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NHS leader praises Blues players for vaccination support

NHS leader, Dr Ed Garratt, has praised players at Ipswich Town Football Club for giving their backing to the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Members of the club’s first-team squad have been getting jabbed and are encouraging others to ignore the dangerous misinformation on social media, listen to the NHS experts and make the right choice to get vaccinated.

Dr Garratt, who is chief executive of the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, and is a keen football fan, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Blues players getting their vaccinations and encouraging others to do the same.

“The vaccination programme in our area is progressing incredibly well. 91% of adults have had one dose and 84% have had both doses, but there are still some people who need to take up the offer of the vaccine and they can do so by booking an appointment or going to one of the many pop-up clinics.

“The team’s players are setting a brilliant example for others and I thank them for taking the time to share with others this important vaccination message.”

You can watch the videos HERE

The Blues brand-new goalkeeper Christian Walton, winger Sone Aluko and striker Joe Pigott, along with the team’s Head of Sport Science and Insight Andy Costin, have each given their own personal reasons for choosing to have a COVID-19 jab.

Christian Walton, aged 25, who is on loan as goalkeeper from Brighton & Hove Albion, says of the vaccination, “It’s a great thing to have. I would encourage people to do some proper research and to listen to the experts. Social media is obviously a minefield, but I listened to the health experts and made up my mind that the vaccine was the right thing to have.”

As the club’s Head of Sport Science and Insight, part of 33-year-old Andy Costin’s role is to keep the players fit and healthy, and he is a keen advocate for vaccination which he believes benefits not only the individual players but the wider community too. Andy says, “I got vaccinated to protect the people around me. Knowing that I am doing my bit for the community is great. We all need to look beyond ourselves and get through this together. Vaccination is taking us in the right direction, and I believe it’s really important for everyone eligible to get protected.”

Ipswich Town winger, Sone Aluko, says: “The vaccination process was pain-free and seamless and took less than five minutes, and I hope that people will take-up the vaccination offer to protect themselves, their family and the wider society.

“Millions of people have now been vaccinated but it’s understandable that, with anything new, people have some concerns. Do your research by listening to NHS health experts.”

Joe Pigott, 27, who signed a three-year contract with the club earlier this year, emphasised the importance of protecting others, saying; “I had the vaccination to protect others. I have a few vulnerable people in my family and I want to make sure I’m doing my best to look after them. Morally, to protect ourselves and others we need to get vaccinated. The vaccines have passed every test that’s going….so come on, get vaccinated.”

You can visit the dedicated Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System COVID-19 website, which has information on vaccines and the vaccination process and an up-to-date list of walk-in clinics - https://sneevaccine.org.uk/
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