Over 70 million COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered to adults in the UK, the latest figures published today (Friday 11 June) show, as the vaccination programme continues at unprecedented pace and scale.
With 70,253,625 doses administered in total, 41,088,485 people across the UK have now been vaccinated with a first dose (78%), while 29,165,140 people have had both doses (55.4%).
The government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by 15 April and remains on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July. NHS England has extended the offer of a vaccine to everyone aged 25 and over this week.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
Our COVID-19 vaccination programme continues at an unparalleled pace and we are almost at the final lap of the race to offer a dose to all adults by the end of July.
70 million total doses is a phenomenal achievement and it’s truly heartening to think that this provides 70 million shots of protection and hope for a country that has battled so hard to keep COVID-19 under control over the past 18 months.
The number of appointments booked over the past few days just goes to show how enthusiastic we are as a nation towards getting the vaccine – I urge all who are eligible to get their jab at the earliest possible opportunity.
A recent study by Public Health England (PHE) shows that 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant. Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant is similar after 2 doses compared with the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant, and we expect to see even higher levels of effectiveness against hospitalisation and death.
To ensure people have the strongest possible protection against COVID-19, appointments for second doses have been brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for the remaining people in the top 9 priority groups who have yet to receive both doses.
The move followed updated advice from the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which has considered the latest available evidence and has recommended reducing the dosing interval to counter the threat of new variants of concern.
The government and its scientific experts are monitoring the evolving situation and rates of variants closely, and will not hesitate to take additional action as necessary.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
This is another fantastic milestone and cause for celebration. 70 million vaccines administered in total is a testament to the tireless work of our brilliant health and care workforce, who I can’t thank enough for their efforts.
With over 14,000 lives saved, the benefits of the vaccine are clear – when offered the jab, make sure you book your appointment and secure the fullest possible protection you can.
Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 with symptoms. Vaccinated people are even more unlikely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it and there is growing evidence that they are less likely to pass the virus to others.
Data from PHE’s real-world study shows the vaccines are already having a significant impact in the UK, reducing hospitalisations and deaths, saving 14,000 lives and preventing 42,000 hospitalisations in England.
PHE analysis also shows that individuals who receive a single dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine have approximately 80% lower risk of death against the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant and a second dose of the vaccine can provide 85% to 90% protection against symptomatic disease. Protection against death from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine rises from approximately 80% after 1 dose to 97% after 2 doses against the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant.
Data published by YouGov shows the UK continues to top the list of nations where people are willing to have a COVID-19 vaccine or have already been vaccinated.
ONS data published on 9 June shows that more than 9 in 10 (94%) adults reported positive sentiment towards the vaccine.
Approved vaccines are available from thousands of NHS vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England and vaccinations are taking place at sites including mosques, community centres and football stadiums.
NHS England’s lead for the NHS vaccination programme, Dr Emily Lawson, said:
Thanks to staff and volunteers, the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme broke more records this week as more than 1 million appointments were made in just one day as we opened to people in their twenties, and more than 85% of people aged 50 and over have now been fully vaccinated.
With well over three quarters of adults having a first dose and more than half now fully vaccinated as part of the biggest and most successful vaccination drive in history, NHS staff continue to throw everything at getting those who are eligible jabbed, as quickly as supplies allow, so when you get that text you’re next for the jab.