People aged 34 and over can book their Covid-19 jab from Thursday (EMBARGOED UNTIL 20/05/2021 00:01)
Younger people are being vaccinated sooner in response to the Indian variant (Picture: Getty)

The age at which healthy adults in England book their Covid vaccination has been lowered from 36 to 34.

More than one million people aged 34 and 35 will get a text from the NHS on Thursday or Friday inviting them to get the jab.

NHS England said the minimum age will fall into the early thirties ‘over the next few days and weeks’.

Younger age groups are being vaccinated earlier where possible to guard against the Indian variant, which some experts fear could delay or derail the UK’s exit from lockdown on June 21.

A total of 2,967 cases of the variant have now been identified – an increase of 28 per cent since Monday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the country is still ‘on track to hit our target of offering a vaccine to all adults by the end of July’.

He added: ‘The vaccine is our way out of the pandemic and the key to getting back to normal.

‘I’m delighted that 70% of adults across the country have already been vaccinated with their first dose, and 40% with their second.

A health worker injects a dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine at a temporary vaccine centre set up at City Hall in Hull, northeast England on May 7, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
The UK is on track to vaccinate all adults by the end of July, Matt Hancock said (Picture: AFP)

‘We have one of the highest uptake rates in the world but we’ll continue to do everything we can to make sure no one is left behind. Please come forward for the jab once you get the offer – it could save your life and protect your loved ones.’

Nearly 58 million doses have been administered in less than six months across the UK, according to official figures released on Wednesday.

Northern Ireland has extended its vaccine programme to include anyone aged 25 and over, while in Scotland anyone aged 30 and over now qualifies.

In Wales some 43 per cent of 18- to 29-year-olds, and 62 per cent of those aged 20 to 39, have had their first dose.

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