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Teenagers nearing their 18th birthday are allowed to book in for Covid jab from Thursday (August 12). Text messages will be sent to more than 100,000 eligible teens inviting them to arrange their jab at one of hundreds of convenient vaccine sites in England.

NHS chiefs are urging young people to get protected against the virus ahead of going to university in September.

Young people within three months of turning 18 can now book their vaccine appointment online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119.

Findings from the Office for National Statistics this week showed that willingness to get jabbed has increased among 18 to 21 year olds and more than 1.4 million people between 18 and 24 have already been jabbed.

Since the NHS administered the first jab outside of clinical trials in Coventry in December, almost 73 million doses have been delivered with more than 33 million people receiving maximum protection from the virus.

NHS medical director of primary care and deputy lead for vaccination programme in England, Dr Nikki Kanani, said: “As teenagers prepare to head to university or into their first full-time jobs, it is vital they get protection from coronavirus by getting their vaccine in line with updated guidance.

“Whether you are out and about enjoying your summer break before university classes start, or eagerly anticipating the freedoms that being 18 brings, it has never been easier to get your life-saving jab at one of the hundreds of vaccination sites or pop-up clinics across the country including festivals, theme parks, places of worships and town halls.”

Over 70 per cent of young people aged 18 to 29 in England have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, the latest figures show, providing vital protection against infection and serious illness from the virus.

A total of 5,940,038 people in this age group have received a first dose (70.2%) and 2,683,434 people have received both doses (32.4%).

The latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University shows that vaccines have saved around 84,600 lives as well as preventing 23.4 million infections and 66,900 hospitalisations in England up to 6 August.

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