Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and fellow F1 stars urge fans to get Covid vaccine this winter

Formula One drivers have urged the public to get the Covid vaccine this winter ahead of the season’s final race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, who are level on points after an enthralling and acrimonious season, both feature in the NHS campaign video, along with F1’s chief executive, Stefano Domenicali, who is encouraging the sport’s supporters to get booster injections.

The video has been released in accordance with the NHS accelerating its booster programme this week, with people aged over 40 in England now eligible to book their booster a month in advance, provided it’s been two months since their second dose.

“Vaccines and boosters are out way out of this pandemic, and we need to keep everyone safe and move forward together,” Domenicali said. “I have had my vaccine and my booster and ask everyone to do the same. Formula 1 is moving ahead, and we ask for everyone to play their part.

“The government’s priority remains to protect the most vulnerable first so everyone over the age of 40 who received their second dose at least three months ago now able to book an appointment for their booster jab. Younger age groups will be invited by the NHS in order of age in due course.”

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The UK recorded 58,194 daily cases of Covid-19 on Friday, which marked the highest total since January. The UK Health Security Agency estimates that Omicron will become the dominant variant of Covid-19 within the next fortnight and, although only 1,275 cases of Omicron have been identified thus far, the true figure is believed to be far higher.

“Boosters remain the best defence against the new variant and the virus, and we are bolstering the booster programme to get more jabs in arms more quickly,” said the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid.

“It is fantastic to see F1 drivers playing their part, encouraging others to get their top up jab to secure the vital protection they need as the virus goes on the advance this winter.

“More than 21 million people have received their booster jab and I urge all those eligible to come forward, roll up their sleeves and get protected as soon as they can.”

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