NHS website crashes after over-45s told they can book Covid vaccines

AN NHS website that allows over-45s to book their vaccine appointmentcrashed shortly after opening today.

The online booking system had been open for Covid vaccine jab bookings just minutes before it went down this morning.

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This week's rollout to under-50s marks the start of Phase 2 of the government's vaccination programme.

The government reached its target of offering a first dose to priority groups in the over-50s three days earlier.

But the NHS booking system ran into problems this morning as over-45s piled in to secure their slot.

The booking system appeared to be back working again shortly after crashing.

SYSTEM CRASH

A message on the website said: "The NHS website is currently experiencing technical difficulties.

"We are working to resolve these issues. Thank you for your patience."

Other users reported being placed in a queue, with a holding screen which read: "You are in a queue. Lots of people trying to book an appointment."

It comes as healthy Brits in their 40s are to get Covid jab invites from today ā€” three days earlier than planned.

Boris Johnson hailed it as a ā€œhugely significant milestoneā€.

We have now passed another hugely significant milestone in our vaccine programme by offering jabs to everyone in the nine highest risk groups

Ministers had previously pledged that 32 million people in the top nine priority groups would receive the jab by April 15.

Mr Johnson said: ā€œWe have now passed another hugely significant milestone in our vaccine programme by offering jabs to everyone in the nine highest risk groups.

ā€œThat means more than 32million people have been given the precious protection vaccines provide against Covid 19.

ā€œI want to thank everyone involved in the vaccine rollout which has already saved many thousands of lives.

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ā€œWe will now move forward with completing essential second doses and making progress towards our target of offering all adults a vaccine by the end of July.ā€

Almost 40 million vaccine doses have been given across the UK, with 32,190,576 first doses and 7,656,205 second doses administered.

Meanwhile, NHS patients are set to receive the Moderna vaccine today as the Government begins its next phase of the jab rollout.

The vaccine will be the thirdĀ CovidĀ jab to be dished out in Britain and will be available at 21 sites in England, officials confirmed.

Moderna offers an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for under-30s, afterĀ concerns about a possible link to very rare blood clots.

More than 20 sites, including Readingā€™sĀ MadejskiĀ Stadium and the Sheffield Arena, will initially use the newest jab – which WalesĀ andĀ ScotlandĀ began administering last week.

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