Monday 13 February, 2023: After millions of jabs, two incredible years and well over a million volunteer hours of service from our dedicated volunteers, St John Ambulance’s role in the historic Covid-19 vaccination programme is coming to an end on 31 March 2023.

The charity’s efforts began with recruiting and training almost 30,000 new vaccination volunteers in late 2020 and early 2021. And the first of them were part of the teams administering injections from opening day at the first seven large-scale vaccination centres.

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Head of Community Response, Alexandra Taylor says: “On behalf of everyone at St John, I want to give a massive thank you to every one of our vaccination volunteers and the teams of people at St John who have supported this programme and made our work such a spectacular success.

“It’s been an epic journey; everyone who has supported the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme is owed a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid, and they should feel proud at having been part of such an incredible effort to administer millions of potentially lifesaving Covid and flu jabs to people all over England.”

Since January 2021, St John Ambulance vaccination volunteers have supported the programme everywhere from football stadiums to care homes, vaccinating in conference centres and from the back of mobile treatment centres to help ensure that everyone who needed vaccinations could get them.

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The work was the largest part of a wider response to the Covid-19 pandemic which also saw St John Ambulance support the nation’s health on ambulances, in hospitals and through many other community programmes, delivering around 1.7 million hours of service from March 2020 onwards.

“As St John evolves to meet new health challenges in our communities, our focus is on making sure our vaccination volunteers know about the great opportunities still open to them,” Alexandra continues.

“That could be volunteering with St John in a different role, including the new reserves we’re developing as a way of boosting our teams’ capacity during times of peak demand, or registering with the NHS Reserve to continue vaccinating during future booster campaigns.”

Today’s announcement follows the end of the most recent wave of Covid-19 vaccinations, on 12 February.

NHS England’s National Director for Vaccination and Screening, Steve Russell has joined the thanks for the important contributions volunteers have made to the health service – especially around vaccination.

“I would like to thank every single one of you for the time you have dedicated to our programme,” he said. “The huge effort has prevented thousands of deaths, hospitalisations and other serious illnesses such as Long Covid.

“If we think back to where we were both this time last year and two years ago – the vaccine has been vital in helping us get back to normality.

“None of this would have been possible without the hard work, dedication and resilience of our volunteers.”