FILE PHOTO: People visiting the NHS Covid vaccination centre in Wembley, London, United Kingdom on January 21 2021. Photo: iStock

People in their 30s can book their Covid vaccines from Thursday (May 13), it has been announced.

Those aged 38 and 39 will be the first ones to qualify for a jab with around a million people being sent text messages that allow them to access the national booking service.

The move to the next age group comes alongside nearly three quarters of people aged between 40 and 49 having had their first dose, less than a fortnight after they were offered a jab.

Since the vaccination rollout began in December, nearly 30 million people have been vaccinated with a first dose in England, two thirds of the total adult population.

More than one third of adults have had both doses, meaning they have maximum protection from the virus, with second doses remaining a priority.

Pregnant women will also be able to book through the national booking service from Thursday and will be directed to vaccination centres offering Pfizer and Moderna in their local area in line with JCVI Guidance.

They can also speak to their GP practice or maternity service if they have any questions about the coronavirus vaccine or can talk to a healthcare professional at their appointment.

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis, said: “The success of the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination programme is not by accident but down to the careful planning and precision of NHS staff who have now delivered over 45 million first and second doses in the fastest and quickest vaccination drive in NHS history.

“With nearly three quarters of people in their 40s having already received their first jab, the NHS is opening up to people aged 38 and 39 from tomorrow. We must not forget that behind the huge numbers of people jabbed, there has been a huge amount of hard work from our staff, aided by incredible volunteers across the country. We are incredibly grateful for their efforts.

“When you get that text – book your appointment – and join the millions who have already been jabbed, protecting both yourself and your loved ones.”

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our incredible vaccination programme has already saved thousands of lives and has helped to significantly reduce hospital and infection rates, allowing us to begin safely easing restrictions.

“Vaccines are our way out of the pandemic and I’m delighted we are now inviting people aged 38-39 to get their jabs. I urge everybody to get the vaccine as soon as they are eligible to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

When invited, people will be able to book at one of the vaccination centres, pharmacy or general practice sites across the country that are available through the national booking service.

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