44-year-olds can now book Covid jab as vaccine rollout extends

Doctor Parikh with the Pfizer vaccine at Constable Country Medical Practice.  

The Covid vaccine rollout programme has been extended to 44-year-olds (file photo) - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The coronavirus vaccine is now available to 44-year-olds in Suffolk and Essex after NHS England extended the rollout programme.

Around half a million 44-year-olds in England will receive a text message inviting them to get their jab through the national booking service from today.

The decision on when to move to people aged between 40 and 43 will be outlined in the coming days, with the NHS vaccinating in line with advice from government scientists and as supplies allow.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: "Thanks to NHS staff, people aged 45-49 have been hot on the heels of millions of people most at risk who were quick to take up the offer of a vaccine with more than two thirds getting their lifesaving jab, marking another medically important milestone in the biggest vaccination campaign in NHS history.

"When the time comes, and you get that text, book an appointment to get your vaccine - it is the best protection you and your loved ones will receive from this deadly virus."

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, added: "It is testament to the hard work of NHS staff that we are now able to vaccinate people in the next age group.

"If you are aged 44, when you are invited to do so, please do book your jab as appointments become available - it is simple, effective and provides vital protection against the coronavirus."