Nearly two million people aged 60 to 63 are being invited to book a coronavirus jab as the next stage of the vaccination programme in England.

People in this age group are welcome to book their injections from Monday after more than three in four people aged 65 to 70 have been immunised. 

A total of 19,682,048 people have now been given their first dose, as the Government aims to offer it to every adult by July.

NHS England said the latest batch of letters will mean everyone in the first seven priority groups will have been offered a jab, with people aged between 50 and 60 set to be invited shortly.

A push to get the most vulnerable protected means nine in 10 people in the top four priority groups have received a jab.

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Chief executive of NHS England, Sir Simon Stevens, has hailed the ‘rapid’ scheme, as new figures reveal 94% of UK adults are likely to accept the vaccine.

He said: ‘Since around four fifths of 65-69 year olds have now been vaccinated, we’re rapidly working our way down the generations, with people ages 60 plus now able to come forward.

‘As expected vaccine supply increases in March, we’re planning for further acceleration as we head towards Easter.’

It comes as leaders from 60 of the UK’s black majority churches join forces on Sunday to show their support for the scheme and fight against misinformation.

They will tell their congregations that they have either already been vaccinated or that they will get the vaccine when it is their turn.

The alliance of Christian leaders, which includes Bishop of Dover the Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, said they felt compelled to act after data suggested black people are among those most hesitant.

Bishop Hudson-Wilkin said: ‘When you are offered the Covid vaccine, please take it. This is our chance to show we care for ourselves and our neighbours.

‘Don’t let misinformation rob you of your opportunity to protect yourself and others.’

The initiative has been organised by Christian umbrella organisations Churches Together in England, Evangelical Alliance and YourNeighbour.

People can use the national booking service to reserve a slot at an NHS Vaccination Centre or pharmacy-led service.

Those who cannot go online can call 119 free of charge, with NHS teams visiting people who are housebound and unable to travel.

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