Britain's COVID-19 vaccination drive extended to 42-year-olds and above

PTI | London | Updated: 27-04-2021 17:52 IST | Created: 27-04-2021 17:52 IST
Britain's COVID-19 vaccination drive extended to 42-year-olds and above
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  • United Kingdom

People aged 42 and above will be able to book their COVID-19 jab starting Tuesday as the UK's National Health Service (NHS) vaccine programme expands further to more younger age groups.

The latest cohort of eligible people will start to receive a text message inviting them to get their jab through the National Health Service (NHS) Booking Service. Those who are due to turn 42 by July 1 this year are also eligible to make an appointment under the latest extension of the vaccine rollout.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who is 42, said he was ''really looking forward'' to receiving his text to book a jab.

“I'm very excited to open up vaccination to 42-year-olds – standing by my phone awaiting my text,” said the minister.

“Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our national effort. When you get the call, get the jab,” he said.

According to government figures, more than 33.7 million people in the UK have now received their first dose and almost 12.9 million are fully vaccinated.

“Just two weeks after rolling out the vaccine to those aged 45 and over, we are now ready to invite those aged 42 and 43, as the largest vaccination programme in NHS history continues at speed,” said Professor Stephen Powis, NHS Medical Director.

“The rapid rollout of the NHS vaccination programme, the swiftest in Europe, hasn’t happened by accident – it is down to months of careful planning and sheer hard work by nurses, doctors and countless other staff supported by our volunteers. If you receive a text inviting you to book in for your jab, please follow the instructions provided – it is simple, effective and provides vital protection against the coronavirus,” he said.

The NHS said the decision to move to the next group of people aged between 40 and 43 was in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice and as per supplies.

“Thanks to NHS staff, people aged 45-49 have been hot on the heels of millions of people most at risk who were quick to take up the offer of a vaccine with more than two thirds getting their lifesaving jab, marking another medically important milestone in the biggest vaccination campaign in NHS history,” said Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England Chief Executive.

“When the time comes, and you get that text, book an appointment to get your vaccine – it is the best protection you and your loved ones will receive from this deadly virus,” he said.

Since the UK's vaccination rollout began in December 2020, more than 28 million people have been vaccinated with a first dose in England, 63.8 per cent of the total population of adults aged over 18. NHS staff have also carried out more than 10 million second doses and has been reminding people to attend their second dose to ensure they receive maximum protection.

The NHS currently vaccinates against COVID-19 using three approved vaccines, Pfizer/BionTech, Moderna, and Oxford/AstraZeneca. People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab. Text invitations appear as an alert from “NHSvaccine”, including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.

Across the UK, there have now been 152,205 COVID-19 deaths, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, which also shows that deaths from the deadly virus in England and Wales have fallen by 97 per cent since the peak of the second wave of the virus earlier this year.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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