The NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, continues its rollout to people in their thirties, opening to people aged 36 and 37 from today Tuesday 18 May.
More than a million more people will be eligible for a life-saving COVID-19 jab with nhs.uk due to update at 7am.
Texts inviting people to book a vaccination will be sent to those aged 37 today (Tuesday) and to 36 year olds on Wednesday.
The texts will allow people to access the national booking service at the touch of a button and arrange an appointment at an NHS vaccination centre, pharmacy or GP vaccination site.
The move to the next age group comes as more than 930,000 appointments were made in the days since the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programmes opened to 38 and 39 year olds.
More than three out of four people aged 40 to 49 – over five and a half million people – have also received a vital first dose of protection.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our phenomenal vaccination programme continues to go from strength to strength, with the UK having one of the highest uptake rates in the world and almost 57 million doses administered so far.
“I’m thrilled people aged 36 and 37 can book their appointments from tomorrow and I urge everybody to take up the offer as soon as you’re eligible.
“Vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic and we can beat it together by getting our jabs.”
NHS National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis, said: “Bookings for the fastest and most successful NHS vaccination programme in history continue to surge with more than 930,000 appointments made in a matter of days since opening up to 38 and 39 year olds.
“With well over 30 million first doses of vital protection against coronavirus delivered just six months into the NHS vaccination drive, the NHS is able to open up to 36 and 37 year olds as the programme continues at pace.
“On the advice of the government and Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), people aged 50 and over and the clinically vulnerable are having their second doses brought forward to counter the spread of the Indian variant.
“Nobody needs to contact the NHS. You will be told how to rebook if you need to.
“Getting vaccinated is the most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against COVID-19, so when it is your turn to get your first or second dose please do so.”
The government and the JCVI announced that second dose appointments will be brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for those aged 50 and over who have yet to received theirs.
Nobody needs to contact the NHS. People should continue to attend their appointments unless told otherwise.
NHS England’s lead for the NHS vaccination programme, Dr Emily Lawson said: “Well over 47 million vaccinations have been delivered in England since the world’s first jab in December and thanks to the NHS’s incredible efforts we are seeing vaccinations demonstrably reducing the need for hospital care as well as saving thousands of lives from coronavirus.”
“The success of the NHS vaccination programme is not a happy accident – it’s the result of exceptional planning, targeted delivery and people’s determination to protect their patients, friends and communities as fast as possible.”
The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to be protected against coronavirus outside of a clinical trial when she received the Pfizer vaccine at Coventry Hospital on 8 December.
Since then more than 30 million people have been vaccinated with a first dose in England, two thirds of the total adult population.
More than one third of adults have had both doses, meaning they have maximum protection from the virus.
When invited, people will be able to book at one of the vaccination centre, pharmacy or general practice sites across the country that are available through the national booking service.
Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including 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.
Vaccinations are now being administered at more than 1,600 sites across the country, including mosques, museums and rugby grounds, meaning the vast majority of the people live within 10 miles of at least one vaccination service.
People 39 and under who are eligible and pregnant women will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with recently updated JCVI guidance.