The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, has delivered life-saving jabs to half of all adults in England aged under 30.
More than 4.2 million people aged 18 to 29 have received a jab just three weeks after the programme was opened to those in their twenties.
The new figures come as the NHS has opened hundreds of walk-in services where people can be vaccinated without a booking, and senior medics and vaccinators have urged those not yet jabbed to ‘Grab A Jab’ this weekend.
NHS staff are pulling out all the stops to make jabs convenient for young adults.
Walk-in sites at sports grounds including the home of Newcastle Eagles Basketball, Watford’s Vicarage Road, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and Edgbaston cricket ground have been stood up this weekend, while roving vaccination buses are operating in Dudley, Colchester, Ipswich and elsewhere.
The walk-in sites come on top of the 1,700 NHS vaccine centres, GP and pharmacy led services.
The NHS has made it easier than ever before to get a vaccine and launched a new online service that lets people find their nearest walk-in centre for a jab by simply entering their postcode.
More than one million bookings were made between Monday and Wednesday this week, as demand for the vaccine continues following the expansion to all adults.
Over 63 million vaccinations have been delivered by the NHS since making history when Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a clinical trial in Coventry, just 200 days ago.
NHS England director of primary care Dr Nikki Kanani said: “The uptake we have seen among 18 to 29-year-olds in the last week shows how much young adults – like all those before them – recognise the importance of getting protected, as the NHS continues to deliver the largest and fastest vaccination programme in history at a phenomenal rate.
“It is incredible to see the progress already made – we are so grateful to the staff working day in day out to ensure that half of 18- 29 year olds are already protected with their first dose.
“NHS teams and their local partners are working flat out this weekend to vaccinate as many people as possible at convenient walk in sites up and down the country so if you are 18 and over, go along and ‘grab a jab’ – with every vaccine in an arm, we are one step closer to our summer freedoms.
“It has never been easier to get protected so whether it is your first or second dose – please book in as soon as you can.”
More than four in five adults have now received their first jab and over 60% of people are already fully vaccinated after getting both doses.
The NHS is contacting people aged 40 and over to bring forward their second dose in line with updated JCVI advice.
All adults can book at one of the 1,700 vaccination centre, pharmacy or general practice sites across the country that are available through the national booking service.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “This is a phenomenal achievement and it’s fantastic to see so many young people coming forward for their jabs, doing their bit to protect themselves and their loved ones.
“I’d like to recognise the herculean efforts of all those who are working tirelessly to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible and would like to pay my thanks to all the NHS staff, volunteers, local authorities and civil servants for their commitment.
“Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and I’d urge everyone – regardless of age, religion or beliefs – to get their jabs so we can beat this virus and reclaim all of our lost freedoms.”