Young people in Lincolnshire nearing their 18th birthday have been invited to book their COVID-19 vaccination from today.
Teenagers with three months to go until they turn 18 can now book their appointment online through the national booking service or by calling 119.
Text messages will be sent to more than 100,000 eligible teens inviting them to arrange their jab at one of the county’s vaccine sites.
NHS chiefs are urging young people to get protected against the virus ahead of going to university in September.
Findings from the Office for National Statistics this week showed that willingness to get jabbed has increased among 18 to 21 year olds and more than 1.4 million people between 18 and 24 have already been jabbed.
NHS medical director of primary care and deputy lead for vaccination programme in England, Dr Nikki Kanani, said: “As teenagers prepare to head to university or into their first full-time jobs, it is vital they get protection from coronavirus by getting their vaccine in line with updated guidance.
Vaccination sites across the country are working hard to complete the rollout with more than 300 sites already offering the jab to 16 and 17 year olds including GP teams who began vaccinating eligible teens last week.
Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to covid or who live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus are also being contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We’re working tirelessly with the NHS to ensure all 16 and 17 year olds can get vaccinated as quickly and as easily as possible, and thousands have already had their jab at GP surgeries and walk-in sites. I am very pleased that from today all 17 year olds who are within three months of their 18th birthday can book their vaccinations through the NHS website.
“For all those in this age group – book in your jab without delay and ensure you, your family and your friends are protected, just in time for the new school year.”
Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and include a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.
People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.