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Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisations at PHE, said the jabs were having a “remarkable impact on saving lives and reducing the spread of the virus”.
She said: “As cases have increased, the true scale of protection from the vaccine programme has become clear.
“Everyone that has come forward for their vaccine has played a part in this vital effort.
“It’s important that people under 30 years of age continue to take up the offer of the vaccine. Infection rates are highest in this age group and Covid-19 can be serious for some.”
Thousands of teenagers nearing their 18th birthday are now being invited to get a jab. Booking opened to those within three months of turning 18 yesterday and more than 100,000 text reminders sent out.
The NHS has also begun offering first doses to 16 and 17-year-olds at some GP and walk-in sites, following updated guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
More than 16,000 in that age group received a jab last weekend.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday visited the new “megalab” Rosalind Franklin laboratory in Leamington Spa, Warks, with Dr Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer for England.
He said young people had shown “fantastic enthusiasm” for vaccination and urged them to get jabbed ahead of the new school year.
He said: “We’re working tirelessly with the NHS to ensure all 16 and 17-year-olds can get vaccinated as quickly and as easily as possible.
“I am very pleased that from today all 17-year-olds who are within three months of their 18th birthday can book their vaccinations through the NHS website.
“For all those in this age group – book in your jab without delay.”
Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS medical director of primary care, said: “As teenagers prepare to head to university or into their first full-time jobs, it is vital they get protection from coronavirus.
“Whether you are out and about enjoying your summer break, 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.”
The Department of Health and Social Care said more than 70 percent of people aged 18 to 19 had received a first dose in England, while 32 percent have had both doses.
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