Everyone over the age of 30 can now book a Covid jab as the vaccine rollout races ahead.
A million people in England aged 30 and 31 will get a text message soon asking them to be inoculated.
Nearly three quarters of all adults in the UK – 38million – have now received their first dose of the vaccine and almost half – 23.2 million – have had both doses.
With early data suggesting that existing jabs are effective against the Indian variant, the pace of the vaccine rollout will raise hopes that Britain can be fully unlocked on June 21.
Everyone over the age of 30 can now book a Covid jab as the vaccine rollout races ahead (file photo)
Nearly three quarters of all adults in the UK – 38million – have now received their first dose of the vaccine and almost half – 23.2 million – have had both doses
Yesterday Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the ‘phenomenal pace’ of the vaccination programme.
The Government is well on track to meet its target of giving all adults their first dose by the end of July, with vaccines likely to be offered to people in their twenties later this week.
Data up to May 24 shows that an extra 122,379 people got their first dose and 332,955 more had their second. Nationally, there were 2,493 new Covid cases recorded and 15 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
Health officials have sped up the jab timetable to offer everyone over 50 their second doses within eight weeks in a bid to ensure that those at highest risk are protected from the Indian variant.
Under-40s are being offered either the Moderna or Pfizer jabs due to a very rare link between the Oxford/ AstraZeneca jab and blood clots.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the ‘phenomenal pace’ of the vaccination programme on Tuesday
Mr Hancock said: ‘Our vaccination programme is moving at such a phenomenal pace and I am delighted that less than six months after Margaret Keenan received the first authorised jab in the world, we are now able to open the offer to everyone in their thirties and over.
‘The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic and recent data has shown the life-saving protection [that] a second dose of the jab can give, especially against the new variant.
‘I urge everyone to come forward when you get the offer and play a part in getting us back to normality.’
GP and national medical director for primary care for the NHS in England, Dr Nikki Kanani, said: ‘Getting the vaccine is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against Covid-19 with the jabs saving thousands of lives already.
‘The offer of a vaccine doesn’t expire so, if you are eligible and haven’t booked, please do come forward when you’re invited to.’
NHS leaders in Scotland are encouraging people aged 30 and over to come forward for their jab and in Northern Ireland, those aged 25 and over are eligible for the vaccine. In Wales the invitation is now open to everyone over the age of 18.
- Covid jabs for children could be a step closer following a trial showing they are 100 per cent effective.
Moderna has shown its jab can protect 12 to 17-year-olds against the virus, with side effects similar to those experienced by adults. The results, from a trial of more than 3,000 children, come as the US is already vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds.
It follows similar trial results from Pfizer, which reported in March that its vaccine was 100 per cent effective.
In Bolton, teenagers have already been inoculated in a frantic effort to contain the Indian variant, and London mayor Sadiq Khan has called for ‘flexibility’ to give jabs to younger people in parts of the capital affected by the strain.