Sajid Javid was caught on camera persuading the Chief Political Correspondent of Sky News to celebrate his booster there and then again on Monday night.
The health secretary, who accepted the advice of the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI) to expand the booster jab program a few hours ago, asked John Craig if he had his extra dose while preparing for the interview.
Craig explained that it is not yet six months since he received his second dose – although the updated guidelines say that anyone can now get a boost three months after their second jab.
Javid replied: “But under the New Testament you will be fine. Come back here this weekend.”
“In fact, if you go in they can give it to you now,” he said.
Ignoring Craig’s protest, Javid said: “Yeah, just do it. Can you make a promise to me? Make a promise to me Go now, do it now.”
Insisting that he would “tell Sky News’ office” on Craig’s behalf, Javid then offered to go for his jab with the journalist.
“Come on, I’ll go with you, come on. Done. Are you ready?”
Then they both go to the vaccination tent together.
The health secretary’s unconventional gesture was widely praised on social media after a clip of their exchange was published on Twitter.
Javid has been advocating a booster program in recent months, but after accepting the JCVI’s decision, he has made everyone 18 years of age and older eligible for a third dose of the COVID vaccine.
He also agreed to give a second dose to people aged 12 to 15, and offered a fourth dose to anyone who is severely immunized.
The changes follow the World Health Organization’s identification of the Omicron variant, which is said to be more transmissible than other strains.
From Tuesday, wearing face coverings has become mandatory in shops and on public transport, while international travel rules have also been tightened.
A total of 14 omicron cases have been detected in the UK so far, but this number is expected to increase in the coming days.