Around 1m people will receive a text message on 13 May allowing them to access the national booking service (NBS), as the NHS in England announced it had now delivered more than 45m doses of COVID-19 vaccine in total.
NHS Digital confirmed that people aged 38-39 will be directed to available appointments at vaccination centres and community pharmacy sites with supplies of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
This follows a government announced last week that people aged 30-39 would be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to those aged under 30.
NHS Digital has also informed GPs that people in their thirties who already have a first dose appointment at sites offering only the AstraZeneca vaccine, will have their appointment cancelled and be advised to consult with their GP before making a new booking.
Pregnant women will also be able to book through the NBS from 13 May and will be directed to vaccination centres offering Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in their local area in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance.
The move to the next age group comes as nearly three quarters of people aged between 40 and 49 have had their first dose.
Since the vaccination rollout began in December, nearly 30m people have been vaccinated with a first dose in England - two thirds of the total adult population. More than a third of adults have had both doses. UK-wide nearly 36m people have received at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 18m have received two.
NHS England national medical director Professor Stephen Powis, said: ‘The success of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme is not by accident but down to the careful planning and precision of NHS staff who have now delivered over 45m first and second doses.
‘With nearly three quarters of people in their 40s having already received their first jab, the NHS is opening up to people aged 38 and 39. We must not forget that behind the huge numbers of people jabbed, there has been a huge amount of hard work from our staff.’
Taking into account the 'portfolio of vaccines available in the UK in the coming months' and a cautious approach over 'the extremely small risk of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia following the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine', the JCVI said last week that adults aged 30-39 without underlying health conditions should be offered an alternative product as a preference.
However, the committee warned this preference should only apply 'where available and only if this does not cause substantial delays in being vaccinated'.
Vaccinations are now being administered at more than 1,600 sites across England, including mosques, museums and rugby grounds.