Around one million people aged 21 and 22 will begin to be called forward this morning to get the coronavirus vaccine, as the NHS COVID Vaccination Programme enters the final phase of the first dose roll-out.
As the NHS works through the final cohorts, people aged 21 and 22 will now be able to book themselves in for a coronavirus vaccine, leaving only 18 to 20 year olds yet to get the call.
Some 972,000 texts will be sent out from today inviting them to book in their jab, with the National Booking System opening to allow them to make appointments for both doses.
The NHS confirmed yesterday that by the end of this week it is expected that all those aged 18 or over would be able to book to get jabbed to protect themselves, their friends and their family.
Figures released this week show the NHS in England has now delivered over 60 million vaccinations, just six months after the programme launched when Margaret Keenan made history and became the first person in the world to be vaccinated with an approved vaccine.
Dr Emily Lawson, lead for the NHS COVID Vaccination Programme, said: “The largest ever NHS vaccination campaign is in the home stretch of the first dose roll-out the vaccine is the most important step you can take to protect yourself, your friends and family so it’s really important everybody in the latest eligible groups books themselves in to get their jab and plays their part in this huge national effort.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We’re almost at the final hurdle of offering lifesaving jabs to all UK adults, with both vaccines providing the fullest possible protection against symptoms, serious illness and hospitalisation from this awful virus and moving us a step closer to beating this pandemic.
“I urge everyone aged 21 and over to get your vaccines booked in as soon as possible to not only secure this extra defence for yourself, but to protect your loved ones too.”
It is only just over a week since the programme opened to all 25-29-year olds.
Over one million appointments were booked by people in their 20s in just one day last week showing the enthusiasm of younger adults to get vaccinated and protected from the virus.
When invited, people will be able to book at one of the 1,600 Vaccination Centre, pharmacy or general practice sites across the country that are available through the national booking service. Vaccination centres are also available in convenient locations such as mosques, museums and rugby grounds.
Text invitations, which do not expire, appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and include 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.
People aged 39 and under who are eligible and pregnant women will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with updated JCVI guidance.