NHS chiefs are urging young people to get protected against the virus ahead of going to university in September.
In line with Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance issued last week, the NHS is already vaccinating people who are 16 and 17 with a single dose of the jab at GP and walk-in sites, and more than 16,000 in this age received theirs last weekend.
It has been reported that children will not need the consent of their parents to get a jab. All 16/17-year-olds will be offered the chance to book a vaccination appointment by 23rd August.
Vaccination sites across the country are working hard to complete the rollout with more than 300 sites already offering the jab to 16 and 17-year-olds, including GP teams who began vaccinating eligible teens last week.
Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to COVID or who live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus are also being contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine.
Findings from the Office for National Statistics this week showed that willingness to get jabbed has increased among 18 to 21-year-olds and more than 1.4 million people between 18 and 24 have already been jabbed.
Since the NHS administered the first jab outside of clinical trials in Coventry in December, almost 73 million doses have been delivered with more than 33 million people receiving maximum protection from the virus.
Speaking about the importance of young people getting vaccinated, Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Young people across the country have shown fantastic enthusiasm towards our COVID-19 vaccines, which are saving tens of thousands of lives and preventing millions of infections.
"We’re working tirelessly with the NHS to ensure all 16 and 17-year-olds can get vaccinated as quickly and as easily as possible, and thousands have already had their jab at GP surgeries and walk-in sites. I am very pleased that from today all 17-year-olds who are within three months of their 18th birthday can book their vaccinations through the NHS website.
"For all those in this age group – book in your jab without delay and ensure you, your family and your friends are protected, just in time for the new school year."
If you have not already done so and would like to book your vaccination appointment, please click here.