Celebrities including the comedian David Walliams and actor Jim Broadbent have called on their fellow Britons to “get back to the rhythm of life”, by getting vaccinated against Covid.
In the film, which is to the tune of a song from the 1966 musical Sweet Charity, Broadbent enters an empty theatre before celebrities including Walliams, actors Asa Butterfield, Colin Salmon, Derek Jacobi and Don Warrington, and singer Nicola Roberts take the stage to perform the song.
Before the launch, Little Britain co-creator Walliams said: “The NHS has done an absolutely fantastic job rolling out Covid-19 vaccines at such speed and, as we do in the film, I want to implore everyone to get their vaccine when called so we can get back to the all-singing, all-dancing, rhythm of life that we love.”
Oscar-winning Broadbent added: “Thank you to the millions who have already received their vaccinations and please ‘just get your vaccine’ to the rest. Vaccines are helping us get back to everything we love and every industry – including the arts – couldn’t be more grateful to each and every person for getting their vaccine.”
More than 44.8 million people in the UK have received at least one jab (67%) while almost half of adults have received their second dose.
Modelling from Cambridge University suggests that the vaccine programme may have saved around 27,000 lives. The vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, has said government health teams are continuing to home in on areas where uptake is lower, including in the capital.
The Office for National Statistics said on Friday that around 4% of people reported vaccine hesitancy in its latest survey, including 10% of 22- to 25-year-olds, amid a falling reported preference for the AstraZeneca jab over links to slightly higher risks of blood disorders and clotting.
Black adults had the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy at 18%, according to the official statistics body. Significant numbers of fully vaccinated people continue to die with Covid as they do not provide full protection.
The health secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “The evidence is clear – the vaccine is the best way to help protect yourself and your loved ones, so if you get the call do not delay in booking your appointment as we do everything we can to get back to normal life.”
The UK is opting to focus on persuading people to get the jab without the offer of gifts or money, as opposed to in the US, India, China, Greece, Serbia, and elsewhere.