People Aged 44 in England Invited for Covid-19 Vaccine


People aged 44 will be invited to book their coronavirus vaccine in England from Monday, as the government launches a new TV ad campaign urging younger people to get the shot.

More than half of the U.K. population have now received a first dose -- some 33.7 million people -- but Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in an emailed statement that “the battle is not yet over.”

Around half a million 44-year-olds will get a text message inviting them to get the shot. The decision to move to people aged 40-43 will be set out in the coming days, based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization and “as supply allows,” NHS England said.

Mutation fears

The new multimedia campaign, which includes the vaccine program’s first TV advert, will be aimed at people aged under 50 being offered their first dose.

“Every vaccination gives us hope and I urge everyone to take up the offer of a vaccine when it comes, as we continue on the path back to normality,” Hancock said.

The government wants to encourage vaccine uptake in the younger cohorts to ensure Covid-19 cases remain low across the U.K. in the coming months. There are fears that a rise in infections among the most socially active groups could lead to a potentially dangerous mutation which could prove partly resistant to vaccines.

That could derail Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to reopen all sectors of the economy and all legal limits on social distancing from June 21.

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