All adults in the East to be invited to get a Covid-19 vaccine

All adults in the East of England will now be able to come forward to book a Covid-19 vaccine, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.

Speaking at the NHS Confed Conference on Thursday afternoon, Mr Hancock confirmed that everyone aged 18 and over would now be invited to arrange a jab.

"The speed of deployment means that tomorrow we can open vaccination to everyone over the age of 18," he said.

Matt Hancock also revealed four in every five adults in England had now had their first jab.

The government is now hoping to boost that number further, and around 1.5 million texts will be sent to people in the 18-20 age bracket across the country on Friday morning.

The news comes after health bosses in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough said that there was "plentiful supply" of vaccines in the area, and people shouldn't hesitate to book a jab.

Matt Hancock. Credit: PA

By Thursday 10 June 2021, four in five adults in the East of England had received their first vaccine injection with 60% of all adults in the region being given both doses.

More than 900,000 people in the East of England will need to have their first injection in the next five weeks if the government is to meet its target of giving a first dose to all adults by July 19.

That means centres in the East will have to almost double the number of jabs they're administering on a daily basis in order to reach that goal.

People in the over 21s category queue for a vaccine in Long Melford, Suffolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It's estimated that around 28,000 first jabs will have to be done every day for the next 33 days to ensure every adult in the East has had at least one dose by mid-July.

The government are also keen to step up second doses as well, with coronavirus cases "rising exponentially" among unvaccinated groups, according to scientists.

Research has found that cases are doubling every 11 days in England as the Delta variant continues to take hold.

In order to mitigate against the risk, the gap between first and second doses is now being cut from 12 weeks to eight weeks for the over 40s.

It's hoped that reducing the time between doses will allow more people to have the strongest possible protection against the virus.

“We’re accelerating our vaccine programme by reducing the time between doses for all people aged 40 and over to eight weeks and the NHS will open invites for everyone aged 18 and above later this week," Mr Hancock said.

"So if you get the call, get the jab to fight this virus.”