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COVID-19: Vaccine rollout begins for over-65s and clinically vulnerable people

Written by on 14 February 2021

NHS staff will begin vaccinating the over-65s and clinically vulnerable from Monday, with more than a million people having already received their invitations to book a jab.

NHS England announced the next stage of the rollout, which remains invitation-only at this stage, on Sunday, confirming a Sky News report on Friday.

According to the health service, almost 1.2 million letters were due to arrive on Saturday asking people to register for their jabs as part of the next phase of the UK’s vaccination programme.

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NHS England chief: Come forward and get jabbed

An additional 1.2 million letters are due to arrive this week, asking people to log on to the national booking service at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination while those who are unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, any time between 7am and 11pm, any day of the week.

People who receive a letter will be able to choose where they receive their vaccine from more than 100 large-scale vaccination centres or almost 200 pharmacy services.

As part of the next phase, GP led vaccination sites are initially focusing on the clinically vulnerable from cohort 6 “because of the relationship between general practice and those with long term conditions, and continuity of care”.

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Hancock: We’ve nearly hit vaccines target

Those who want to wait to be called by their local vaccination service, or who have already received a jab, do not need to respond.

It follows the NHS vaccinating more than 12 million people in the first four priority groups, which include people ages 70 and over, care home residents and staff, the extremely clinically vulnerable and NHS staff.

Vaccines are currently being administered at over 1,500 sites across the country including mosques and museums to rugby grounds, and cathedrals. High street pharmacists may soon be also delivering jabs as the NHS vaccination programme continues.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: “After a strong start the NHS vaccination programme, the biggest and fastest in Europe, is entering a new phase tomorrow.

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“Thanks to the hard work of staff the NHS has protected more than 12 million of the most vulnerable people against COVID in a matter of weeks.

“This is an exciting moment as we now move on to those aged 65 and over and the clinically vulnerable as part of our plan to vaccinate as many people as possible who can benefit from it.

“However, if you have already been offered a jab but have not taken it up it is not too late. Please come forward and help us to help you.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “The vaccination programme is continuing at an unprecedented speed and, as we’re on target to offer vaccines to all those in the first four priority groups by Monday, we are determined to keep up the momentum by expanding it even further.

“The NHS is doing everything it can to offer vaccines to the most vulnerable as quickly as possible, and today’s news will mean millions more at-risk individuals will be able to access a jab from next week.

“We will continue to accelerate the vaccination programme even further and I want to thank everyone in the NHS, volunteers and the armed forces for their tireless dedication.”

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