People aged 44 are now being invited to book their COVID-19 jab as the NHS vaccine programme, the biggest and fastest in its history, continues at pace.
England’s top doctor is urging people to come forward for their jab when they are invited do to so.
Around half a million 44-year olds will receive a text inviting them to get their jab through the national booking service this week.
The move to the next age group comes alongside the latest figures showing that more than two thirds of people aged 45 to 49 had been vaccinated.
The decision to move to people aged 40-43 will be set out in the coming days with the NHS vaccinating in line with JCVI advice and as supply allows.
Since the vaccination rollout began in December, more than 28 million people have been vaccinated with a first dose in England, 63.8% of the total population of adults aged over 18.
NHS staff have also carried out more than ten million second doses and is reminding people to attend their second dose to ensure they receive maximum protection.
NHS England chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens said:
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said:
When invited, people will be able to book at a Vaccination Centre or pharmacy site across the country through the national booking service.
The NHS currently vaccinates using three vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, all of which have been approved as safe and effective by the world leading medical regulator the MHRA.
People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.
Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.
Vaccinations are now being administered at more than 1,600 sites across the country, including mosques, museums and rugby grounds, meaning the vast majority of the people live within 10 miles of at least one vaccination service.
The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to be protected against coronavirus outside of a clinical trial when she received the Pfizer vaccine at Coventry Hospital on 8 December.
The NHS was also the first health system to deliver the new Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine when Brian Pinker, 82, received his on 4 January.