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People aged 25-29 in England to be offered coronavirus vaccines from today
7 June 2021, 15:55 | Updated: 8 June 2021, 09:39
Adults in England aged 25-29 will be able to book their coronavirus vaccines from today, Matt Hancock has announced.
Speaking to the House of Commons, Mr Hancock confirmed that adults in this age group in England would begin receiving invitations to get their jab from Tuesday.
"The pace of the vaccine rollout has been extraordinary," he said on Monday.
"I'm delighted to be able tell the house that from this week we will start offering vaccinations to people under 30, bringing us ever close to the goal of offering a vaccine to all adults in the UK by the end of next month.
"From tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, we will open up vaccination to people aged 25-29.
"Over the remainder of this week the NHS will send texts to people in these age groups and, of course, GPs will be inviting people on their list to come forward."
The announcement came almost exactly six months after the vaccination programme began in the UK.
91-year-old Margaret Keenan was the first person to be given a Covid-19 jab outside of a clinical trial on December 8 2020.
"Tomorrow (Tuesday) we mark six months since the world began vaccinating against Covid-19 in Coventry Hospital," said Mr Hancock.
"In that time we have vaccinated over 40 million people here in the UK, and two billion doses have been delivered across the globe."
He told MPs that 76 per cent of UK adults have received one dose, after the three-quarters milestone was reached last week.
Mr Hancock praised the success of the vaccine rollout programme, which saw 675 thousand jabs delivered this Saturday alone.
He also hailed the enthusiasm of young people to get the jab, saying the people of the UK "know what it takes to keep themselves and the people around them safe".
"I'm sure that we've all been cheered by the images that we've seen of so many eligible young people coming forward and lining up to get the jab, showing that the enthusiasm for the jab is not just the preserve of older generations," he said.
"The latest estimates indicate the vaccination programme has averted over 39,000 hospitalisations and over 13,000 deaths.
"So the vaccination brings us hope, and I'm sure the whole house will join me in thanking people for their perseverance and patience as they have waited for their turn."
However, Mr Hancock said there was "no room for complacency" in the face of the Delta variant which is thought to be 40 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha variant.
He said that the variant, which is now the dominant strain in the UK, "made the race between the virus and this vaccination effort tighter".
All over-18s in Wales will be offered a coronavirus vaccine by Monday next week, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.
The Welsh Government also aims to offer a second dose of the jab to every adult by the end of September.