A member of staff prepares a phial of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine jab ahead of it being administered at a vaccination centre, on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the British history, in Cardiff, Wales on December 8, 2020. Ben Birchall/Pool via REUTERS

Everyone aged 18 and over can now book a life-saving Covid jab, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens announced on Thursday (June 17).

Around 1.5 million texts are being sent to people aged 18-20 from this morning in what Sir Simon called a “watershed moment”.

Friday’s milestone comes fewer than 200 days since the NHS made history by delivering the first Covid vaccine outside of a clinical trial to Maggie Keenan in Coventry.

Already, around eight in 10 adults have had their first dose, while more than half have had their vital second dose, with over 60 million vaccinations delivered in just six months.

Sir Simon said: “This is truly a watershed moment: whoever you are, wherever you live, if you are aged 18 or older and you are yet to book your Covid jab, today should be the day you make that happen.”

The NHS is braced for high demand after the first group of people in their 20s to be offered vaccines booked more than one million appointments in a single day.

NHS England lead for the Covid vaccination programme, Dr. Emily Lawson, said: “We know that getting both doses is vital to maximising the positive impact of the vaccines, if you’re offered the chance to bring forward your second jab, please do so and most importantly come forward for both appointments, and follow the tens of millions who have already got themselves this essential protection from Covid-19.”

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