Thousands of young people nearing their 18th birthday can now book in for their COVID-19 jab, NHS England has announced.
Teenagers within three months of turning 18 can now book their vaccine appointment online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119. Text messages will be sent to more than 100,000 eligible teens inviting them to arrange their jab at one of hundreds of convenient vaccine sites in England. NHS chiefs are urging young people to get protected against the virus ahead of going to university in September.
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‘There has been an incredible response to the biggest and most successful vaccination drive in health history with nine in 10 adults in England now protected with at least one dose. As teenagers prepare to head to university or into their first full-time jobs, it is vital they get protection from coronavirus by getting their vaccine in line with updated guidance,’ said NHS medical director of primary care and deputy lead for vaccination programme in England Dr Nikki Kanani.
‘Whether you are out and about enjoying your summer break before university classes start, or eagerly anticipating the freedoms that being 18 brings, it has never been easier to get your life-saving jab at one of the hundreds of vaccination sites or pop-up clinics across the country including festivals, theme parks, places of worships and town halls.’
Findings from the Office for National Statistics this week showed that willingness to get jabbed has increased among 18 to 21 year olds and more than 1.4 million people between 18 and 24 have already been jabbed. Since the NHS administered the first jab outside of clinical trials in Coventry in December, almost 73 million doses have been delivered with more than 33 million people receiving maximum protection from the virus.
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‘Young people across the country have shown fantastic enthusiasm towards our COVID-19 vaccines, which are saving tens of thousands of lives and preventing millions of infections,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid.
‘We’re working tirelessly with the NHS to ensure all 16 and 17 year olds can get vaccinated as quickly and as easily as possible, and thousands have already had their jab at GP surgeries and walk-in sites. I am very pleased that from today all 17 year olds who are within three months of their 18th birthday can book their vaccinations through the NHS website.’