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NHS hails ‘watershed moment’ as all adults receive invite to book their jab

·2 min read

Britons aged 18 and over can now book their Covid-19 vaccine in England in what the NHS has described as “a final push to protect the country”.

All adults are urged to arrange a jab if they have not had one and the health force will start to send about 1.5 million texts to people aged 18-20 from Friday morning.

It comes after government data up to June 16 showed that of the 72,891,861 jabs already given in the UK so far, 42,216,654 were first doses – a rise of 195,565 on the previous day. Some 30,675,207 were second doses, an increase of 234,834.

NHS chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, described the development as a “watershed moment”.

The NHS is braced for high demand after the first group of people in their 20s to be offered vaccines booked more than one million appointments in a single day.In Northern Ireland and Wales, the Covid-19 vaccination programme is already open to those aged 18 and over.

A person receives a dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at a vaccination centre for those aged over 18 at the Belmont Health Centre (REUTERS)
A person receives a dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at a vaccination centre for those aged over 18 at the Belmont Health Centre (REUTERS)

And in Scotland, all 18 to 39-year-olds are being invited, with older age groups first, in the specific areas of Glasgow affected by the current outbreak.

More widely in Scotland, people aged 30 and over are being invited for their jab, with those aged 18 to 29 years old on and including May 17 2021 expected to be invited next.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said: “Offering all adults a jab less than 200 days after the programme launched is one of our country’s greatest collective achievements, saving over 14,000 lives so far.

“I cannot thank NHS staff, the Army, volunteers, manufacturers and all those involved in this extraordinary national effort enough.

“Today sees vaccines accelerate in their race with the virus - so now let’s finish the job. If you haven’t yet, come forward and get your jab.”

Sir Simon said: “This is truly a watershed moment. Whoever you are, wherever you live, if you are aged 18 or older and you are yet to book your Covid jab, today should be the day you make that happen.”

NHS England lead for the Covid Vaccination Programme, Dr Emily Lawson, said: “We know that getting both doses is vital to maximising the positive impact of the vaccines. If you’re offered the chance to bring forward your second jab, please do so and, most importantly, come forward for both appointments, and follow the tens of millions who have already got themselves this essential protection from Covid-19.”

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