Shrewsbury Town captain Elliott Bennett was one of several first-team players to get their Covid booster jab as Bob the Vaccination Bus dropped in on the Montgomery Waters Meadow for his busiest day ever.
It was the finale to a perfect Saturday for Bennett – who had just come off the pitch after helping his team to a 3-1 win over Cheltenham Town on what was his 33rd birthday.
Almost 200 supporters from both clubs also took the opportunity to get their booster, with Bob parked up outside the stadium from 10am to 6pm on Saturday.
Covid has started to have a significant impact on football again, with more than half of the Football League programme postponed over the weekend, and Bennett – who signed for Shrewsbury in the summer after previous spells at Brighton & Hove Albion, Norwich City and Blackburn Rovers – was grateful to get his booster.
He said: “I’m pleased to have sorted my vaccine before Christmas as cases continue to rise.
“It’s important we all get our jabs so that we can protect our family and teammates this winter. If we all do this, we can hopefully look forward to a more positive new year.”
Steve Ellis, Deputy Senior Responsible Officer for the vaccination programme in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, expressed his gratitude to the club for hosting the bus – and to the players for coming forward to get their own jabs.
“I’m a Shrewsbury Town season ticket holder myself and it has been so pleasing to see them step up and support us at every step of this programme,” he said.
“This booster programme is vitally important as we look to protect our health and care services from the worst effects of what we expect to be a large Omicron wave in January.
“We’ve set ourselves a stiff challenge of delivering more than 130,000 booster shots before the end of the year, so it was great to see so many football fans playing their part on Saturday. We gave out 180 jabs during the day, which is Bob’s busiest day of the entire vaccination programme.
“Shrewsbury may have won on the pitch – but all of us were winners off it, with so many people going away with an increased level of protection that will help keep themselves, their family and their friends safe this Christmas.”
Bob – and his sister bus Betty – will be out and about at locations across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin over the next couple of weeks for others still looking to get their boosters. People can also get jabs from a wide range of vaccination centres, community pharmacists and GP clinics right across the county.