People aged 38-39 will be able to book appointments for Covid vaccination from today, according to a bulletin from NHS Digital.
Following last week’s updated advice from the JCVI, people aged 38-39 who book via the National Booking Service will ‘automatically be directed to available appointments at vaccination centres and community pharmacy sites with supplies of either Pfizer or Moderna’, the bulletin said.
The Government last week accepted new clinical advice, in relation to rare blood clotting events linked to the vaccine, which said patients aged 30-39 should be offered an AstraZeneca alternative as a preference. And NHS England said PCN-led vaccination sites will be able to order extra Pfizer vaccine doses in order to follow the new guidance.
The bulletin also said 38-39s who already have a first dose appointment for the AstraZeneca vaccine booked ‘will have their appointment cancelled’ and that they are ‘being advised to consult with their GP before making a new booking for vaccination’.
In a letter to practices last week, NHS England had said that all vaccination sites should prepare to have conversations around risks and benefits with all patients under 40 scheduled to receive a first AZ vaccine dose.
NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: ‘With nearly three quarters of people in their 40s having already received their first jab, the NHS is opening up to people aged 38 and 39 from tomorrow.
‘We must not forget that behind the huge numbers of people jabbed, there has been a huge amount of hard work from our staff, aided by incredible volunteers across the country. We are incredibly grateful for their efforts.’