The huge surge in bookings comes as health experts say the successful vaccination drive could see all remaining lockdown restrictions lifted ahead of schedule on 5 July, two weeks earlier than currently planned.
We want to hear from you: let us know what you think about this story and be part of the debate in our comments section below
At a glance: 5 key points
- A total of 1,008,472 vaccine appointments were arranged over Friday and Saturday (18-19 June) via the booking service, averaging more than 21,000 every hour, or six every second, NHS England said.
- The full figure is likely to be higher as it does not include appointments at local GP-led vaccination services or people receiving the jab at walk-in centres
- Hundreds of people queued at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium in London on Sunday (20 June) for their jabs, while similar pop-up centres opened at the Olympic Stadium, Stamford Bridge, Charlton Athletic FC, Selhurst Park and Crystal Palace Athletics Centre on “Super Saturday”
- Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and YouTube have partnered with the government and NHS in an effort to encourage more young people to come forward for their Covid-19 vaccination
- It is hoped all adults aged 40 and over will received their second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine before the full lifting of all lockdown restrictions in England, planned for 19 July
What’s been said
NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said “it is fantastic” that so many young people have come forward for their jab, now that the vaccination programme has been opened to all adults aged 18 and over.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “It is superb to see the continued enthusiasm young people are showing for vaccines across the country.
“It is vital we build on this momentum for second doses so people have the fullest protection possible.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson had originally planned to end all legal coronavirus restrictions in England on Monday (21 June), but delayed the lockdown roadmap by four weeks following concerns over the rapidly spreading Delta Covid-19 variant.
Instead only a minor change to restrictions will be made on Monday (21 June), with the 30-person cap for weddings now removed, allowing venues to limit numbers based on space required to enforce social distancing measures.
Mr Johnson is also facing pressure from backbench Conservative MPs over current border restrictions, after The Times reported that fewer than one in 200 travellers from amber list countries are testing positive for Covid-19.
Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs, said: “It’s time British people were able to reap the benefits of the vaccines and for us to get the travel industry moving.”
- The NHS has now administered around 62 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines since Margaret Keenan became the first member of the public to get a jab on 8 December 2020
- Four in five adults have now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, with three in five now fully vaccinated, according to NHS England
– Almost nine million people in their twenties and thirties have now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.