An extra £20 million will be invested in the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in England, it has been announced, amid a rise in Covid-19 cases across the country.
The NHS has said the cash will be used to provide extra support for GPs, pharmacists and local services at vaccination sites around the nation.
It will also help increase staffing numbers at sites over the next month to help with the ongoing jabbing efforts, with NHS England calling it the “drive for the finish line”.
NHS England medical director of primary care Dr Nikki Kanani said: “Our local GP and pharmacy sites have been an integral part of the vaccination programme, delivering around 75% of the jabs administered so far, and we are incredibly thankful for them going above and beyond to keep our families and communities protected from Covid-19.
“This additional funding gives these essential local institutions, like general practices and pharmacies, the resources to bring more staff on board and help the country drive for the finish line as we enter the final stages of the vaccine rollout.”
Local vaccination sites are also being urged to ensure second dose appointments are brought forward for those over 50 where possible.
It comes as around six in every seven people in England aged 50 and over are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to new figures.
An estimated 85.8% of people in this age group had received two doses of a vaccine by June 6, with Government setting a target to offer both jabs to all over 50s by June 21.
The NHS has also said that a record-breaking number of vaccine appointments were booked on Tuesday as those aged 25 to 29 in England were able to book an appointment for the first time.
Up to 100,000 appointments were being booked every hour.