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NHS England has seen a huge jump in the number of people coming forward for a Covid-19 jab since launching its plan to tackle vaccine hesitancy.

There has been an increase of more than a fifth among adults under 45 who would definitely get their vaccine according to a new study, which surveyed 16,610 people from a nationally representative sample. About 63 per cent would definitely get the jab, with a further 21 per cent likely to accept.

Confidence in the jab has grown among both men and women under 45, by 17 per cent and 27 per cent respectively, according to the new analysis produced by ORB International and the Vaccine Confidence Project.

More people from a range of ethnic and religious groups also intend to say yes to protection from the virus, with an increase of 21 per cent in Muslims and 18 per cent in Christians who would definitely get the jab.

Vaccine uptake more than tripled among black British and Asian communities between February and April and the Vaccine Confidence Project’s data suggests this trend will continue for younger age groups with six per cent and 24 per cent increases respectively in those who intend to get the jab.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am incredibly proud that our country has one of the highest uptake rates for the vaccine in the world. Millions of people from all backgrounds have joined the national effort and rolled up their sleeves to get the life-saving jab.

“We know how effective the vaccine is, especially after two doses which offers the fullest possible protection against the virus. Thousands of lives have been saved and thousands of hospitalisations prevented. These are not just numbers, these are our family, friends and loved ones who have all been protected.

“We have vaccinated over three quarters of UK adults with a first dose and half of adults with a second dose. Each vaccine brings us one step closer to putting this pandemic behind us. So when you get the call, get the jab.”

GP and NHS national medical director for primary care, Dr Nikki Kanani, said: “Since the NHS launched its action plan to encourage uptake in February, it has reached people from all communities and backgrounds through a combination of dedicated NHS teams who know and understand their communities, targeted engagement with faith leaders, pop-up clinics in places of worship, sports stadiums and local community centres, as well as strong, vocal backing from high profile voices like comedian Lenny Henry and TV star Adil Ray.

“The vaccine is proven to be safe and effective, and it’s vital that everyone gets both first and second doses in order to get full protection against coronavirus – so when you are invited, please do not hesitate to book in and do what you can to protect yourself, your families and your communities from Covid-19.”

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