The Sun has said 32,780 people in just three days have signed up to help administer vaccines following the re-launch of its “Jabs Army” campaign.
The volunteers pledged to do shifts at more than 1,500 inoculation centres, according to the paper. The figures came from the Royal Voluntary Service, which has been working with The Sun to encourage sign-ups to the NHS Volunteer Responders programme.
Sun editor Victoria Newton described the renewed campaign as “public interest journalism at its best”. She said: “I am pretty sure we are the only news brand in Britain that could move that many people in such a short space of time.
“Our readers are among some of the hardest hit during the pandemic, losing loved ones and some losing their livelihoods.
“But they are still prepared to turn out in their droves to help the national effort.”
Newton took up her post as Sun editor only weeks before the pandemic hit Britain in earnest.
She told Press Gazette in January that it had been instilled in her when she joined the Sun 20 years ago that the newspaper “should always be showing that we have a heart and we’re compassionate and that we care about people as do our readers”.
“You’re only ever as good as your readers and you know instantly when a campaign’s working by the feedback that you get. I’ve just been inundated with lovely letters,” she said.
The Jabs Army campaign claims support from Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, and Piers Morgan. The Sun’s article proclaiming its success this time around quotes encouragements from figures as disparate as television presenter Vernon Kay, boxer Nicola Adams, and barrister Rob Rinder, who writes a column for the paper.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the booster rollout effort can do so here.