James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
All England's 16 and 17-year-olds to be offered jab by 23 August - Sajid Javid
15 August 2021, 06:58 | Updated: 15 August 2021, 08:28
All of England’s 16 and 17-year-olds will be offered a Covid vaccine by 23 August under Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s new target.
The Government is continuing to ask young people to be vaccinated with a view that individuals in that age bracket will need to get double jabbed with schooling returning in September.
Thousands of teenagers will get a text and letter to book an appointment.
Mr Javid said: "It is brilliant to see tens of thousands of young people have already received their vaccine - thank you for helping to further build our wall of defence against Covid-19 across the country.
"I have asked the NHS in England to ensure they offer a first dose of the vaccine to everyone aged 16 and 17 by next Monday, August 23, this will make sure everybody has the opportunity to get vital protection before returning to college or sixth form.
"Please don't delay - get your jabs as soon as you can so we can continue to safely live with this virus and enjoy our freedoms by giving yourself, your family and your community the protection they need."
With most adults having received at least one dose, the Government is turning its attention to protecting young people with vaccines.
A total of 81% of 30 to 39 year olds have had a first dose, and 89% of people in the 40 to 49 age bracket have had one.
All other age groups have more than 90% take up for an initial jab.
Roughly 100,000 texts have been sent to people within three months of their 18th birthday urging them to arrange a jab.
Food delivery and taxi-hailing firms have offered discounted meals and rides for people who get a vaccine as part of the Government’s drive.
Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to Covid or live with adults who are more at risk of serious infection from coronavirus are also getting jabbed.
The idea of rolling it out to more children is being kept under review.
Public Health England estimates that up to 23.8 million coronavirus infections and 87,800 deaths have been prevented by vaccines in England.
Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS deputy lead for vaccination programme in England, said: "Thanks to the dedication and hard work of NHS staff, well over 39 million people in England have already had their first, including more than a quarter of a million young people under the age of 18.
"Now, as teenagers prepare to head back to school or college or into their first full-time jobs, once again NHS staff are doing everything they can to offer young people the lifesaving vaccine as quickly as possible to protect themselves and others.
"Those who are eligible should check their nearest walk-in centre on the site-finder today or book through their GP team once invited to do so."