Younger people will be able to start booking their coronavirus vaccine appointments within days, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed today. The inoculation programme has ramped up in recent weeks, following the discovery of the more transmissible Indian variant in some parts of the UK.
Matt Hancock told the BBC: “We want everyone in Bolton who is eligible to come forward.
“Also this coming week we are going to be opening up vaccinations to the 35s and over across the country because this isn’t just about accelerating the vaccination programme in Bolton.
“It’s about going as fast as we possibly can nationwide.”
Currently, only those aged over 38-years-old are able to get their vaccines. But the rollout will extend this week to include all over 35s.
The Health Secretary said on Sky’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday that the rollout is progressing well, adding:
“That means that we can stay on course with our strategy of using the vaccine to deal with the pandemic and opening up carefully and cautiously but we do need to be really very vigilant to the spread of the disease.
“We have a high degree of confidence that the vaccine will overcome.”
Mr Hancock added the Government will decide on June 14 whether all restrictions can be lifted on June 21 as planned.
Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said people under 40 could be offered non-AstraZeneca jabs if it means that it could speed up the rollout.
He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “Yes absolutely, that’s on the agenda, and if necessary that’s something that could be done.
When we expressed a preference for non-AstraZeneca vaccines for this age group it was done in a very provisional way on the basis of everything going absolutely right.
“And if the evidence shows that the risk benefit balance for people in their 30s is to be offered that vaccine then absolutely that recommendation will be changed.
“At the moment we don’t think that’s necessary, but it could well become a recommendation in the future.”
When will over 30s get the vaccine?
Over 35s will get the coronavirus vaccine from this week, Mr Hancock confirmed today.
People in their 30s are now being invited in some areas of the UK, although they will be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine, due to blood clot fears.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said: “As COVID-19 rates continue to come under control, we are advising that adults aged 18 to 39-years with no underlying health conditions are offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, if available, and if it does not cause delays in having the vaccine.”
Those eligible should get a text from the NHS, but can immediately log on to the health service’s website to book a jab.
The Government has committed to having all adults offered the first dose of the vaccine by the end of July.
If the roll-out continues at its current pace, it is expected that people aged 30 to 34 could be offered their first jab within the next month.