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People aged 44 are being invited to get a COVID-19 jab as the NHS vaccine programme continues to roll out across England.

With all non-essential retail reopening on 12th April and more people being vaccinated to gain protection against coronavirus, it could mean increased footfall for mobility retailers as more outlets open and people feel safer returning to stores.

NHS England says around half a million 44-year-olds will receive a text inviting them to get their jab through the national booking service. It adds that the move to the next age group comes alongside the latest figures showing that more than two-thirds of people aged 45 to 49 have been vaccinated.

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Further details about people between 40-43 being invited for a COVID-19 jab will be outlined in the coming days in line with JCVI and vaccine supplies, the health service states.

Since the vaccination rollout began in December, more than 28 million people have been vaccinated with a first dose in England, equating to almost two-thirds of the total population of adults aged over 18.

NHS staff have also carried out more than ten million second doses and are reminding people to attend their second dose to ensure they receive maximum protection.

NHS England Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Thanks to NHS staff, people aged 45-49 have been hot on the heels of millions of people most at risk who were quick to take up the offer of a vaccine with more than two thirds getting their lifesaving jab, marking another medically important milestone in the biggest vaccination campaign in NHS history.

“When the time comes, and you get that text, book an appointment to get your vaccine – it is the best protection you and your loved ones will receive from this deadly virus.”

When invited, people will be able to book at a Vaccination Centre or pharmacy site across the country through the national booking service.

People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.

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