Vaccine confidence is increasing among younger age groups, the NHS said as it urged people to have a coronavirus jab so the nation can “get back to the lives that we love”.
Dr Nikki Kanani, director of primary care for the NHS in England, said she had “goosebumps” at the thought of offering jabs to 25-year-olds just six months after the Covid-19 vaccination programme started.
Her comments came as the NHS in England opened up appointment bookings to people aged 25 to 29.
Recent polling suggests that confidence in vaccines has increased by a fifth, Dr Kanani said.
She told BBC Breakfast: “We’re still seeing great uptake and we are definitely seeing younger people coming in and asking more questions, which is absolutely fine.
“More than four in five 40 to 49-year-olds have had their first dose and two-thirds of 30 to 39-year-olds have already had theirs, and that is still going to increase, of course, as people come forward, so uptake remains high.
“We had additional polling over the weekend that shows that the confidence in the vaccine has increased by a fifth – by 20% – in those under-40s.”
She said that entering the final cohort on the vaccine priority list gave her “goosebumps”.
“With the vaccination programme, we have our best chance to start to get all of us, including the health service, back on to an even keel.”
Asked whether she thinks the June 21 relaxation of restrictions will still go ahead, she said: “I think we’re doing everything we can.
“This vaccination programme has always promised that, if we have the supply, we will keep rolling out the programme, and, as you can see on this really momentous day, we’ve continued to do so.
“My message to anyone listening today is please, please come forward if you get the message, either for your first dose or your second dose, because that is the best thing that we can all do to start to get back to the lives that we love and that we’ve been missing.
“But the actual (decision on) June 21, that’s one for Government.”