People aged 38-39 will be able to book appointments for Covid vaccination from today (Thursday 13 May), according to a bulletin from NHS Digital.

In light of last week’s updated advice from the JCVI, 38-39s who book via the National Booking Service (NBS) will ‘automatically be directed to available appointments at vaccination centres and community pharmacy sites with supplies of either Pfizer or Moderna’, the bulletin aimed at NHS ‘digital leaders’ added.

The Government last week accepted new clinical advice, in relation to rare blood clotting events linked to the Covid vaccine, which said patients aged 30-39 should be offered an AstraZeneca alternative as a preference. And NHS England said PCN-led vaccination sites will be able to order extra Pfizer vaccine doses in order to follow the new guidance.

The NHS Digital bulletin further said that 38-39s who already have a first dose appointment for the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine booked ‘will have their appointment cancelled’ and that they are ‘being advised to consult with their GP before making a new booking for vaccination’.

In a letter to vaccine sites last week, NHS England had said that all vaccination sites should prepare to have individual conversations around risks and benefits with all patients under 40 that were scheduled to receive a first AZ vaccine dose

The news comes as NHS England has announced that the vaccine programme has now delivered 45 million jabs, equivalent to 300,000 doses a day, since the December launch.

The news comes as NHS England said nearly three quarters of people aged 40-49 have now had their first dose, less than two weeks after they became eligible.

Some 30 million people have been vaccinated with a first dose in England and more than one third of adults have had their full two-dose schedule.

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: ‘With nearly three quarters of people in their 40s having already received their first jab, the NHS is opening up to people aged 38 and 39 from tomorrow.

‘We must not forget that behind the huge numbers of people jabbed, there has been a huge amount of hard work from our staff, aided by incredible volunteers across the country. We are incredibly grateful for their efforts.’

This story first appeared on the Pharmacist's sister publication, Pulse.