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NHS England invites people aged 56 to 59 to book COVID-19 vaccinations in coming week

Sun 7th March, 2021 4:27am
By Kanishka Singh
    March 7 (Reuters) - NHS England has invited people aged 56
to 59 to book COVID-19 vaccinations in the coming week, with
letters to 850,000 people in that age bracket landing on
doorsteps from Saturday and another 850,000 due to land Monday.
    "The latest invites have been sent after more than eight in
10 people aged 65 to 69 took up the offer of a jab", the
National Health Service said in an emailed statement on Sunday.
    "NHS staff have vaccinated more than 18 million people
across England, meaning more than one third of the adult
population have already received the life-saving jab."
    Britain's medical regulator on Thursday said it would
fast-track vaccines for coronavirus variants, adding that makers
of already-authorised shots would not need new lengthy clinical
trials to prove their adapted vaccines work.*:nL5N2L174I
    There is concern that some variants, such as those first
found in South Africa and Brazil, may reduce the efficacy of the
first generation of COVID-19 vaccines, and manufacturers are
looking to adapt their shots.
    The accelerated process is based on that used for seasonal
flu vaccines each year, the Medicines & Healthcare products
Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said, and would be based on robust
evidence that the shots create an immune response, rather than
full clinical trials.
    AstraZeneca PLC  AZN.L , Pfizer Inc  PFE.N  and Moderna Inc
 MRNA.O  - makers of the three vaccines the MHRA has approved
for use so far - have all said they aim to modify their shots to
cope with variants this year.
    Britain has so far offered shots made by AstraZeneca and

 (Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by
Christopher Cushing)
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