One million jabs were booked over the weekend as officials launched a ‘summer sprint’ to vaccinate all over-18s by July 19.
Thousands queued in the rain for jabs at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium in north London yesterday after the football club turned into a walk-in vaccine clinic for the day. Most of those getting vaccinated were in their late teens or 20s.
Officials are in a race to vaccinate younger adults in a bid to halt the spread of the Indian variant and stop students bringing Covid-19 back home over the summer holidays, potentially infecting older generations. Cases are currently highest among people in their 20s and infections are five times higher in under-25s than in over-65s, as almost all older adults have received both doses.
Everyone aged 18 and over is being urged to arrange a jab if they have not yet had one, as the health service enters the final push to protect the country against the virus.
Public Health England said there has been a 79 per cent rise in one week in cases of the Delta variant, first identified in India, with the increase being driven by younger age groups.
Similar pop-up centres to the one at Tottenham Hotspur were set up on Saturday at sporting venues in London and giant jab clinics were also opened at the Olympic Stadium, Stamford Bridge, Charlton Athletic FC, Selhurst Park and Crystal Palace Athletics Centre. There were also pop up clinics at universities, such as in York and Canterbury.
The day before, the vaccine programme was thrown open to all over-18s and the NHS revealed that 1,008,472 jab appointments were booked on Friday and Saturday.
Social media firms have signed up to a government plan to encourage younger people to get the Covid jab. Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and YouTube joined the scheme.
The success of the vaccination rollout is crucial if ‘Freedom Day’ can finally go ahead on July 19.