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People in England aged 25-29 are now being called forward to receive their coronavirus vaccine from Tuesday 8 June, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed.
Hancock announced the extension to the vaccination programme in a statement to MPs today, explaining that people within that age bracket will receive texts inviting them to book their first jab.
He said: "From this week we will start offering vaccinations to people under 30, bringing us ever closer to the goal of offering a vaccine to all adults in the UK by the end of next month.
"From tomorrow morning, we will open up vaccination to people aged 25 to 29.
"Over the remainder of this week, the NHS will send texts to people in these age groups and GPs will be inviting people on their lists to come forward."
Hancock explained that the vaccine rollout has helped avert 39,000 hospitalisations and 13,000 deaths, adding that the vaccination programme 'brings us hope'.
He said: "I'm sure we've all been cheered by the images we've seen of so many eligible young people coming forward and lining up to get the jab, showing that enthusiasm for the jab is not just the preserve of older generations.
"People of this country know what it takes to keep themselves and people around them safe."
Hancock went on to say that it is 'still too early' to make a decision on restrictions easing further as planned on 21 June.
He said a decision will be taken after the government has been able to assess the data.
However, in the meantime, he urged secondary school children to continue taking twice-weekly lateral flow tests, explaining that cases are rising fastest among older school children.
He added: "I am confident one day soon, freedom will return."
Hancock stated that tomorrow marks six months since the world started vaccinating people against the coronavirus, saying that so far 14 million people in the UK have been vaccinated - while two billion doses have been delivered across the globe.
While there has been progress, Hancock said there was 'no room for complacency', especially as the Delta variant has been found to be 40 percent more transmissable than the Kent variant - in turn making the race between the virus and vaccines 'tighter'.
According to Hancock, the Delta variant - which was first discovered in India - makes up the majority of new infections.
He said hospitalisations remain 'flat' despite rising cases, which largely appear to be among people who haven't had the vaccine.
Out of 12,383 new cases, 464 went on to present at emergency care and 126 were admitted to hospital. Out of those people, 83 were unvaccinated, while 28 had received one dose of the vaccine and three had received both.
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