Celebrities including Jim Broadbent and David Walliams have joined forces to encourage everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccines in a new uplifting film released today [Saturday 3rd July].
Set to the toe-tapping tune The Rhythm of Life, written by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields, from the 1966 classic musical, Sweet Charity, and donated by the Cy Coleman estate, the heart-warming film will celebrate the success of the vaccination programme in supporting the easing of restrictions as outlined in the roadmap.
Conceived and directed by Josie Rourke, the former artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, the short film, written by Rourke and James Graham, is being released ahead of the NHS’s 73rd Birthday. It first sees Jim Broadbent enter an empty theatre before a star-studded cast of David Walliams, Asa Butterfield, Colin Salmon, Derek Jacobi, Don Warrington, Nicola Roberts, Russel Tovey, Sandra Marvin and West End dancers – dressed in iconic NHS blue – take to the stage to passionately perform the song
In-between the dancing, Asa Butterfield calls on viewers to “get that vaccine”, Don Warrington advocates “I’ve had mine!” and Jim Broadbent delivers the final “just get that vaccine,” concluding plea to encourage people to play their part in getting us back to the ‘rhythm of life’. The film was produced by Charles Finch and Peregrine Kitchener-Fellowes at Standalone Pictures.
Comedian, writer and actor David 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.”
Actor Jim Broadbent said:
“The film gave us the chance to show our appreciation and celebration for the vaccine rollout in the best way we know how.
“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.”
The film follows the launch of a national campaign urging people to get their vaccine and join the millions of people who have already received their jabs, as ‘every vaccination gives us hope’.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“Vaccines save lives so it is fantastic to see some of our most beloved stars in entertainment back the vital vaccination rollout, which is helping this country fight this pandemic.
“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.”
Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 with symptoms and even more unlikely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it and there is growing evidence that they are less likely to pass the virus to others.
In June, the Prime Minister announced that second doses for all over 40s will be accelerated by reducing the dosing interval from 12 weeks to eight weeks.
The move follows advice from the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which has considered the latest available evidence and has recommended reducing the dosing interval to counter the threat of new variants of concern.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
“I’m extremely humbled every day when I see how many people are booking and receiving their jabs, joining the millions of adults who have already received theirs, as the country continues to play its part in helping us defeat this virus.
“Vaccines have prevented an estimated 7.2 million infections and 27,000 deaths in England alone, and each vaccine delivered is another step forward in helping us get out of this pandemic as we fight it together, side by side.”
Latest modelling analysis from Public Health England (PHE) and Cambridge University’s MRC Biostatistics Unit suggests that the COVID-19 vaccination programme has so far prevented an estimated 7.2 million infections and 27,000 deaths in England alone.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“Vaccines are saving lives, protecting the NHS and will ensure we get bums back on seats safely. Every adult in the country can now get their jab. Thank you to all these stars for getting the message out. Let’s get them back on stage by finishing the job with the vaccine rollout.”
ONS polling also shows the UK continues to top the list of nations where people are willing to have a COVID-19 vaccine or have already been vaccinated and ONS data published on 2 July shows that more than 9 in 10 (96%) adults reported positive sentiment towards the vaccine.
Vaccines are available free of charge and from thousands of vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England, which includes Riverside Park Stadium, Hull City Hall and Sunderland Nightingale amongst others.