Letters to 850,000 people aged 56 to 59 inviting them to book their covid jab began landing on doorsteps across the country from yesterday (Saturday) with another 850,000 due to land tomorrow (Monday).
NHS staff have vaccinated more than 18 million people across England, meaning more than one third of the adult population, have already received a jab.
People receiving the letters are invited to go online to the national booking service to arrange a jab at a time and location that is convenient for them. If they are not able to go online, they can call 119 free of charge.
The NHS is vaccinating in line with JCVI guidance with people invited to be vaccinated in order of risk, which increases with age. People aged between 50 and 55 are set to be invited shortly.
Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS national medical director for primary care and a GP, said: “The NHS vaccine programme is committed to protecting the country against coronavirus and it is testament to our incredible staff that we can now move on to the next age group.
“We must not forget that our success in vaccinating more than 18 million people is down to careful planning and the hard work of those staff.
“The vaccines are both safe and effective, so if anybody who is eligible but hasn’t been vaccinated yet, I’d urge them to go online or call 119 and get themselves booked in.”
Health and Care Secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS remains on track to offer a first vaccine to all adults by 31 July.
Vaccinations are now being administered at more than 1,600 sites across the country, including GP hubs and the Saga building in Thanet.
Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are being asked not to turn up early to avoid creating queues.
Everyone will receive a health status check and a pre-vaccination assessment before they have their jab.
Those now eligible to book via the NHS online system are:
aged 56 or over
at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
eligible frontline health or social care worker
have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
have a learning disability
main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
You need to be registered with a GP surgery in England to use the service.
People need to have 2 doses of the coronavirus vaccine at 2 appointments which are booked at the same time. The second dose is to be received 11 to 12 weeks after getting the first.
If you’ve had a positive COVID-19 test, you should wait 4 weeks from the date you had the test before you book an appointment.
The national booking service allows you to book from a range of four large vaccine centres and 11 pharmacies across Kent and Medway. The centres all currently use the Astra Zeneca vaccine.
Book online or call 119.
Vaccines given in Kent and Medway: 610,876
First dose (581,293)
over 80 years 93,682
75-79 years 70,422
70-74 years 95,518
65-69 years 79,518
under 65 years 241,844
Second dose (29,583)
over 80 years 17,611
75-79 years 593
70-74 years 351
65-69 years 606
under 65 years 10,422