PRIME Minister Boris Johnson praised The Sun’s Jabs Army volunteers, who he said had brought the country from the brink.
He said: “I want to thank the tens of thousands, including the volunteers, The Jabs Army recruited by The Sun, who’ve helped to administer more than 92 million vaccines, saving countless lives.”
It was an emotional evening for Mr Johnson, who like many others battled Covid – spending time in Intensive Care back in April last year.
He said: “I owe my life to the NHS, as many do. And in our toughest times for this country in recent memory, it’s been the pride of our country, and our NHS was there for all of us.
“Some of them tragically lost their lives. And we owe them all an extraordinary debt.”
Speaking before he handed the Groundbreaking Pioneer award to the Oxford Covid-19 Vaccine team, who developed the jab which has proved our route out of lockdown, Mr Johnson thanked the Sun and Channel 4 for the “special evening to express our gratitude and admiration.”
And he hailed the “fantastic scientists” who “rewrote the rulebook” in response to the “greatest challenge of our times.”
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He added: “The single best way that every one of us can help to protect the NHS is to get vaccinated.”
The Oxford Covid-19 Vaccine Team, who worked round the clock to deliver a world-changing jab less than a year after development started, were represented by Professor Andrew Pollard, Hannah Robinson, Dr Parvinder Aley, Professor Katie Ewer and Professor Teresa Lamb, OBE.
They were given a rapturous standing ovation by the audience, who included HRH The Duke of Cambridge, David Beckham, Piers Morgan and Gary Linekar.
Accepting the award, Professor Lambe said: “Thank you to everybody in the audience, and everybody at home, because all of you rolled up your sleeves and you got a jab.
“And because of what you’ve done, we’re able to see our loved ones, we’re able to get back to doing things that we love. And the vaccine has given us hope that this pandemic will end soon.”
Her colleague, Professor Andrew Pollard, added: “We have a huge sense of pride in receiving this award for all of the efforts that have gone on, represented by a few people here, but actually thousands of people who have tested the vaccine with us in the NHS, working across 19 sites in hospitals in the NHS in the UK.
“We would not have a vaccine without those incredible contributions.”
Mr Johnson attended our awards – sponsored by the National Lottery – despite losing his 79-year-old mother Charlotte the previous day – and was comforted on the red carpet by host Davina McCall.
Grabbing his arm, the TV star told him: “Sorry to hear about your mum.”
Ahead of the ceremony, Boris mingled with our guests – taking selfies with nominees like best nurse contender Ross Anderson, 34.
Mr Johnson, who attended our last Who Cares Wins ceremony in 2019, praised the The Sun for throwing a celebration for our incredible health heroes.
He said: ““Well done to The Sun, fantastic well done to everyone, don’t we all need this.”
- The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards is available to stream on All 4.
Who Cares Wins awards