NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has revealed that all over-18s should be able to book their Covid-19 jab “by the end of this week.”
“I expect that by the end of this week, we’ll be able to open up the National Booking Service to all adults age 18 and above,” Stevens said, adding that as of today, people aged 23 and 24 are able to arrange a vaccine through the national booking service.
Speaking at the NHS Confederation annual conference, Stevens said the country was making “great strides” in extending the vaccine offer to all adults, and that the 60m doses that have already been administered was a “historic achievement”.
The health leader also revealed that only about 1 per cent of hospital beds in England are currently occupied by patients with a Covid-19 diagnosis.
“It is now very important that we use the next four weeks to finish the job to the greatest extent possible for the Covid vaccination programme,” the chief executive of NHS in England said.
“By July 19 we aim to have offered perhaps two thirds of adults across the country double jabs,” he added.
Stevens warned that the vaccine supply continues to be constrained, so the NHS is pacing the rollout in line with when extra vaccines become available.
The NHS chief emphasised the need for young people to get their jab, describing how the vaccine rollout has “flipped” the age profile of those in hospital with coronavirus.
“Back in January, it was 60:40. 60 per cent of beds occupied by people over 65, 40 per cent under-65s,” Stevens said.
“Now it’s flipped to 30:70, so it’s about 30 per cent occupied by people aged 65 and over 70 per cent by younger people whose prospects are much greater,” he added.
Stevens’ jab callout comes a week after young people set a record-breaking day of more than a million coronavirus vaccine bookings, as they went live on the NHS website for 25-29 year olds.