The UK’s COVID vaccine program has taken another step forward today, with anyone aged 42 years or older now eligible for the jab.
The rollout continues at pace despite growing concerns that young people may be more hesitant in receiving a vaccine than those over 50.
Anyone over 42 by July 1st will now be able to make an appointment for a COVID vaccine.
Image Credit: emmer.com.ar/Creative Commons
Earlier this week the NHS confirmed that it would be inviting those aged 43-40 to make an appointment over the coming days.
The news comes as the UK government has launched a television campaign to encourage young people to get the vaccine.
The advert will mainly target those under 50, encouraging them to get their first dose as soon as they are invited to do so.
The advert will also ask that over 50s who are yet to book in for their second dose do so.
There have been concerns that younger people will be more hesitant to receive the jab, with COVID posing less of a threat to their health and risks such as extremely rare blood clots causing concern.
Speaking to JLDN, Dr Amanda Harry, a General Practitioner in Plymouth said: “Whilst most of the over 50s have been really keen to get vaccinated we are now entering a group of people who are younger and who are less likely to take up the offers… That’s being shown in many places that it’s harder to get the younger to engage, to get their vaccines.
“This has been made worse by the fact there are concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine, which whilst the problems associated with the AstraZeneca… currently estimated at 4 cases per million, which is incredibly rare because it’s publicised… people feel that it’s much more common.
“So the younger people are being much more cautious about coming forward for their vaccines.”
Dr Harry also said that whilst some younger people may be more hesitant about receiving a vaccine, “these are also a group of people who are less likely to be admitted to hospital, so the pressures on hospitals should stay lower because they are younger and fitter with no underlying health problems.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, 42, will now be eligible to get the jab and has said that he is “really looking forward” to receiving an invite to get the jab.
As of today 33,752,885, Brits have received their first dose of COVID vaccine, while cases continue to drop with only 2,064 new cases recorded yesterday.
By Phil Dudek