Everyone aged 50 or over in England can now book a coronavirus vaccination
Everyone aged 50 and over in England is now being invited to book a coronavirus vaccination on the NHS website.
It comes after the government announced last month that all over-50s should be offered a coronavirus vaccine by May.
The government is aiming to offer a vaccine to all those in the first nine priority groups by then.
This includes older care home residents and staff, everyone over 70, all front line NHS and care staff, those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, the over-65s, all those over 16 with underlying health conditions, the over-60s, over-55s and now the over-50s.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has already recommended that the next phase of COVID vaccinations should continue to prioritise people by age and not their occupation to avoid slowing down the rollout.
People aged 40-49 will be the next in line to get a vaccine after all vulnerable groups and the over-50s are covered.
The committee said this would provide "the greatest benefit in the shortest time".
It added that prioritising occupational groups such as teachers and police could make the rollout more complex and could potentially slow the programme overall, leaving some vulnerable people at higher risk for longer.
The priority order of vaccinations for phase two will be:
• Everyone aged between 40 and 49
• Everyone aged between 30 and 39
• Everyone aged between 18 and 29
Nearly 25 million people across the UK had received their first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by Tuesday.
The UK also carried out 53,366 second vaccination jabs on Monday, meaning 1,663,646 people have had a full course of a drug.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set the target of vaccinating all UK adults by the end of July.
England is eyeing a return of the rule of six and the resumption of organised sports on 29 March.
Elsewhere, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the country’s "stay at home" order would be replaced with a "stay local" message on 2 April.
It follows a similar move from the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, with the "stay at home" order changed over the past weekend.
Northern Ireland’s lockdown restrictions will be reviewed later this week.
(c) Sky News 2021: Everyone aged 50 or over in England can now book a coronavirus vaccination