One million more people in their thirties can now get the life-saving covid jab, as the NHS opens bookings for people aged 32 and 33 from today (Saturday).
As the biggest and fastest vaccination programme in NHS history continues rolling out, 1.1 million more people will be able to book their jab at NHS.UK from 7am.
The third expansion of eligibility in just one week comes as data to be published today are set to show that England’s NHS has now delivered more than 50 million total doses of the COVID-19 jab.
More than 4 in 10 adults have had both doses, meaning they have maximum protection from the virus.
Texts inviting people to book a vaccination will be sent to those aged 33 from today and those aged 32 from Monday.
Since the booking service opened for people under 40 just over a week ago, 2.6 million more bookings have already been made.
On the advice of the government and Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), people aged 50 and over and the clinically vulnerable are having their second doses brought forward, where possible, to counter the spread of the variant B1.617.2 originating in India. Nobody needs to contact the NHS and people will be told to rebook if they need to.
The NHS is urging everyone who is eligible to take up the offer of a jab at one of the 1,600 convenient locations across the country.
NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Today, the biggest NHS vaccination programme in history hits another milestone as we pass 50 million life-saving jabs delivered across England. Over four fifths of people in their forties and over half of people aged 35-39 have now had their first jab, and today we’re extending the offer to 33 year olds.”
GP and national medical director for primary care Dr Nikki Kanani said: “It is fantastic to see so many people come forward so quickly to get their lifesaving covid vaccine – this action means that we are protecting our communities against the virus.
“The offer doesn’t go away so if you are eligible and haven’t booked, please do come forward and do so. It is safe, effective and will protect you and those around you.
“The success of the programme is no accident as behind each vaccine at each site there is a lot of work and dedication from our staff and from our volunteers – we are so grateful for their continued help.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Only days after we extended the offer of a vaccine to 34 and 35 year olds, we are now rolling out the invite to 32 and 33 year olds – an incredible step forward in the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history.
“This is truly a testament to the heroic work of our amazing NHS and care staff, volunteers and local authorities across the country who have helped deliver over 50 million jabs at lightning speed across England, keeping us on track to offer a vaccine to everyone by July.
“The vaccine has already saved thousands of lives and you are far less likely to get symptoms or be admitted to hospital if you get the jab. Please come forward when you get the offer and join the millions of others who are now protected from this terrible virus.”
By following a link and easy booking steps, people can book both jabs at the same time and can choose from a list of NHS Vaccination Centres or pharmacy-led vaccination services as well as some GP-led sites.
The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to be protected against coronavirus outside of a clinical trial when she received the Pfizer vaccine at Coventry Hospital on 8 December.
Since then more than 31 million people have been vaccinated with a first dose in England, almost half of the total adult population.
When invited, people will be able to book at one of the vaccination centre, pharmacy or general practice sites across the country that are available through the national booking service.
Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.
People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.
Vaccinations are now being administered at more than 1,600 sites across the country, including mosques, museums and rugby grounds, meaning the vast majority of the people live within 10 miles of at least one vaccination service.
People 39 and under who are eligible and pregnant women will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with recently updated JCVI guidance.