The Archbishop of Canterbury has described the coronavirus vaccine as an “answer to prayer” as he revealed he received the jab over the weekend.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby tweeted that he received the vaccination because he is a volunteer member of the chaplaincy team at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital.
Sharing a photo of himself receiving the injection, he urged others to follow suit when given the opportunity to do so.
He wrote: “The rapid development of the vaccine is an answer to prayer – and it is central to the recovery from this terrible pandemic.
“Jesus Christ calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves. Getting the vaccine is part of that commandment: we can show our love for each other by keeping each other safe from this terrible disease.”
Mr Welby’s intervention came as the vaccine scheme was extended to over-70s from Monday.
The Government is currently on course to vaccinate 15 million people across the UK by mid-February, including health and social care staff, the elderly and people in care homes.
If that progress continues, the Government could be in a position to lift lockdown restrictions in early March, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said.
Mr Welby added: “I want to encourage everyone to get the Covid-19 vaccine when they are invited. Staff across the NHS, and health workers across the world, are under immense pressure on the front lines of the pandemic.
“They deserve not just our admiration but our support – and getting the vaccine when we have the opportunity is something we can all do to relieve the burden on them.”