People aged 21 and 22 able to book Covid vaccine from TODAY as 972,000 to receive texts inviting them to get jab

AROUND one million people aged 21 and 22 are today eligible to book their first coronavirus jab.

More than 970,000 text messages will be sent out inviting younger Brits to schedule appointments for both doses via the national booking system.

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Dr Emily Lawson, lead for the NHS COVID Vaccination Programme, said the NHS vaccination campaign is now "in the home stretch" of the first dose roll-out.

She added getting the jab is "the most important step you can take to protect yourself, your friends and family so it's really important everybody in the latest eligible groups books themselves in to get their jab and plays their part in this huge national effort".

Latest Government data suggests that so far, more than 40 million people had received their first dose – nearing 80 per cent of adults in the UK.

And the rollout of second jabs to those in their 40s will now be accelerated, it's been confirmed.

Now all over 40s are to be offered their second jab eight weeks after the first, instead of 12.

It comes as:

  • Gove insists July 19 easing WILL go ahead unless ‘unprecedented and remarkable’ Covid change happens as he fights fury
  • Hopes high 40,000 fans will be allowed into Challenge Cup final at Wembley
  • Brits back Boris Johnson’s Freedom Day delay with 70% supporting lockdown until July 19, survey finds
  • Schoolchildren could be vaccinated to stop Covid wreaking more havoc with their education, Chris Whitty warns
  • Lockdown lift DELAYED – Everything you can and can’t do from June 21 as roadmap extended for a month

Around 30 million have already had a second dose – 57 per cent of adults.

But with millions still yet to receive a jab, the June 21 unlocking has been put on hold.

The vaccine programme is being ramped up in a race against the Delta (Indian) variant, which is causing a surge in Covid cases.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the target to give all adults (over 18s) in the UK their first dose by the end of July had been brought forward to July 19.

He said that by then around two-thirds of the adult population would have received two jabs, including all over-50s, the vulnerable and health and care workers.

Anyone over 40 who had received a first dose by mid-May should also get their second jab by then.

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are speeding ahead with rollouts.

All adults have already been called forward to get their vaccine in Northern Ireland and most of Wales, while people aged 18 to 29 in Scotland have been asked to register for their jab, with appointments starting in mid-June.

But it won't be until the autumn or later that the youngest people get their second doses, at which point a booster campaign for the elderly is expected to start.

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