Over 45s can now book Covid-19 vaccine as Moderna jab is latest to be rolled out
Those over the age of 45 can now book their Covid-19 jab after the Government hit its target of offering a dose to the most vulnerable groups, including those over 50.
It comes as the third vaccine - the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine - is set to be rolled out from today in England (Tuesday, April 13).
The NHS website is allowing those over 45 to book now online.
Professor Stephen Powis, medical director for NHS England, said the move “marks another milestone” in the coronavirus vaccination programme.
And a member of the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said the announcement paves the way for the next phase.
Developed in the US, the vaccine is the third to be added to the NHS “armoury”, alongside those from Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
The news comes as the Government confirmed it has met its target of offering a Covid-19 vaccine to the highest priority groups by mid-April – those over the age of 50 and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
The Vaccines Taskforce has secured 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine for the UK.
The jab has already been rolled out in Wales and Scotland, and the vaccine is expected to be delivered to people in Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.
The NHS in England confirmed that the Moderna jab will be delivered at more than 20 vaccination sites this week, including Reading’s Madejski Stadium and the Sheffield Arena.
Prof Powis said: “The Moderna rollout marks another milestone in the vaccination programme.
“We now have a third jab in our armoury and NHS staff will be using it at more than 20 sites from this week, with more coming online as supplies expand.
“England’s vaccination programme is our hope at the end of a year like no other, so please do come forward and get your jab when you’re invited.
“It is safe, quick and effective – it will protect you and your loved ones.”
Almost 40 million vaccines have been delivered across the UK.
This includes more than 32 million first doses and 7.6 million second doses.
The number of first doses being delivered slowed throughout April due to supply constraints.
And the NHS has used the supply it has to offer those at highest risk their second jab.
In England around 94 per cent of people aged 50 and over are likely to have had their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, including more than 96 per cent in Rutland and South Kesteven.
But officials have said the offer of a jab is “evergreen” and people who are yet to receive their first vaccine and are eligible to do so are still being encouraged to book into their local vaccination site.
Regulators in the UK recommended that people aged 18 to 29 should be offered alternatives to the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying there is a possible link between the jab and “extremely rare” blood clots.
This means they could be offered the Pfizer or Moderna jab.