All over-50s in Norfolk and Waveney can now book their Covid jabs

Nurse Maria Alexiou preparing COVID vaccinations at the new mass vaccination centre at Connaught Hal

People aged 50 to 54 can now book their coronavirus vaccination appointments - Credit: Danielle Booden

Everyone in Norfolk and Waveney aged 50 and over is being invited to book their coronavirus vaccination. 

All those aged 50 to 54 across England have been encouraged to organise appointments via the NHS website. 

The Corn Exchange in King's Lynn is now being used as a Covid-19 Vaccination Centre. Picture: Ian Bu

The Covid vaccination centre at King's Lynn Corn Exchange - Credit: Ian Burt

The age bracket is the final group on the government's vaccine priority list, as recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Those nine cohorts cover 99pc of those considered to be at high risk of dying in the event of contracting Covid-19.

Some 50 to 54-year-olds in Norfolk and Waveney are known to have received initial doses, while others under the age of 50 have already booked appointments.

Children and families minister Nadhim Zahawi. Picture: David Jones/PA Wire

Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi has praised the progress of the rollout - Credit: PA

Praising the latest milestone, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said the UK was "leading the way". 

“Vaccines are the best way out of this terrible pandemic and the NHS is doing everything it can to protect those most at risk as quickly as possible," he added.

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“We are on track to offer vaccines to all adults by the end of July and I urge everybody who is eligible to get their jabs to protect yourself and your loves ones.”

Thus far, almost 25 million adults in the UK have received a first shot, while another 1.6 million have been administered their second. 

In the early stages of the rollout, leading politicians estimated that everyone over 50, frontline health workers and those with seriously underlying health conditions would have been offered a jab "by mid-April"

And that target looks likely to be met thanks to a surge in vaccine supply over the coming days, largely down to a significant shipment of Oxford/AstraZeneca doses arriving from the Serum Institute in India.

It means the programme is on course to be two weeks ahead of schedule. 

A large-scale Covid vaccination centre has opened in Harleston

A coronavirus jab being administered in Harleston - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Around two million text messages are now being sent to the latest cohort, accompanied by a link directing them to the national booking system.

Those who are unable to access the website can call NHS England on 119. 

Everyone in the top nine priority groups - about 30 million people - should be offered a second injection by the middle of July.

The Corn Exchange in King's Lynn is now being used as a Covid-19 Vaccination Centre. Picture: Ian Bu

The Covid vaccination centre at King's Lynn Corn Exchange - Credit: Ian Burt

This is a maximum of 12 weeks after the first, a policy designed to maximise the number of people getting a vaccine and therefore receiving protection from the disease. 

The second phase of the rollout is split into three groups: 40 to 49-year-olds; 30 to 39-year-olds; and 18 to 29-year-olds.

They are due to be offered an initial dose of the vaccine by the end of July. 

Connaught Hall in Attleborough where a new mass vaccination centre has opened. Picture: Danielle Boo

The Covid vaccination centre at Connaught Hall in Attleborough - Credit: Danielle Booden

On Wednesday morning, health secretary Matt Hancock reassured the public that the Oxford jab is safe following concerns over blood clots. 

While a definitive link has not yet been established, several European nations have suspended use of the vaccine while they await the results of further research. 

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