Can over 50s book a Covid vaccine? Major announcement as vaccine rollout extended

Vaccine passports could be 'unnecessarily divisive' says expert

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The vaccine rollout has been ongoing since December, and the Government managed to meet its target of 15million vaccines by February 15. As things currently stand, 24.8million people in the UK have now had at least one shot of the vaccine. On Monday, the UK carried out 53,366 second doses of the jab, meaning 1.6million people have had the whole immunisation treatment. During the same time, 386,685 people in the UK had their first dose, compared to 257,010 people who were vaccinated with their first jab on Sunday.

Can over 50s book a Covid vaccine?

In short, yes. All over 50s in England are now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed.

Mr Hancock said he was “delighted” the rollout was being expanded to the final age group in the priority list.

NHS Chief Sir Simon Stevens said it was “another milestone” reached in the race to beat the virus.

The NHS website for booking Covid vaccine appointments now enables everyone “aged 50 and over” to check in. 

Once all 2.4million people in this age group have been offered the vaccine, over 40s will be invited to be immunised.

Estimates suggest the rollout could move onto the next stage before the end of the month if there’s no holdup.

Professor Anthony Harnden, the deputy head of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) confirmed this during an interview with BBC Breakfast.

He said: “In primary care, we’re still vaccinating cohort six, all with underlying illness, and some of seven.

“But throughout the country we’re going down to cohort nine.

“Most people over the age of 50 will be vaccinated really within the next few weeks so it is tremendously successful.

“Those first nine priority groups included 99 percent of all hospitalisations and deaths, certainly in wave one of the pandemic, so we’re feeling very optimistic.”

The expansion comes exactly 100 days after the UK became the first country in the world to start vaccinating its population against the virus.

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The NHS England website has been updated to state all clinics are now allowed to start offering doses to those aged 50 and over.

Some clinics who have already surpassed their targets, however, have likely already started offering doses to this age group.

NHS England officials previously said they would “not stand in the way” of areas getting through vaccines faster.

Celebrating the move to the next stage so quickly, Mr Hancock said: “I’m delighted we are now expanding the rollout and inviting those aged 50 and over to book their jab.

“I’m determined no one should miss out on the chance to protect themselves and urge everyone who is eligible to come forward.”

Sir Simon said: “Just 100 days since the NHS gave the world’s first Covid jab outside of clinical trials, our vaccine programme passes another milestone as we now invite everyone aged 50 and over to book their vaccination.”

Wales started inviting the over-50s for vaccines earlier this month, and Scotland says those aged 50 to 54 will start being given appointments next week.

Mr Hancock previously set a target for all over-50s and people with underlying health conditions to have at least one dose by April 15.

To book your vaccine appointment, you can do so via the NHS website.

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