COVID-19 jab named ‘best defender’ of the season by football pundits in new vaccine campaign video

Football stars are urging the public to get vaccinated – helping the UK achieve its goal of giving coronavirus the red card.

Ahead of tonight’s FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester City, legends including Harry Redknapp and Chris Kamara have appeared in a short film choosing their best defenders of the season so far… with the COVID-19 jab coming out on top.

A national campaign is encouraging the under-50s to join the millions of people who have already received both doses as "every vaccination gives us hope".

Redknapp, a former manager and professional player, said: "I’ve now had both my vaccines – they were so simple and I didn’t even feel them. It’s no pain but plenty to gain.

"The NHS has done a fantastic job of rolling out the vaccine and it’s amazing that we’re starting to see the results.

"I’d encourage everyone to take up the offer of the vaccine when they are called. Maguire’s defence might be pretty good, but the jab is better."

Kamara, a Sky Sports pundit, also made an impassioned pitch, adding: "I can’t wait to watch the FA Cup final and see so many fans on seats. It’s incredible that we’ve come this far in the pandemic, and that the successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine programme has led to this moment.

"I would encourage anyone who is offered the jab to step forward to take it – I already have, and it was so easy. It’s the best way back to doing the things we love, not least getting back to watching football the way we know it."

Some 20,000 fans are set to attend the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, making it the largest pilot scheme in the government’s Events Research Programme.

Tickets have been split between home and away fans, as well as local residents and NHS staff, with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden declaring: "This is when the great summer of sport truly kicks off."

Those who attend have to provide evidence that they have tested negative for coronavirus, and will need to take a PCR test immediately before the match as well as five days afterwards.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: "I am hugely grateful to Harry Redknapp, Chris Kamara, Eniola Aluko, Chris Hughton, Carlton Cole and Jules Breach for lending their support to help get the UK vaccinated.

"When offered, it’s vital people book in their jab – they truly are our greatest defence against COVID-19 and will help us get even more fans back watching the sports they love."

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