Dr Neil Shastri-Hurst has registered for the NHS Reserves to join the ‘jab army’, supporting the vaccination booster efforts in the wake of the Omicron variant developments.
Dr Shastri-Hurst is a former NHS surgeon who trained locally at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital in Oswestry.
He previously returned to the NHS to help people at a Major trauma service as well as delivering jabs as a vaccinator.
He said: “It is vital that we get behind the Government’s vaccination booster drive so that we can continue to protect the public from the new strain of the virus.
“Improving healthcare for local people is an important part of my plan for North Shropshire, and what better way to make a difference than by volunteering to help get this important vaccination booster out to our communities?
“I was raised in a tradition of public service. So when Covid first hit, I returned to the NHS as a volunteer to support our amazing doctors and nurses. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to sign up to do so again.
“Both my parents worked for the NHS, and I’m proud to carry on their traditions. This is bigger than the by-election or politics — this is about supporting our local NHS and keeping residents safe.”
It comes after Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said the Government was setting 'ambitious' targets for the booster programme.
He said: “Since we learnt of the new Omicron variant a few days ago, our strategy has been to buy the time we need to assess it while doing everything we can at pace to strengthen our defences.
“Our best weapon to fight the virus is to get as many jabs in arms as possible. That is why I asked the JCVI to urgently look at expanding and accelerating the vaccination programme in light of the Omicron variant.
“Thanks to their rapid advice we are now able to put our booster programme on steroids – and protect even more people even more quickly.
“We have set an ambitious target to offer booster jabs to all adults in England by the end of January, while ensuring those most vulnerable to the virus will continue to be prioritised for their booster, and having the gap between second doses and boosters.
“This is a national mission and we all have a role to play – so step up, roll up your sleeves, and get protected when the time comes.”