Two thirds of 65 to 69 year olds vaccinated ahead of next phase

Covid-19 vaccination at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

NHS England has said two thirds of people aged 65 to 69 have had their first coronavirus vaccine dose - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

More than two thirds of people aged between 65 and 69 in England have received their first jab, ahead of the next phase of the vaccination programme.

Across Norfolk and Waveney, 297,668 patients have been administered at least one dose of the vaccine by February 14, making up 34.9 pc of the area's overall adult population.

In the region, 17.4pc of people under 70 have received their first vaccine dose by February 14.

From Monday, the vaccination programme moves into its next phase to inoculate patients aged 65 to 69 as well as 16 to 64-year-olds with serious underlying health conditions.

Also included in the next two cohorts are freelance and unpaid carers, who were not inoculated alongside frontline health and social care workers

Some parts of England had already begun vaccinating those over-65s after they reached everyone in the top four priority groups who wanted a jab.

NHS England medical director Professor Stephen Powis added: "Over 14.5 million of the most vulnerable people in England have already safely had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and with people aged between 65 and 69 now eligible too, we want everyone else in this age group to consider making this week your week to get a jab.

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"They can - including from later this week anyone aged 64 - use the online national booking service to book in at their nearest vaccination centre or pharmacy, so anyone that is able to do so should act this week to seize their opportunity for a life-saving vaccine."

NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said there were "early signs" that the vaccine rollout is contributing to the fall in coronavirus hospitalisations.

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He said: "The NHS Covid vaccination campaign continues full steam ahead - letters inviting everyone aged 65 to 69 went out a week ago, and already over two thirds of them have had their first Covid vaccination.

"Across England overall nearly a third of adults have now had their first jab, and early signs suggest this is contributing to the welcome fall in coronavirus hospitalisation that we're now seeing."

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