Covid live news: all 16- and 17-year-olds in England to be offered first jab by 23 August

All 16- and 17-year-olds in England are to be offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by Monday 23 August, the Department of Health has announced today.

Health secretary Sajid Javid said the date would give the teenagers two weeks to build up immunity before school starts again in September.

The teens will be able to get vaccinated at one of more than 800 GP-led local vaccination sites.

NHS England has launched a new online walk-in site finder to help 16- and 17-year-olds locate the nearest available centre. Further sites will come online over the coming days and weeks.

Javid said:


It is brilliant to see tens of thousands of young people have already received their vaccine – thank you for helping to further build our wall of defence against Covid-19 across the country.

I have asked the NHS in England to ensure they offer a first dose of the vaccine to everyone aged 16 and 17 by next Monday 23 August, this will make sure everybody has the opportunity to get vital protection before returning to college or sixth form.

Please don’t delay – get your jabs as soon as you can so we can continue to safely live with this virus and enjoy our freedoms by giving yourself, your family and your community the protection they need.

According to the latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University the vaccines have already saved around 84,600 lives and prevented 23.4 million infections and 66,900 hospitalisations in England up to 6 August.

Teenagers within three months of turning 18 can book their vaccine appointment online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119. About 100,000 texts are being sent to those eligible inviting them to book their jabs.

Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to Covid-19 or who live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus are also being contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine by 23 August, ahead of the new school year.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said:


Young people have shown great enthusiasm to get their vaccines and this has allowed us to safely enjoy the things we have missed, such as going to the pub or seeing family and friends.

Thank you to the NHS and volunteers for your continued dedication to protect people from this virus. I urge everybody else to get their vaccines as soon as possible.

The government said it was working closely with the NHS “to make it as easy as possible to get a vaccine”, including through “grab a jab” pop-up vaccine sites across the country, such as the London-based nightclub Heaven, as well as football stadiums and festivals.

A media campaign to encourage young people to get jabbed has included partnerships with high-profile entertainment and sports personalities in short films, including film stars Jim Broadbent and Thandiwe Newton, and football figures Harry Redknapp and Chris Kamara.

The government has also partnered with dating apps, social media platforms and large companies, such as Uber and Deliveroo, on adverts and incentives to get the vaccine.

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