Those aged 70 and over and clinically very vulnerable are now receiving invitations for the vaccine (Photo: Getty Images)

People older than 70 and people who are clinically very vulnerable will receive an invitation for a coronavirus vaccination starting this week.

This milestone means that the government’s vaccination programme will now begin vaccinating the next two priority groups, with more than 3.8 million people having already received their first vaccination.

Nursing home residents and staff from NHS and social services will remain a priority, but facilities with sufficient stock and capacity to immunise more people may invite the next two groups.

Boris Johnson promised to vaccinate the first four priority groups by the middle of next month, and Dominic Raab said Sunday that all adults will be offered the first dose by September.

The Prime Minister said: Today marks an important milestone in our vaccination program as we open it up to millions of people who are most at risk for Covid 19 infection.

We are now delivering the vaccine at 140 injections per minute and I want to thank everyone who participated in this national effort.

We still have a long way to go and there are certainly challenges – but by working together we are making huge progress in our fight against this virus.

The following two priority groups will receive the vaccine (Photo: PA).

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Health Minister Matt Hancock said: Now that more than half of those over 80 have been vaccinated, we can begin vaccinating the next most vulnerable groups.

If the area has already reached an overwhelming majority of Grades 1-2, they can now begin to open the program to Grades 3-4.

We are working day and night to ensure that by mid-February all our health and social care professionals and the clinically highly vulnerable are offered the vaccine, and our NHS heroes are making great strides in this endeavour.

This action does not mean we are focusing on vaccinating nursing homes, medical staff and people over the age of 80 – this remains our top priority in the coming weeks to reach all other groups.

Audrey Elson, 84, receives an Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at Lichfield Cathedral (Photo: PA).

Ten more mass vaccination centres will open this week, ready to help the one million people over 80 who have been invited to be vaccinated.

Blackburn Cathedral, St Helens rugby pitch, Norwich food court and an amusement park outside York are some of the places where large-scale vaccinations will take place from Monday.

They will join the seven existing mass vaccination centres in the country, as well as the 1,000 GP practices and more than 250 hospitals that already offer vaccinations.

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