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Over-44s to receive invite for Covid-19 jab in England
26 April 2021, 08:06
People aged 44 will be invited to book their Covid-19 vaccine in England from Monday.
Around half a million 44-year-olds will receive a text inviting them to get their jab through the national booking service, NHS England said.
The decision to move to people aged 40-43 will be set out in the coming days, with the NHS vaccinating in line with advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and as supplies allow.
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."
Over half of the adult UK population has now had at least one Covid-19 jab, new figures have shown, as the country steams ahead with its vaccination programme.
NHS England data up to April 23 shows that of the 38,189,536 total doses given in England so far, 28,102,852 were first doses - a rise of 107,656 on the previous day.
It means the UK-wide first-dose total so far is 33,496,293, with more recent figures still to be reported by Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The UK population is estimated to be 66,796,807, so the latest national figures show that more than half the population have now had a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Experts have said vaccines should be able to control the Covid-19 pandemic as they published new real-world UK data showing that jabs slash infection and are likely to cut transmission.
Just one dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine leads to a two-thirds drop in coronavirus cases and is 74% effective against symptomatic infection.
After two doses of Pfizer, there was a 70% reduction in all cases and a 90% drop in symptomatic cases - these are the people who are most likely to transmit coronavirus to others.
Experts are still collecting data on two doses of AstraZeneca but say their findings show that both vaccines work and are effective in the real world.