A NATIONAL first aid charity is aiming to recruit volunteer vaccinators to boost the Somerset population's Covid and flu immunity.

St John Ambulance, a trusted partner of the NHS, hopes to recruit and train 5,000 new vaccinators in parts of England where they are needed the most.

That includes Somerset and other parts of the West Country, where they plan to bring in 250 volunteers.

Craig Harman, St John Ambulance’s acting chief operating officer, said: “We’ve been playing a vital role in helping deliver the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme since it began.

“Our original vaccination volunteers have given more than a million hours of their time, and now we need more volunteer vaccinators to administer Covid and flu jabs this autumn, as well as ensuring we’re ready to support any surges in demand for vaccinations. 

“Many of the vaccinators I’ve spoken to over the last year and a half say that giving people their jabs has been one of the best experiences of their life.

“The satisfaction of protecting people and keeping the pandemic at bay is enormous, plus being part of St John opens up a whole range of extra volunteering opportunities where people can help their communities, like sharing lifesaving first aid skills or supporting our brilliant programmes for young people.” 

The charity's call for volunteers follows the government announcing that priority groups for vaccination are being expanded

Everyone over the age of 50 will be among those offered a Covid booster and a flu jab this autumn.

Applications can be submitted at www.sja.org.uk/volunteer-vaccinator