New NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard has issued a statement urging young people to be vaccinated against COVID

Nurse administered vaccine to young man

Recent hospitalisation figures have revealed that people aged 18–34 years now make up more than one in five of those hospitalised by COVID-19. At the peak of the COVID-19 winter wave in January, patients aged 18–34 years only made up 5.4%, or one in 20, of those admitted to hospital for the disease.

More than quarter of a million adults aged under 30 years have come forward for their first or second dose in the past week, in addition to 1600 aged 80 years and over. The NHS has vaccinated around nine in 10 adults in all, and almost three-quarters have received both doses. This, according to NHS England, is the biggest and most successful vaccination drive in the history of the NHS.

Speaking at a vaccine clinic in Reigate, Amanda Pritchard, NHS Chief Executive, has urged young people to get vaccinated, saying, ‘There is no doubt that the NHS vaccination programme is having a major impact, keeping around 52,000 people out of hospital and saving an estimated 60,000 lives.

‘However, we must not forget that there are more than 5000 people who are seriously ill in hospital with COVID and more than a fifth of those admitted are young people.

‘NHS teams are putting on pop-up clinics and walk-in centres in addition to around 1600 permanent sites, to make it as easy as possible to protect yourself, your family, and your friends, so do not delay sorting your jab.

The NHS wrote to local health teams in July to offer guidance on phase three of the vaccination programme, including plans for the delivery of the COVID booster vaccine and flu jab to vulnerable groups. The letter also asked health teams to consider offering additional health checks, where practical and appropriate, to patients attending for vaccination.

Adults are currently being texted to remind them to bring forward their second jab to 8 weeks after the first, in line with updated Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation guidance.