COVID-19 jabs open to over-25s and could widen to children by late summer

COVID-19 vaccination will be offered to over-25s across England from 8 June and could expand to children from late summer - while in Wales all adults will be invited for a first dose by 14 June.

Belmont Health Centre in north London ran a walk-in clinic for over-18s who live or work in Harrow at the weekend (Photo: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
Belmont Health Centre in north London ran a walk-in clinic for over-18s who live or work in Harrow at the weekend (Photo: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons on 7 June that people aged over 25 would be able to book jabs from the morning of 8 June. 'GPs will be inviting people on their list to come forward,' he said.

Mr Hancock reiterated an announcement last week that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has been asked to advise on a rollout of vaccination to 12- to 17-year-olds, following MHRA approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for use in children aged between 12 and 15. It had previously been licensed for use in those over 16.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Telegraph has reported that a vaccination programme for children could start as early as the second half of August. The paper said government sources had said that current modelling suggested the NHS would be ready to begin vaccinating 12- to 17-year-olds by that point.

COVID-19 vaccination

NHS staff across the UK are continuing to drive the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The Welsh government said it will be extending the offer of vaccination to all adults six weeks ahead of the original deadline of the end of July. First minister Mark Drakeford said the country expected to hit 75% take-up of the first vaccine dose across all age groups and priority groups a month ahead of target.

Northern Ireland has already offered a first dose to all adults, although vaccine supplies mean appointments available each week are limited.

In Scotland vaccination is currently open to over-30s. In specific areas of Glasgow all over-18s are being offered the jab in response to a recent spike in cases as a result of the Delta variant, first identified in India.

Some vaccination sites in England have also been running walk-in clinics open to patients aged over 18 in a bid to avoid wasting vaccines.

Delta variant

Mr Hancock told MPs on 7 June that the majority of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in recent weeks had not been vaccinated. As of 3 June, of the 12,383 cases identified of the Delta variant of COVID-19, 464 had presented at emergency departments and 126 had been admitted to hospital.

Of these hospitalised cases, 83 were in unvaccinated patients, 28 in patients who had received one dose of vaccine and three cases were in patients who had received both doses.

Mr Hancock said: 'We should all be reassured by this because it shows that those vaccinated groups who previously made up the vast majority of hospitalisations are now in the minority. So the jabs are working.'

Child vaccination

The health and social care secretary also confirmed to MPs that the government had asked the JCVI to 'come forward with clinical advice on vaccinating 12- to 17-year-olds'.

NHS England's chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said that the move to extend vaccination to those ged 25-29 meant that the 'world-beating NHS vaccination programme' was entering 'the home straight of our race to offer everyone their first dose'.

Wales has today also published an updated vaccine strategy, which sets out the steps it will take after all adults have been offered their first dose of the jab. It includes measures for minimising inequalities and highlights the importance of second doses.

The strategy says that government is planning so that NHS Wales will be ready to deliver any booster doses required 'as soon as the final advice from JCVI is confirmed'. 'We expect to receive interim advice [on booster doses] over the summer,' it adds.

As of 6 June, 40.3m people across the UK had received a first dose of the vaccine and 27.7m had received a second dose.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

The healthcare crisis in Myanmar - how UK GPs can help

The healthcare crisis in Myanmar - how UK GPs can help

Dr Jim Brockbank from Myanmar UK GP Health Action provides an update on how the military...

GPs warn of 'open floodgates' as 84% say e-consultations have driven up workload

GPs warn of 'open floodgates' as 84% say e-consultations have driven up workload

More than four fifths of GPs say e-consultation systems adopted in the pandemic have...

Map: Which CCGs have the highest COVID-19 vaccine coverage?

Map: Which CCGs have the highest COVID-19 vaccine coverage?

Tens of millions of COVID-19 jabs have been administered across England, but how...

Podcast: Greener practice, sharing patient data and additional roles

Podcast: Greener practice, sharing patient data and additional roles

In this episode we look at data extraction from GP records, ask whether the additional...

Red flag symptoms: Loss of consciousness

Red flag symptoms: Loss of consciousness

Red flag symptoms to look out for in presentations of loss of consciousness, including...

£20m fund to speed up second jabs as CCGs told to limit pressure on practices

£20m fund to speed up second jabs as CCGs told to limit pressure on practices

NHS England has announced £20m in funding to help local COVID-19 vaccination sites...