Companies like Deliveroo and Uber have offered discounts for people who have had their first jabs (Picture: Getty Images)
Young people aged 16 and 17 will all be offered their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by August 23.
Sajid Javid pulled forward his target to get the age group jabbed to ensure they have some protection before returning to school in September.
The Health Secretary said: ‘It is brilliant to see tens of thousands of young people have already received their vaccine – thank you for helping to further build our wall of defence against Covid-19 across the country.
‘I have asked the NHS in England to ensure they offer a first dose of the vaccine to everyone aged 16 and 17 by next Monday, August 23, this will make sure everybody has the opportunity to get vital protection before returning to college or sixth form.
‘Please don’t delay – get your jabs as soon as you can so we can continue to safely live with this virus and enjoy our freedoms by giving yourself, your family and your community the protection they need.’
More than 800 vaccination sites will open up to the age group which can expect to soon receive letters and texts, asking them to make an appointment with their GPs or go to a walk-in centre.
The latest data, published on Thursday, showed that 70% of people aged 18 to 29 in England had received a first dose of vaccine up to August 11, suggesting 30% are unjabbed.
The Health Secretary hopes to get everyone partially protected by the time they return to school in September (Picture: PA)
By contrast, take-up for first doses among 30-39 year-olds in England now stands at 81.2%, while for 40-49 year-olds it is 89.1%, according to NHS England estimates. All other age groups are over 90%.
While it is still unclear when other under-18 age groups will get invited to be vaccinated, clinically vulnerable children between 12 and 15 can get jabbed.
This exception also applied to children who live with very vulnerable adults – who are in more danger from coronavirus.
The Government has repeatedly urged young adults to come for a first jab, with special ‘grab-a-jab’ pop-up vaccine centres opened across the country.
Several companies which are often used by young people, including Uber, Bolt and Deliveroo, have agreed to offer discounted rides and meals who have received a first dose.
Data suggests that around 30% of young people, between the ages of 18 and 20, are still unvaccinated (Picture: Getty Images)
The vaccine rollout in England is now estimated to have prevented between 22.9 and 23.8 million infections and between 81,300 and 87,800 deaths, according to the latest research from Public Health England (PHE).
NHS deputy lead for vaccination programme in England, Dr Nikki Kanani, said: ‘Thanks to the dedication and hard work of NHS staff, well over 39 million people in England have already had their first, including more than a quarter of a million young people under the age of 18.
‘Now, as teenagers prepare to head back to school or college or into their first full-time jobs, once again NHS staff are doing everything they can to offer young people the lifesaving vaccine as quickly as possible to protect themselves and others.
‘Those who are eligible should check their nearest walk-in centre on the site-finder today or book through their GP team once invited to do so.’
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