Kicking COVID into touch: Rugby stars support vaccine roll out
Some of the country’s top rugby players have today (Tuesday 28 September) encouraged young people to get their COVID-19 vaccine as they discuss their personal experiences of the pandemic.
Ahead of Round 3 of the Premiership Rugby this weekend, a new film has been released featuring key players Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Alex Goode (Saracens), Nathan Earle (Newcastle Falcons), Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish), Marland Yarde (Sale Sharks) and Dan Robson (Wasps) who discuss the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine and the impact the virus has had on them in the past year.
The players also share their thoughts on who to look out for this season. While their player predictions might be different, they all agree that the most important thing everyone can do this season is to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The film will be played out at stadiums across the country from this weekend (1 -3 October) and comes as more than 82% of over-16s in the UK have now received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Earlier this month, the booster program was also rolled out, with those eligible being invited to book their jab as soon as possible in order to keep the virus under control for the long term and protect the most vulnerable through the winter months.
The latest data (23rd September 2021) also shows that in particular, younger men have been more reluctant than younger women to take up both doses of the jab – in those aged 18-49, 70% of men are double vaccinated vs 76% of women in this group.
In the film, the players discuss how the pandemic has directly affected their lives. Sam Underhill talks about how his dad was hospitalised with COVID-19, and Nathan Earle’s partner had their first child in the pandemic, meaning he wasn’t able to be in the hospital to support her through the birth.
The film is part of a wider partnership with the Premiership Rugby League, and follows the “Every Vaccination Gives Us Hope” campaign launched earlier in the year to encourage the public to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Over 48.7 million people have now received the first dose of a vaccine – over 89.7% of the UK over-16s population – with 44.7 million receiving their second dose. This means over 82.4% of over-16s in the UK have now received both doses of a vaccine, with 93.5 million vaccines administered overall.
It’s been so fantastic to have sports fans back in stadiums all over the country, and this couldn’t have been done without the COVID-19 vaccine program. It’s been so instrumental in getting us back to normal, and as we get going with this year’s season, we need to make sure all our fans are as safe as they can possibly be – and that includes making sure they get the vaccine to protect themselves and those around them.” Said Phil Winstanley, the Rugby Director at Premiership Rugby
Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 with symptoms and are less likely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it. The latest data from Public Health England show that the vaccine rollout has saved more than 123,000 lives and stopped nearly a quarter of a million hospital admissions.
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