London: More than 30 million people in the UK have received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as the NHS prepares to administer millions of second doses in the coming weeks.
The UK health services vaccinated a total of 30,151,287 people between 8 December and 27 March with first doses – around 57% of all UK adults. In addition, 3,527,481 people have had their second doses, totalling 33,678,768 jabs administered overall.
Around 6% of the adult population have had their second doses so far and there will be a strong push over the coming weeks to give people their second jabs in line with the 12 week dose interval.
The rollout is continuing at pace and the UK is on track to achieve the Prime Minister’s target of offering all over-50s and the clinically vulnerable their first vaccine by 15 April, as well as all adults by the end of July.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
I’m absolutely thrilled that more than 30 million people have now had the jab across the UK – including 650,000 vaccinations delivered yesterday.
The vaccine is saving lives and is our route out of this pandemic. I want to say a massive thanks to the team.
When you get the call – get the jab.
The speed of the vaccination programmes means even more people will soon develop strong protection from serious illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, saving countless lives and significantly reducing pressure on the NHS.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
Vaccines save lives and are the best way out of this pandemic, so I urge everyone, regardless of race or religion, to come forward for the vaccine when it’s your turn.
The NHS, GPs, pharmacists and volunteers will continue to do everything they can to vaccinate people as quickly as possible and I’m immensely proud of their tireless efforts to reach this milestone so quickly.
All vaccines being used in the UK have undergone robust clinical trials and have met the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.
The Moderna vaccine has also been approved by the MHRA and will be deployed from the spring. Rolling reviews are underway by the MHRA to assess the Janssen and Novavax vaccines.
Data from the Public Health England (PHE) real-world study shows that both the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective in reducing coronavirus (COVID-19) among older people aged 70 years and over. We are already seeing a significant impact of the vaccination programme on reducing hospitalisations and deaths, with 6,100 deaths prevented in those aged 70 and older in England up to the end of February.
The vaccines are available free of charge and are available from thousands of vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies, and we want everyone to take up the offer of an appointment when they are invited – all those 50 and over can book a jab now. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England, which includes mosques, Westminster Abbey and football stadiums.