Around 98 per cent of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England and vaccinations are taking place at sites including mosques, community centres and football stadiums.

The AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have met the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality, the Government has assured patients.

The images have been released as a video montage to mark the success of the vaccine programme to date.

Main photography dates and locations:

  • Aston Villa Football Club, Birmingham. February 2021
  • Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury. February 2021.
  • Gibson Lane Medical Centre, Leeds. February 2021.
  • Salt Hill Activity Centre, Slough. February 2021
  • Priory Medical Centre, Leeds. February 2021.
  • Herne Bay Community Centre, Kent. March 2021
  • Wetherby Medical Centre, Leeds. March 2021
  • Vaccination Bus Leeds. March 2021
  • Newbury Racecourse, Newbury. March 2021
  • The Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, Wales. March 2021
  • Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland. March 2021
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