Vaccination programme

Invitations to have a Covid-19 vaccine are landing on the doormats of all 16 and 17-year-olds in a further effort to boost take-up in this age group.

Nationally, more than 360,000 people, aged 16 and 17, have already had their jab – which includes those who were previously eligible due to an underlying health condition; with more than 125,000 having their jab in the last two weeks.

Now 16 and 17-year-olds will begin receiving letters, inviting them to come to their nearest walk-in centre, with many already receiving invitations from their GP and taking up the offer.

Anyone in this age group can now find their nearest centre through the ‘grab a jab’ NHS online walk-in finder, with more sites becoming available every day.

Follow-up text messages are being sent out today (August 20) to make sure NHS staff are vaccinating 16 and 17-year-olds as quickly as possible, ahead of their return to school.

GPs are also inviting at-risk children aged between 12 and 15-years-old, who are clinically vulnerable to Covid-19 or live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus, with 30,000 children in this age group already protected across England.

Those who are eligible include children living with Down’s syndrome, or who are undergoing many cancer treatments, had organ or bone marrow transplants or who are on the learning disability register.

The Covid-19 vaccine will also be offered to children aged 12 and over, who live with someone who is immunosuppressed, such as those receiving chemotherapy or who have had a transplant.

NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group’s Chief Nurse Paula Wilkins said: “The opening up of the vaccination programme to those aged 16 to 17 is a big step in making sure we’re protecting our families, friends and communities against Covid-19.

“With the start of the new academic year nearly upon us, I urge those who are now eligible to have the vaccine as soon as they can. By doing it sooner rather than later, the vaccine will have the necessary two weeks to build maximum immunity.”

A vaccination information helpline, 0330 320 4444, has been set up provide more information on the vaccine and answer any questions people may have. This is provided by Involve Kent, with translation available, if needed. You cannot book a vaccine using the helpline.

More than two million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have now been delivered at GP-led sites, large vaccination centres, community pharmacies and hospital hubs across Kent and Medway.

The National Booking Service (NBS) is open to anyone aged 18 or over, and to people within three months of their 18th birthday.

Details of walk-in clinics for young people aged 16 and 17 and services available for 12 to 15-year-olds can be found

For a full list of walk-in clinics and more information on the vaccination rollout in Kent and Medway, please also go to