More people are being invited for a COVID-19 jab, which spells good news for the mobility retail sector as cases continue to fall and more people are protected, with people aged 45-49 years old now being invited to receive a vaccine.

While mobility retailers are classed as ‘essential’, many other retailers had to close during England’s lockdown. However, as outlined in the UK’s lockdown exit plan, non-essential retailers are now permitted to reopen, which should see more footfall return to retail locations and mobility stores as more people receive protection from coronavirus.

The UK is moving into the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme as the UK government hits its target to offer everybody in phase 1 of the vaccination programme a jab.

Everybody in cohorts 1 to 9 – those aged 50 and over, the clinically vulnerable and health and social care workers – has been offered a vaccine, meeting the government’s 15 April target ahead of time. This group accounted for 99 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths during the pandemic.

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The significant milestone marks the beginning of phase 2 of the vaccination programme with 45 to 49 year olds now able to book appointments through the NHS booking service.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has now published its final advice on phase 2, which the government has accepted.

In line with the JCVI advice, eligible people will be invited to receive their vaccines in order of age over the coming weeks and months.

In England, around 95 per cent of people aged 50 and over have received a first dose, while 92 per cent of people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 have also received a vaccine.

The NHS will continue to offer vaccines to people in cohorts 1 to 9 who have not yet come forward and will be offering people their second doses within 12 weeks in line with the guidance from the JCVI.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I can announce formally, that from today we have opened up invitations to get a vaccine to all aged over 45, and then we will proceed to everyone aged over 40 in line with supplies.

“Finally, following a successful start last week in Wales, the Moderna vaccine will be rolled out in England from today.

“I’m very grateful to everybody involved in this vaccination programme, which allows us to lift restrictions across the country and already has saved over 10,000 lives, with more to come.”

People aged 49 are set to receive texts from NHS England inviting them to book appointments in the coming days. This will be followed by others in cohort 10 in order of age over the coming weeks and months.

The speed of the vaccination programme means even more people will soon develop strong protection from serious illness from COVID-19 infection, saving countless lives and significantly reducing pressure on the NHS, which supports the Prime Minister’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions.

There has already been a significant impact of the vaccination programme on reducing hospitalisations and deaths, with more than 10,000 lives saved by vaccinations between December and March.

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