Over 50’s eligible for vaccine now – How to book your Covid vaccine appointment

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock has updated the nation today (Wednesday, March 17) on the coronavirus situation in the UK. Mr Hancock announced at the Downing Street press briefing that more than 25 million people – more than half of the UK adult population – has now had one vaccine dose in the UK. The Health Secretary also announced all people aged 50 and above are eligible to book their Covid vaccine appointments from today. 

Mr Hancock said the data shows vaccine rollout is contributing to the falling Covid-19 death rate in the UK.

During the briefing the Health Secretary also discussed new data, which shows swathes of the over 70s now have antibodies against the virus.

He told the Downing Street press conference: “Around 90 percent of people aged around 70 and above at that point (the start of March) had these antibodies and it has continued to expand further in the two weeks or so since then.”

Mr Hancock said it explains why deaths in the UK are “falling so fast”, down a third in the past week.

READ MORE: Jonathan Van-Tam uses box of paracetamol to shame EU’s vaccine attack

But Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said the NHS will work on making sure all of the top nine priority groups have been vaccinated before moving on to the rest of the population.

Professor Van-Tam said at Wednesday’s Downing Street conference: “It’s important we get that done properly before we move on to phase two, because phase one is where the patients are who suffer the mortality.

“A bit like a football game where the strikers who score the wonder goals are the ones who make the headlines, actually, the hard yards are done by the defenders and by the defensive midfielders tracking back, tracking back for 90 minutes of the whole game, watching everybody’s back.

“And this is what it’s going to be about now, tracking back and making sure that we finish the job properly in the phase one cohorts before we move on. That high uptake is really, really important.”

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