All over-50s in England invited to book coronavirus vaccination

17 March 2021, 12:06 | Updated: 17 March 2021, 14:28

The over-50s is the last of the nine priority groups being vaccinated
The over-50s is the last of the nine priority groups being vaccinated. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

All over-50s in England who haven’t yet received a coronavirus vaccine are now being invited to book their appointment.

The 50-54 category is the last of the nine priority groups which account for 99% of mortality from Covid-19.

Everyone in those groups should be offered their second dose by mid-July.

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted on Wednesday: “I’m delighted we are now expanding the rollout and inviting those aged 50 and over to book their jab.

“I’m determined no one should miss out on the chance to protect themselves and urge everyone who is eligible to come forward.”

Two million people in England aged 50-54 are being sent text messages linking to the national booking service website.

People can also call the service on 119 if they are unable to book online.

The latest NHS data shows a total of 22,284,040 Covid-19 vaccinations took place in England between December 8 and March 15.

This includes first and second doses, and was a rise of 362,758 on the previous day.

Some 21,122,514 jabs were the first dose of a vaccine, a rise of 330,676 on the previous day, while 1,161,526 were a second dose, an increase of 32,082.

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It comes as Mr Hancock sought to reassure the public the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, insisting there is no evidence the jab has caused blood clots after some European nations halted its rollout.

The Health Secretary urged the public to come forward and get the jab as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) conducts a full scientific review - with France, Germany, Spain and Italy pausing their programmes.

The regulator, which approved the vaccine for the EU, says it currently "remains convinced" that the "benefits of this vaccine outweigh the risk".

It is due to offer a further update on Thursday after several European countries halted its use due to reports of some people suffering blood clots following vaccination.

Mr Hancock told broadcasters: "The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is safe, we know that over 10 million people have had it in this country, and that's what the British regulator says but also the World Health Organisation and even the European regulator.

"We keep the effects of these vaccines under review all the time and we know that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is saving lives in the UK right now so if you get the call, get the jab."

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