People aged 30 and over can now book their Covid-19 jab from today as the vaccine rollout gathers pace.

NHS England confirmed around one million people aged 30 and 31 will receive a text message in the coming days inviting them to book their jab.

Officials have brought forward the timetable for second jabs to protect the most vulnerable amid concerns over the Indian variant.

At the same time, the programmes are extending to younger age groups to try and mitigate risk.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the “phenomenal pace” of the vaccination programme.

He said: “Our vaccination programme is moving at such a phenomenal pace and I am delighted that less than six months after Margaret Keenan received the first authorised jab in the world, we are now able to open the offer to everyone in their 30s and over.

“The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic and recent data has shown the life-saving protection (that) a second dose of the jab can give, especially against the new variant.

“I urge everyone to come forward when you get the offer and play a part in getting us back to normality.”

GP and national medical director for primary care for the NHS in England, Dr Nikki Kanani, said: “Getting the vaccine is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against Covid-19 with the jabs saving thousands of lives already.

“The offer of a vaccine doesn’t expire so, if you are eligible and haven’t booked, please do come forward when you’re invited to.”