Health Secretary Sajid Javid has branded members of the England football squad reportedly refusing Covid vaccines 'disappointing' and is urging them to encourage young people to get jabbed.
Three senior team members have reportedly insisted that they are too healthy to suffer Covid, a decision that potentially endangers England's World Cup hopes in Qatar next year where organisers plan to ban unvaccinated players.
At least two others are said to have refused the jabs, with some thought to have swallowed conspiracy theories and online 'misinformation' while others have apparently been pressured by their wives.
England football manager Gareth Southgate claims he does not know which of his players are refusing to be vaccinated - but expects them to be 'outed' when the squad travels abroad.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also said he is at a loss to explain why there is seemingly a reluctance among Premier League players to be vaccinated - as he made a comparison between the reasons for being jabbed and drink-driving laws.
Mr Javid told Times Radio of the 'huge vaccine wall of defence' being created, and added: 'I would just appeal to these people, whether they are footballers, whoever it is... that the vaccines are working. Help protect yourself and protect those around you.
'They've made a conscious choice. It is disappointing, of course it is... They are role models in society. People, especially young people, I think will look up to them and they should recognise that and the difference that can make in terms of encouraging others.'
The Health Secretary yesterday told care home staff who 'cannot be bothered' to get the jab to 'get out and get another job', insisting he is 'very clear' they should not be working with the country's most vulnerable people.
In other developments:An investigation by The Mail on Sunday exposed fraudsters selling official NHS passes used to prove double vaccinations to people who refuse to have the injections; Health Secretary Sajid Javid rounded on jab refuseniks in the care sector, saying: 'If you cannot be bothered to go and get vaccinated, then get out and go and get another job'; The Mail on Sunday has learned that the Pfizer vaccine will be bottled at a plant in Swindon before being sent to Belgium and distributed around the world; Sources claimed that the BBC is considering the introduction of a 'no jab, no job' rule for some of programmes in order to prevent a repeat of row over unvaccinated dancers on Strictly Come Dancing; The Government was criticised for refusing to release details of emails involving leading scientists over the origins of Covid-19; The number of people currently in hospital with Covid fell to 6,733 – the lowest level since August 22. Official figures reported 121 deaths yesterday, down almost 17 per cent week-on-week, with 768 hospital admissions, down 12 per cent; The global coronavirus death toll passed five million, with half of those perishing within the past eight months.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Sajid Javid (left) speak with staff as they view an MRI scanner during a visit to Leeds General Infirmary in West Yorkshire
England's players pose for a team photo before the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying group A match between England and Montenegro at Wembley
Care home staff who refuse the Covid vaccine should 'get out and get another job', Sajid Javid has said.
In a furious attack on people who 'cannot be bothered' to get the jab, the Health Secretary said he is 'very clear' they should not be working with the country's most vulnerable people.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme yesterday, Mr Javid said: 'If you want to work in a care home you are working with some of the most vulnerable people in our country, and if you cannot be bothered to go and get vaccinated then get out and go and get another job.
'If you want to look after them, if you want to cook for them, if you want to feed them, if you want to put them to bed, then you should get vaccinated.'
Mr Javid added: 'If you are not going to get vaccinated then why are you working in care?
'If you think about your elderly relatives you might have in care homes, and the idea that someone wants to look after them and they don't want to take a perfectly safe and effective vaccine