If you’re 44 you can book your Covid vaccine NOW – as half of Brits jabbed

IF YOU'RE 44 years old you can now book a Covid vaccine.

Half of British adults have now received a vaccine through the NHS, reaching 33.6 million first doses so far.

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In England, more than 28 million people have been vaccinated with a first dose – 63.8 per cent of the total population of adults aged over 18.

And from today, around half a million 44-year olds will receive a text inviting them to get their jab.

Text invitations appear as an alert from "NHSvaccine", including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.

People can either book their jab through the NHS website or by calling 119.

Jabs are being given at 1,600 sites, including mass vaccination centres, GP surgeries and pharmacies.

Mosques, museums and rugby grounds have been set up to deliver jabs, meaning the vast majority of the people live within 10 miles of at least one vaccination service.

It is the first time that the vaccine rollout in England has been extended by single year – previously, the age-based approach to the programme had offered the jab to people in age brackets.

The NHS said the decision on when to to start inviting people aged 40-43 will be set out in the coming days based on supplies.

There has been a shortage of jabs throughout April, with second vaccines being prioritised.

It comes as the latest figures show that more than two thirds of people aged 45 to 49 had been vaccinated.

Some 95 per cent of over 50s have also receieved one dose of a potentially life saving vaccine.

NHS staff have also carried out more than ten million second doses and is reminding people to attend their second dose to ensure they receive maximum protection.

England’s top doctor is urging people to come forward for their jab when they are invited do to so.

 

NHS England chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens said: “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.

“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.”

NHS Medical Director, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “It is testament to the hard work of NHS staff that we are now able to vaccinate people in the next age group.

“If you are aged 44, when you are invited to do so, please do book your jab as appointments become available – it is simple, effective and provides vital protection against the coronavirus.”

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “The biggest vaccination programme in NHS history has delivered 45.5 million doses so far across the UK, and we are on track to offer a jab to all adults by the end of July.

“I encourage everyone who is 44 to book an appointment to get the jab – it will protect you and your loved ones, and help put this pandemic behind us.”

The NHS currently vaccinates using three vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, all of which have been approved as safe and effective by the world leading medical regulator the MHRA.

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.

The NHS was also the first health system to deliver the new Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine when Brian Pinker, 82, received his on 4 January.

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