THOUSANDS of Covid vaccine heroes, including recruits from The Sun’s Jabs Army, have stayed on to work in the NHS full-time.
Health chiefs revealed 11,483 pandemic volunteers and staff have now landed jobs in hospitals, GP clinics and other branches of the NHS, or started medical training.
Cabin crew, stay-at-home mums, gym managers, dance teachers and job-seekers are among those to jack in their old careers after a taste of working in the health service.
NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “Thousands took up our call to get jabs in arms, from new starters, existing and retired NHS staff and volunteers who signed up for The Sun’s Jabs Army.
“It is fantastic that more than 11,000 people who joined the vaccine drive are now staying in the NHS and continuing to make a real difference for patients across the country.
“Not only did these people help deliver the most successful NHS vaccination programme in history, protecting the public against the virus at speed, they are now continuing to help us care for others in various roles across the country.”
Tamryn Saby, ex-airline worker
TAMRYN, 45, worked for an airline for 11 years before being furloughed. She is now studying to be a radiographer in Cambridgeshire.
Tamryn said: “I hoped that by getting involved it would help us all return to ‘normal’ sooner but being part of the vaccine roll-out also helped build my confidence for a career in healthcare.
“It showed that by working for the NHS you can make a real difference to people’s lives every day.”
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As well as paid staff dishing out the lockdown-busting vaccines, volunteers including tens of thousands from our Jabs Army have put in 2.5million hours of unpaid help since the pandemic began in 2020.
The Jabs Army campaign, supported by celebs including Holly Willoughby, Vernon Kay and Towie’s James Argent, signed up Sun readers to help at centres all over the UK.
A total of 52.98million people — 92 per cent of those who are eligible — have been vaccinated against Covid.
Of those, 39million have had boosters and another 10 million are double-jabbed.
Kazeem Reaves Odunsi, ex-gym manager
KAZEEM, 45, is an assistant service manager at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS trust in London — but managed a gym before the pandemic.
He said: “I have always loved helping people so the vaccinator role seemed like a good fit. By giving someone the vaccine I felt I was helping to improve their quality of life and bring an end to the pandemic.
“Being part of a team that was making history inspired me to stay on and start a new career in the NHS.”
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It has slashed the risk of severe illness and death from Covid and meant the country has been able to banish all restrictions. But staff shortages are crippling NHS services.
There are more than 100,000 job vacancies, with unions warning hospitals cannot clear backlogs without more recruits.
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Special retention teams were on hand in the pandemic to encourage temporary workers and volunteers to stay on.
Ms Pritchard added: “With more than 350 different roles within the NHS, there are roles for everyone — so please search NHS careers today if you are interested in joining us, too.”
Inga Zamolynska, Ukrainian ex-student
INGA, 36, joined the jabs roll-out when her mother moved to England from Ukraine and was able to help her with childcare.
She now works as a patient experience coordinator at Barking, Havering & Redbridge NHS trust.
Inga said: “I joined the vaccination hub as soon as it opened in December 2020 and I loved it so much I continued at the trust and am now a patient experience coordinator. It’s a dream come true.”
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