England opens COVID booster jab programme to 16- and 17-year olds

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A person receives a dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, at vaccination centre for young people and students at the Hunter Street Health Centre, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain, June 5, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

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LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - England's health service said it will expand its COVID-19 booster vaccination programme to include 16- and 17-year-olds from Monday.

Until now, booster jabs have been limited to 16- and 17-year-olds most at risk from the coronavirus.

"More than four in five adults in England have already been boosted, helping to protect them from severe illness," British health minister Sajid Javid said in a statement.

"We're now extending the programme to 16- and 17-year-olds so they can top-up their immunity this winter to keep themselves and their friends safe."

Since the vaccination programme rolled out to the age group in August, more than 889,700 teenagers – or seven in 10 people aged 16 and 17 - have had their first dose and more than 600,000 have had their second.

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Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Leslie Adler

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