The Sun’s Jabs Army meet Britain’s Armed Forces on the Covid frontline as they help to get the nation fighting fit

WHEN two armies come face to face on the front line it usually means war.

But when The Sun’s Jabs Army met Britain’s Armed Forces on the NHS front line they were working together to deliver the biggest homeland operation in peacetime history.

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Medical officers from the Royal Air Force, Army and Royal Navy did their bit to help get Britain back fighting fit, along with the Jabs Army volunteers at a vaccination centre in Milton Keynes, Bucks.

Flight Lieutenant Tom Dodsworth said: “It’s a real honour to take part in a task like this, supporting the NHS. We’ve seen a fantastic response across the board to the Armed Forces being here and helping.

“We’ve seen a lot of military veterans coming for their jab who want to reminisce with us about their time on the job.

“For some people, we are the first person they see outside of their homes, which can be quite emotional for everyone.

“There is a little friendly rivalry between the Forces to see who can do the most vaccines, but it’s all in good fun.”

The Milton Keynes centre is giving hundreds of vaccinations a day, and once at full capacity it will be doing thousands.


Key worker Dawn Bere was offered a choice between an NHS vaccinator or one from the forces, and she opted for the boys in blue.

She was given her dose by medical technicians Sergeant John Astill and RAF Corporal Katie Arnold.

Dawn, 36, said: “When I was offered the choice I thought, ‘It’s not often you get to sit down with the wonderful people in the RAF’, so I opted to have it done by them.

“It’s taken about six minutes from arriving to being given the vaccine and it didn’t even hurt.”

Volunteers from pro club Milton Keynes Dons FC, the Fire Service and The Sun’s Jabs Army cohort from easyJet’s Luton hub are aiding the NHS and Armed Forces as they give the vaccine at the centre’s 20 injection stations.

They are the first people patients see when they arrive and are with them all the way through.

Army Acting Captain George Packe-Drury-Lowe praised the volunteers for helping the Forces to focus on giving the vaccines.

He said: “It’s been fantastic working with the NHS, and having The Sun’s Jabs Army here to help out is brilliant. We couldn’t do our job without them.

Without a steady flow of patients it would be incredibly hard to get people vaccinated as fast as we do.

“I know some of the troops have been really touched by the stories shared with them by elderly veterans getting their jabs.”

The Armed Forces are operating in teams of six across 42 sites up and down the country to support the NHS where they need it most.

They are helped by cabin crew from easyJet, which has 7,000 staff on furlough.



One, Oliver Lewis, who is volunteering as a healthcare assistant, said: “I wanted to support the vaccination effort while I’m not flying to put my energy into something positive.

“The NHS has given so much to keep us safe, so it’s time for us to start paying that back, and I absolutely love it.

“Getting to meet new people and working alongside other easyJet colleagues is wonderful.

“To get the country vaccinated is how we will come out of this. The more help we have to achieve this goal the better, and we have a large and amazing network of hard-working staff from all walks of life to help vaccinate the nation.

“To be a part of this national effort is a privilege.”

Fellow stewardess Katie Whitcomb is helping with admin as she trains to become a qualified vaccinator.


She said: “I love being a part of the team at the vaccination centre.

“The staff are incredibly caring and some of the best moments are seeing the older generation delighted to finally being a step closer to seeing their loved ones again.

“I’m really looking forward to becoming trained to administer the vaccine myself. I’m just glad to be able to use this time to help.”

Local health executive Chris Myers is impressed by how easily the different groups have worked together.

She said: “We’ve got a fantastic team. It feels like it’s the heart of the community.

“We’ve got everyone from NHS staff who normally give school vaccines to the Armed Forces to MK Dons football stewards to easyJet staff — who tell me they have to remind themselves not to welcome people on board.


TO register interest, visit

You will be contacted as soon as a suitable volunteer role becomes available in your area.

Other roles available may include Patient Transport, Community Response (shopping and medicine delivery), NHS Transport, Check in and Chat.

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Call to arms – how MPs, celebs and big businesses backed our campaign

A HOST of celebs and politicians threw their weight behind Jabs Army as they praised kind-hearted Sun readers who signed up.

Their calls were led by Boris Johnson, who begged for volunteers to help 'return the country to normal life'.

The PM wrote personally to our readers, saying: "The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is a brilliant example of the power of collective action.

"It has already inspired companies and workplaces up and down the country to join the call to arms.

"So today, I call on everyone who has the time to join the legions of volunteers already signed up and to boost volunteer numbers further still."

Jeremy Clarkson urged Brits to get off the sofa and sign up to beat the lockdown blues.

He said: “Everyone is saying how bored they are. They’ve watched Netflix, gone through everything on the internet, read Google.

“Well let’s not be bored — let’s get off our bottoms and volunteer.”

His call was backed by a string of other celebs – including the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, who hailed our campaign as “fantastic”.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock saluted Jabs Army as he addressed the nation in a No10 press briefing.

He said: "Come and be a part of it. The Sun’s Jabs Army is marching and helping the nation.”

GMB host Piers Morgan branded the campaign as "excellent".

While celebrities like Bear Grylls, Gordon Ramsay and Bake Off's Matt Lucas have also thrown their support behind the campaign.

“The non-clinical stuff is just as important. If that falls to pieces we can’t administer the jabs as quickly and easily as we have been. The volunteers we have are vital.”

Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s CEO, told The Sun at the time of joining our drive: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting The Sun’s campaign.

“While the progress the country is making on the vaccination programme is an exciting and much-needed development it needs the whole country to get behind it.”


SAFETY for our Jab Army volunteers is paramount.

Here we answer your questions about how you will be protected while working as a Steward Volunteer in a vaccine centre:

When I do my voluntary duty will I be safe from catching Covid?

Volunteer and patient safety is the NHS and Royal Voluntary Services’ top priority.

While is no upper age limit for volunteering but being a Steward Volunteer is a frontline role and is not for anyone who is in a medium or high-risk category. 

Team leaders will ensure volunteers have the correct equipment to keep them safe at all times and social distancing will be in place throughout volunteer shifts.

There are lots of other volunteering roles available on the website. 

Will I be asked to wear PPE?

Yes, the safety of volunteers is extremely important and you will be provided with appropriate PPE at the vaccination centres by your team leader.

Will I come in direct contact with patients?

One of the key jobs of our Steward Volunteers is to make sure people queuing up to receive their jabs are keeping to a safe social distance.

 This is also includes yourself, so, where possible you will be two metres away from patients and other volunteers.

What training will I be given?

You will be provided with a comprehensive ‘Getting You Started guide’ to explain everything that is required on site.

 As this is a non-clinical role, no specific training is required and once you arrive on site, team leaders will take you through a site introduction and briefing.

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