The rollout of the coronavirus vaccination programme is still going strong, with the online booking system being extended for the third time this week. The portal for vaccine appointments was made available for those over 44-years-old on Monday and was further extended to those over 42 on Tuesday. Now, vaccines are available for all those over 40-years-old.
75,000 appointments booked in just two days
The NHS has revealed that nearly 75,000 vaccine appointments have been booked over the space of two days, and two-thirds of 45-49-year-olds have now received their first jab.
The original goal for the vaccine rollout was to ensure that the most vulnerable groups had been offered the vaccine before the 15th of April. Despite supply troubles and the AstraZeneca blood clot scare, the goal was reached three days early, allowing authorities to take on the second half of the vaccine programme. Now, 34 million people across the UK have had their first COVID jab, and a further 14 million are fully vaccinated. NHS England Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens, who will soon be stepping down, announced:
With nine-tenths of people aged 45 and over having been jabbed, nearly three-quarters of a million new appointments were made in just two days as our booking service opened to people aged 42 to 44.
With second doses also proceeding apace, we're now ready to invite all those aged 40 and over to join the most successful vaccination drive in health service history.
Matt Hancock gets his first vaccine
One familiar face amongst those vaccinated in their 40’s is Health Secretary Matt Hancock. The 42-year-old also urged those invited to join him in getting vaccinated against coronavirus. Hancock stated: ‘The UK's vaccination programme has been a phenomenal success so far, with more than 47 million doses administered and one of the highest uptake rates in the world.’
Building on this excellent progress we are now opening up vaccinations to 40 and 41-year-olds. I urge everybody in these age groups to book a jab as soon as possible to protect yourself and your loved ones from this dreadful disease.
Those who are now eligible to book their first vaccine appointment have been invited to do so through the national online booking service or by calling 119.