England’s Mark Wood, Chris Jordan and Sam Curran have urged fans to accept the offer of a Covid-19 vaccine to help speed up the return of spectators to grounds.
The trio took time out ahead of the T20 series against India – which begins on Sky Sports Cricket at 12.30pm on Friday – to take part in a virtual discussion with Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam about the national vaccine rollout.
Click on the video at the top of this page to watch the Q&A in which Professor Van-Tam answers a range of questions including ‘are there any side effects?’ and ‘is it safe for all ethnic groups to take?’
The chat follows comments from England all-rounder Moeen Ali, encouraging fellow Muslims to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I know there are a lot of conspiracy theories out there but it’s just the way that medicine evolves. Loads of people have taken it and been fine,” Ali said.
“Especially in our community, I think people are always a little bit cautious about these things but for things to get back to normal, I think it’s important that we do it.”
Thank you NHS #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/2j2XDVfAm6
Jordan added: “It’s been a strange experience playing in empty stadiums and I can’t wait to have our fans back the team in person. Like many, I’ve had my own questions about the vaccine.
“With my understanding of the direction the world is heading in, and after speaking to Professor Van-Tam with my teammates, there’s no doubt in my mind that I will get the vaccine when it’s my turn.”
Last summer, Sky Sports Cricket broadcast the first major international sporting event since the global coronavirus outbreak, covering England’s Test series against West Indies from the Ageas Bowl and setting the standard for broadcasting in bio-secure venues around the world.
Now some of the most famous cricket grounds in the country, including Lord’s, are being used as centres to support the NHS vaccine rollout.
Chief Medical Officer at the England and Wales Cricket Board, Professor Nick Peirce, said: “I’m proud of the way the England Cricket Community has adapted to adhere to the strict Covid guidelines and supported the NHS vaccine rollout however they can.
“We join in encouraging everyone to do their own research through trusted sources, like the NHS website, to be sure of the facts and get their vaccine when called.”
Under government plans for England to emerge from lockdown, stadiums could welcome fans back from May 17, with crowds amounting to up to 4,000 people of half the venue’s capacity.
By the time of England’s first Test of the summer, against New Zealand on June 2, as many as 7,500 fans could be allowed to attend.
People who have received a letter inviting them for a jab can log on to the national booking service at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination and choose from 107 large-scale vaccination centres or 195 pharmacy-led sites. Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.
For more information on the Covid-19 vaccine, visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/
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