Under-50s urged to get vaccine so UK ‘can continue on path back to normality’

New advertising campaign aims to push younger generations to get the jab

<p>The advertising campaign will focus on the NHS workers and volunteers delivering jabs</p>

The advertising campaign will focus on the NHS workers and volunteers delivering jabs

The government is launching a new advertising campaign to encourage the under-50s to come forward for their Covid vaccines.

Called “Every vaccination gives us hope”, the TV advert showcases the health workers and volunteers who are involved in delivering the vaccine across Britain.

The launch came as the NHS in England moved on to offering 44-year-olds their first jabs.

About half a million people living in England who are 44 will shortly be receiving a text message inviting them to book their first vaccine appointment as the rollout starts working down the population a single year at a time.

The Department for Health and Social Care said the advertising campaign was aimed at encouraging the under-50s, who have only recently become eligible for vaccinations to continue to momentum.

“Vaccines are helping us get back to doing the things we have missed - they protect you and those around you,” said the health secretary Matt Hancock.

"This campaign is a remarkable and poignant reminder of everything we’ve been through as a country and everything we have to look forward to - as well as the tireless efforts of our volunteers, NHS heroes and the British people.

"Every vaccination gives us hope and I urge everyone to take up the offer of a vaccine when it comes, as we continue on the path back to normality."

In Northern Ireland, the vaccine programme is further ahead and is now open to those aged 35-39.

More than half of the UK’s total population has now received a first dose of the Covid vaccine, a total of 33.6m people. Of those, 12.5m have also been given their second jab, completing their protection.

The government intends to have offered every adult their first dose by the end of July. Second doses are being booked in within 12 weeks of the first dose.

The progress on the vaccination campaign comes as India’s devastating second wave of coronavirus continues to sweep across the country.

Nine plane-loads of lifesaving equipment, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators, have been sent by Britain to help and are due to arrive in New Delhi on Tuesday, the Foreign Office said. More consignments of medical aid will be sent soon.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said: "The aim is to provide the support that the Indians need at their hour of need, really, judging by the distressing scenes we’ve seen in many of the hospitals in India.

“We want to provide them all the support because they’re close friends, increasingly important partners, but also we need this kind of international collaboration if we’re going to get through the pandemic. We’re not going to be safe until we’re all safe."

For the fourth straight day on Sunday, India set a global daily record for new infections, with another 349,691 confirmed cases.

Britain also intends to share some of its surplus vaccine doses with the rest of the world, the Conservative MP Damien Hinds has said.

“n all of this, we need to work together because we are ultimately one world and it is the nature of a pandemic that it’s only gone when it’s gone everywhere, and so absolutely we need to work together on that,” he told the BBC.

"And, yes indeed, on the vaccine programme as well. Because we do have 400 million doses of the various formulations of vaccine, we are in a good position to help."

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