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.
More than a million more people are now eligible for a life-saving COVID-19 jab with nhs.uk.
Texts inviting people to book a vaccination will be sent to those aged 37 today 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 programme 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.
Jane Scattergood, director of nursing and quality for Fylde Coast CCGs and COVID-19 vaccination director for Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “The rapid rollout of the NHS vaccination programme in Lancashire and South Cumbria is down to months of careful planning and sheer hard work by nurses, doctors and countless other staff supported by our incredible volunteers.
“If you’re now eligible for the vaccine please do book your appointment as soon as possible, so that you can join the millions of others who are helping to protect themselves and others, and continue our progress back towards a normal life.
“NHS staff are still working hard to deliver the largest vaccination drive in history, at the same time as providing care for everyone who needs it. So, please play your part by not contacting the NHS to seek a vaccine if you are not eligible yet, you will be invited when it is your time.”
NHS national medical director Prof Stephen Powis said: “Bookings for the fastest and most successful NHS vaccination programme in history continues 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 receive 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.”
When invited, people will be able to book at one of the vaccination centres, 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.
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.