People aged between 56 and 59 are now being invited to book their Covid-19 vaccinations this week, NHS England has announced.
Letters sent to 850,000 people in the age group began arriving on Saturday (6 March), with another 850,000 expected to arrive on Monday (8 March).
The latest round of invitations comes after more than eight in 10 people aged between 65 and 69 took up the offer of a vaccination.
40% of UK offered first dose
More than 18 million people across England have now received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, amounting to more than one third of the adult population.
Across the whole of the UK, more than one million people have received both doses of a vaccine, while almost 21.4 million have had their first dose.
On Friday (5 March), Health Secretary Matt Hancock said more than two fifths, or 40 per cent, of the UK adult population had been offered a vaccine dose
Ministers say that the UK is on track to meet its target of giving every adult at least one dose by the end of July.
Before then, the government is aiming to vaccinate everyone in the first nine priority groups on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) schedule - the equivalent of 32 million people - by 15 April. This includes everyone who is clinically vulnerable and aged 50 and over.
Mr Hancock said: "The NHS vaccination programme is in full swing and more than 21 million of the most at-risk people have already received their first dose.
"This includes more than 90 per cent of those aged 65 and over and almost nine in 10 people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
"It's an extraordinary feat and we remain on track to offer a first vaccine to all adults by 31 July.
"We are now inviting people aged 56 to 59 to get their jabs and I urge everyone eligible to come forward as soon as possible."
Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS England national medical director for primary care, added: “The NHS vaccine programme is committed to protecting the country against coronavirus and it is testament to our incredible staff that we can now move on to the next age group.
“We must not forget that our success in vaccinating more than 18 million people is down to careful planning and the hard work of those staff.
“The vaccines are both safe and effective, so if anybody who is eligible but hasn’t been vaccinated yet, I’d urge them to go online or call 119 and get themselves booked in.”
How to book an appointment
Vaccinations are now being administered at more than 1,600 sites across the country, including mosques, museums and rugby grounds, and the distribution of centres means 98 per cent of the country lives within 10 miles of at least one vaccination service.
People can book an appointment for their jab via the national booking service to reserve a slot at an NHS vaccination centre, or one of the pharmacy-led services across the country.
To book a Covid-19 vaccine in England, visit nhs.co.uk.
You can only use this service if any of the following apply:
- you are aged 56 or over
- you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
- you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- you have a learning disability
- you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
You also need to be registered with a GP surgery in England to use this service. You can register with a GP if you do not have one.
If you are not eligible yet, you should wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to have the vaccine. You should not contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.