Covid: England women's rugby stars back booster campaign

Stars of women's rugby have backed a campaign urging people to get their Covid-19 booster jabs.

Sarah Hunter, Harriet Millar-Mills and Amber Reed have backed the government's Get Boosted Now initiative.

The booster, available to over 18s, is estimated to give 80-85% protection against the Omicron variant.

Ms Hunter, England captain and Loughborough Lightning player, said the extra jab would "keep ourselves and our loved ones safe".

The Omicron variant of coronavirus - first detected in South Africa - spreads faster than previous versions.

As the first two doses of the vaccine only give limited protection, the government is urging those eligible to get a booster jab as soon as possible.

In an NHS video posted online, Ms Hunter said: "My motivations to get the first two vaccines and the booster is so I can continue to go to work to play the sport I love, and to do so in front of the amazing fans.

"I urge all those that haven't yet had theirs to do so now, so we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from Covid-19 and look forward to a brilliant year of sport ahead throughout 2022."

Ms Reed added: "Everyone needs to find their motivation for getting through the pandemic. Mine is to get to work and see my friends and family."

Ms Millar-Mills agreed: "I want to protect my loved ones and my community, I'm triple jabbed and my advice is to get boosted now."

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Thank you to the Rugby Football Union and especially Sarah, Harriet and Amber for supporting the booster programme to tackle Omicron to the ground.

"Kick Covid-19 into touch and Get Boosted Now. Against the Omicron variant two doses are not enough, but a third jab will bring you over the try line to boost your protection."

The Department of Health said more than 32 million people - 61% of adults - across the UK had already received their third dose.

A total of 750 armed forces personnel have been drafted in to support the deployment of booster vaccines across the UK, and extra vaccine centres and pop-up sites have opened to make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated, it added.