Nearly two million more people aged over 60 in England are being invited to book a coronavirus jab as the boss of NHS England promised the rollout will get even quicker in March.

NHS England said letters will start landing on doormats from Monday of those aged 60-64 inviting the extra people for their vaccine.

They have been sent out after more than three in four people aged 65 to 70 took up the offer of a vaccination, it added.

The UK has now given first doses to nearly 20 million people, with everyone over 50 in line to get their first dose by April 15.

And buoyant NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens said vaccine supply will increase further in March allowing the rollout to accelerate even further

It comes as leaders from 60 of the UK’s black majority churches joined forces on Sunday to show their support for the Covid-19 vaccine to their congregations.

A mass vaccination centre at Salisbury Cathedral
(Image: Getty Images)

They will say they support the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine programme, and urge their congregations to seek out the facts about the vaccine from trusted sources.

They will also say that they have either already been vaccinated or that they will get the vaccine when it is their turn.

The alliance of Christian leaders, which includes Bishop of Dover the Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, said they felt compelled to act after data suggested black people are among those most likely to be hesitant about receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

Bishop Hudson-Wilkin said: “When you are offered the Covid vaccine, please take it.

“This is our chance to show we care for ourselves and our neighbours.

NHS boss Sir Simon Stevens says the rollout could accelerate further in March
(Image: PA)

“Don’t let misinformation rob you of your opportunity to protect yourself and others.”

This initiative has been organised by Christian umbrella organisations Churches Together in England, Evangelical Alliance and YourNeighbour.

Prince William also hit out at anti-vaxxers spreading “disinformation” in a Zoom call he and wife Kate Middleton had with two clinically vulnerable women.

A total of 17,254,844 Covid-19 vaccinations took place in England between December 8 and February 26, according to provisional NHS England data, including 16,679,881 first doses.

A jab doled out at a centre in Ealing, West London
(Image: NEIL HALL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

NHS England said the latest batch of invites arriving this week will mean everyone in the first seven priority groups will have been offered a jab, with people aged between 50 and 60 set to be invited shortly.

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “Since around four fifths of 65-69 year olds have now been vaccinated, we’re rapidly working our way down the generations, with people ages 60 plus now able to come forward.

“As expected vaccine supply increases in March, we’re planning for further acceleration as we head towards Easter.”

The push to get as many of the most at-risk people protected means nine in 10 people in the top four priority groups have received a jab, NHS England said.

People can use the national booking service to reserve a slot at one of more than NHS Vaccination Centres or almost 200 pharmacy-led services across the country, it added.

The booking service can be accessed at  www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination, or by calling 119 free of charge and NHS teams are visiting people who are housebound and cannot travel to a vaccination service.

Categories:

Tags:

Comments are closed