Published: 07:58, 16 June 2021
| Updated: 15:40, 16 June 2021
Thousands more young people across Kent are set to be offered the Covid vaccine - as the NHS approaches the end of the first dose roll-out.
More than 970,000 texts will be sent to 21- and 22-year-olds across the country this morning telling them they can now book themselves in for a jab.
This means that those aged between 18 and 20 are part of the only cohort yet to receive the call.
Speaking today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We’re almost at the final hurdle of offering lifesaving jabs to all UK adults, with both vaccines providing the fullest possible protection against symptoms, serious illness and hospitalisation from this awful virus and moving us a step closer to beating this pandemic.
“I urge everyone aged 21 and over to get your vaccines booked in as soon as possible to not only secure this extra defence for yourself, but to protect your loved ones too.”
This comes after the head of the NHS in England said that all adults in England should be able to book their first coronavirus jabs by the end of the week.
Sir Simon Stevens told a conference yesterday Tuesday that the health service will “finish the job” of the vaccination programme to the “greatest extent possible” during the four-week extension of lockdown.
But in one part of Kent teenagers are already being invited to book their first appointments.
Over-18s have been told this week that they can contact Whitstable Medical Practice to reserve their slots.
More than 28,000 patients in the town have already received their first does, while almost 23,000 have now completed the vaccination course.
When invited, people will be able to reserve a slot at one of the vaccination centres, pharmacies or general practice sites that are available.
Text invitations, which do not expire, appear as an alert from "NHSvaccine" and include a web link to the website to reserve an appointment.
Those who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.