All over-50s in England are now eligible for a Covid vaccine
All over-50s in England are now eligible for a Covid vaccine as NHS expands roll-out to final stage
- Over-50s are the final priority group in the mass national vaccine roll-out
- An update to the NHS England website reads everyone over-50 can get the jab
- More than 24.4million Britons have already received a first dose, figures show
All over-50s in England are now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, it has been revealed.
An update to the appointment-booking section of the NHS England website reads everyone ‘aged 50 and over’ is now eligible to get the jab.
They are the final priority group in the roll-out, and once everyone over 50 has received a dose vaccinators can start giving shots to younger age groups.
More than 24.4million Britons have already received their first dose of the Covid jab, official figures reveal, and 1.6million have got a second dose.
Estimates suggest the UK is on course to vaccinate half the adult population by Sunday.
It comes amid fears EU countries decision to temporarily suspend administering the AstraZeneca vaccine could cause some Britons to miss appointments.
The website has been updated to show that everyone aged 50 and over can get the Covid jab
More than 24.4million Britons have already received a first dose of the Covid vaccine
The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) set out nine priority groups to get the jab first – including NHS workers, the clinically extremely vulnerable, the over-50s and care home residents.
The final group in the priority list is those aged between 50 and 55, who are now also being asked to book for jabs.
It means the roll-out will soon be expanded to younger age groups, with those aged between 40 and 49 next in line to get the shots.
With the number of doses available this week set to double to four million, the vaccine programme could reach the key milestone of jabbing half of all adults before the weekend.
Vaccine wastage is being recorded for the first time, and the NHS has begun texting invitations to younger age groups to make sure all appointment slots are filled.
The boost in supply has led NHS England to write to all vaccine providers, urging them to ensure they have the staff in place to step up capacity. Its letter states: ‘From the week of March 15 we are now asking systems to plan and support all vaccination centres and local vaccination services to deliver around twice the level of vaccine available in the week of March 1.’
MailOnline analysis shows Britain, which is working through the population by age, should be able to move on to the under-50s by March 29 at the latest, if it continues the current average of 280,000 first doses every day.
And if the rollout manages to double in speed – as officials hope will happen after a massive boost in supply from AstraZeneca — the under-50s target could be hit even earlier on March 20.
Ministers are aiming for at least 90 per cent of the adult population to take up the offer of a vaccine, equal to around 28.8million people in the top nine priority groups for vaccination, including all over-50s, health and care workers and people with long-term health conditions.
If the current rate is maintained, Britain will reach 50 per cent of its adult population – 26million out of 52m – by the end of this week.
More to follow…
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