Adults aged 25 to 29 will be invited to get their coronavirus jabs in England from tomorrow.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced today that the age limit for the jab would be lowered, so people would be able to book their appointments.
He told the House of Commons this afternoon: ‘We will send texts to people in this age groups, and of course GPs will be inviting people on their lists to come forward.
‘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.
‘People of this country know what it takes to keep themselves and the people around them safe.’
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’ve waited for their turn,’ he added.
The latest data shows that a total of 57,510,753 vaccinations took place in England between December 8 and June 6, including first and second doses, which is a rise of 317,112 on the previous day.
NHS England said 33,800,107 were the first dose of a Covid vaccine, a rise of 99,621 on the previous day, while 23,710,646 were a second dose, an increase of 217,491.
Mr Hancock said: ‘In all of this great progress, there is no room for complacency. The Delta variant, first identified in India, has made the race between the virus and this vaccination effort tighter.
‘Although the size of the growth advantage of the Delta variant is unclear, the recent best scientific estimate is of an advantage of at least 40% over the previously dominant Alpha variant, the so called Kent variant. The Delta variant now makes up the vast majority of all new infections in this country.
‘Of course the most important tool we have is that vaccination programme. We know the vaccine is breaking the link between infections, hospitalisations and deaths, a link that was rock solid back in the autumn.
Despite the rise in cases, hospitalisations have been broadly flat.’
He said that the majority of people in hospital with Covid appear to be those who haven’t had the vaccine at all.
Government data shows that as of June 3, there had been 12,383 confirmed cases of the Delta variant.
Of these, 464 went on to present at emergency care and 126 people were admitted to hospital.
Mr Hancock said: ‘We should all be reassured by this because it shows that those vaccinated groups who previously made up the vast majority of hospitalisations, are now in the minority. So the jabs are working.
‘We have to keep coming forward to get them and that includes, vitally, that second jab which we know gives better protection against the Delta variant.’
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