Everyone aged 40 and over is now being invited to book a life-saving Covid-19 jab as the NHS vaccination programme, the biggest and fastest in the health service’s history, goes from strength-to-strength.
Nearly three quarters of a million appointments were made nationwide on Monday and Tuesday as the NHS began inviting 44-year olds followed by people aged 42 and 43 by text.
Text messages are now going out to 40- and 41-year-olds today, allowing them to arrange a jab at the click of a button through the national booking service.
Those aged 42 to 44 have already been text this week, meaning another 2.5million more people across the country have been invited for their jab.
Since the nationwide vaccination rollout began at University Hospitals Coventry on Tuesday 8 December, more than 2.4million people in the East Midlands and a further 2.9million people in the West Midlands have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
NHS staff and volunteers across the Midlands have also fully vaccinated more than 870,000 people in the East Midlands and a further 1.1million people in the West Midlands with second doses.
Alison Tonge, the NHS England and NHS Improvement director responsible for overseeing the vaccination programme in the Midlands, said: “Almost 5.5million people in the Midlands have already come forward to receive at least one dose of the vaccine and we are delighted to invite everyone aged 40 and over to receive theirs, as the Midlands continues to lead the way in rolling out the largest vaccination programme in the history of our NHS.
“We know that the most effective protection comes from having both doses of the vaccine, with over 2.1million people across the Midlands having benefited from both doses – and I encourage anyone who has an appointment booked for their second jab over the coming weeks to attend as planned to make sure they are fully vaccinated.”
How to book your vaccine when invited
When invited, people will be able to book in at a vaccination centre or pharmacy site through the national booking service.
The NHS currently vaccinates using three vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, all of which have been approved as safe and effective by the world leading medical regulator the MHRA.
People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.
Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.