Bedford’s 16 and 17-year-olds urged to get Covid vaccine as booking opens

Pfizer vaccine

From 6pm today (Friday) anyone in Bedford Borough aged 16 or 17 can book their Covid-19 jab through the National Booking Service (NBS).

Almost three-quarters of a million young people in England – around 60% – have already received their vaccine thanks to the NHS “Grab a Jab” campaign, where the NHS online site finder helps people find their nearest walk-in vaccine clinic.

The online booking service now offers an additional way for people aged 16 and 17 to get a single shot of Pfizer in line with JCVI advice.

Thousands of texts will be sent to eligible teenagers in the coming days.

Messages appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and include a web link to the NHS website to make a booking.

Almost 9 in 10 adults have had their first Covid jab

More than 78 million vaccinations have been delivered and nearly 9 in 10 adults have had their first dose since the NHS in England made history when Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a clinical trial in Coventry, in December 2020.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and Deputy Lead for the NHS vaccination programme, encouraged people to get the jab if they had not yet had the single dose.

Nikki Kanani said: “It is fantastic that uptake among young people continues to be strong with well over 700,000 people aged 16 and 17 having had their Covid-19 vaccination, thanks to the NHS ‘Grab a Jab’ campaign where NHS staff have been vaccinating at festivals, football stadiums and beachfronts.

“Alongside getting protected at one of hundreds of walk-in centres across the country people aged 16 and 17 can now also book through the national booking service where they will be able to get an appointment at convenient local sites at a time that suits them.

“The vaccine is safe and effective and will mean we can continue to do the things we enjoy most as well as giving vital protection to you and your family and friends.”

Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: “The vaccine rollout continues to be a remarkable success thanks to the ongoing work the NHS is doing to make it even easier to book your jab.

“I continue to urge everyone to book their jab as soon as possible to make sure you’re giving you and your family the best possible protection.”

People within three months of their 18th birthday can book both doses through the national booking service.

In line with guidance from the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the NHS is vaccinating this age group with a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

On Monday (September 20), the NHS also began vaccinating children aged 12 to 15, after the government accepted the UK CMOs’ recommendation to extend the vaccine offer to this age group.

Also from today (Friday), health and social care workers can book an appointment via the NBS for their booster vaccine online, making it easier for them to protect themselves and their patients.

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