All patients over 30 years old are now able to receive a Covid vaccination, after NHS England opened up bookings to people aged 30 and 31.
NHSE said that the new age bracket will mean an additional one million people will receive an invitation via text.
Earlier this month, the Government accepted updated JCVI clinical advice in relation to rare blood clotting events linked to the vaccine, which said patients aged 30-39 should be offered an AstraZeneca alternative as a preference.
Meanwhile, NHS England said PCN-led vaccination sites will be able to order extra Pfizer vaccine doses in order to follow the new guidance.
This comes after NHSE told GP-led vaccination sites to bring forward second-dose appointments from 12 to eight weeks for all risk group patients who have yet to be fully vaccinated, in a bid to tackle rising cases of the Indian (B1.617.2) variant in parts of the country.
Dr Emily Lawson, NHSE’s lead for the NHS vaccination programme, said: ‘The success of the NHS vaccination programme is not a happy accident – it’s the result of exceptional planning, targeted delivery and people’s determination to protect their patients, friends and communities as fast as possible.’
Dr Nikki Kanani, national medical director for primary care, said: ‘Getting the vaccine is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against Covid-19 with the jabs saving thousands of lives already and today the biggest and most successful NHS covid vaccination programme in history is rolling out to everyone in their thirties.
‘The offer of a vaccine doesn’t expire so if you are eligible and haven’t booked please do come forward when you’re invited to.’
This follows the launch of a UK clinical trial to test seven different vaccines for a third ‘booster’ Covid shot, which the Government said will inform any potential booster jab campaign later this year.
Meanwhile, the UK’s first study into the safety of Covid-19 vaccines in pregnant people launched last week, with recruitment now open at 11 NHS sites.