Wolverhampton Wanderers Head Coach Nuno Espirito Santo has made an impassioned plea to fans and the city’s residents to get their Covid-19 jab as soon as they’re invited to have it.

The Wolves boss described the vaccine as “a key factor” in a return to normality.

Nuno said: “I truly believe one of the key factors for us to get back to normal as fast as possible is for as many people as possible to get the vaccine. We are desperate to get back to normal, and the more people who get the vaccine, the better.”

With some staff at the club already having had their vaccine, Nuno is reassured that the jab is safe and the best way out of the current lockdown restrictions. He said: “I don’t have any kinds of doubts about it. It’s approved, and I can see by individuals here that it’s safe – Ron Picken, our kit man, is much happier having had it. He feels more safe, and by seeing him every day, I know it’s okay.”

Although Nuno has not had the vaccine yet himself, he is keen to do so when it is his turn: “I hope to soon. But I’m young, I’m not in that eligible group yet.”

Nuno recognised the impact coronavirus has had on members of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, and encouraged everyone to get vaccinated: “I’m BAME and I wish that I could have the vaccine; I say to everybody, not only the BAME community, that the vaccine is a key step for easing restrictions, it’s a key step for us to get back to normal.” 

Nuno added: “I wish there were available vaccines back in Portugal. We are facing a situation there that we don’t have enough vaccines, but here we have vaccines. I’m wishing that everybody all over the world has it so we can travel and go back to see our families again.”

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Public Wellbeing, said: “We are grateful for Nuno’s support in encouraging everyone in the city to have their vaccination. As the best way out of the pandemic, the sooner we are all vaccinated the sooner we can return to a more normal way of life, and the sooner fans can enjoy their football, either at Molineux or down their local pub.

“The vaccine is safe and it’s the best protection from serious illness caused by Covid-19. It is also proving effective at reducing transmission of the virus. 

“Getting vaccinated is easy, and if you have any worries or concerns about the vaccines you can talk them through when it is your turn, or go to trusted sources such as your GP or the NHS and council websites for more information.”

As of last week, over 77,000 Covid-19 vaccinations had been given in Wolverhampton. 9 out of 10 people aged 65 and over in the city have now had the first of their 2 doses. 

Vaccinations are currently available to anyone aged 60 and over; anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable; frontline health and social care workers; and people who are in receipt of Carer's Allowance or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

It will be rolled out to further priority groups in the coming weeks. The NHS will contact people as and when they become eligible for their jab. For details of the priority list, please visit GOV.UK

For more information about the vaccine, including the answers to frequently asked questions, please visit Covid-19 Vaccine. People will need to register with a GP surgery in England in order to receive the vaccine. For more details, please visit NHS – GPs.