COVID-19: Over-65s to start receiving vaccine letters next week as rollout moves on

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Over-65s will begin receiving letters inviting them to get COVID vaccines from early next week as part of the next phase of the UK's vaccination programme, Sky News understands.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously set a deadline of Monday 15 February for offering a first dose of a vaccine to 15 million people in the four most vulnerable groups.

This includes older care home residents and staff, everyone over 70, all frontline NHS and care staff, and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

After the first four priority groups have been offered some protection, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended all those over 65 should be next in line for jabs.

Once over-65s have been invited, they will then be followed by all those over 16 with underlying health conditions, the over-60s, the over-55s and then the over-50s.

The JCVI is due to recommend which groups should be next in line for prioritisation once the first nine groups - including all over 50s - have been offered jabs.

So far, just over 13.5 million people in the UK have received a first dose of a COVID vaccine, with nearly 525,000 having also had a second dose.

Home Office minister Victoria Atkins told Sky News on Friday that the government was "absolutely confident" of meeting their first vaccination target.

"That deadline of Monday is there and we will meet it," she said.