More than 5 million people in the UK have received their second dose of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
Health services across the UK have now administered over 36.6 million vaccines between 8 December and 02 April, including over 31.4 million people with their first dose and over 5.2 million with their second.
The milestone means nearly 1 in 10 of all UK adults have received both vaccines, ensuring maximum protection from the virus over the coming months.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
‘Our spectacular vaccination programme has now delivered over 5 million second doses, giving those most vulnerable to COVID – including half of all those aged over 80 – the best possible protection.
‘This is vital so everyone can get the strongest possible protection against COVID-19 as we progress along the road to freedom, allowing us to reclaim the things we love.
‘I want to give a big thank you to all those who have helped us reach this milestone.
‘The UK remains on track to achieve the Prime Minister’s target of offering a first dose to those aged 50 and over by mid-April, as well as all adults by the end of July.
• Where and how to book your Covid vaccine in Nottinghamshire
Minister for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi said:
‘Vaccines are an incredibly important part of our route out of lockdown and this pandemic, and it’s vital people take advantage of the protection they provide.
‘No matter who you are, where you live, your race or your religion, I encourage everyone to take up both their vaccinations when offered and help this country get back to normality.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and medical director for primary care at NHS England, said:
‘The biggest vaccination programme in NHS history – the fastest in Europe – reaches another significant milestone as more than 5 million people have now received their second dose providing them with the strongest possible protection from serious disease.
‘This success is testament to the tens of thousands of volunteers, everyone working behind the scenes and NHS GPs, nurses and vaccinators who are continuing to offer vaccines to all those who are eligible so please do come forward for your second dose when called.
‘All vaccines being used in the UK have undergone robust clinical trials and have met the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.’
The Moderna vaccine has also been approved by the MHRA and will be deployed from the Spring. The MHRA are also assessing the Janssen and Novavax vaccines.
Data from the Public Health England (PHE) real-world study shows that both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective in reducing coronavirus (COVID-19) among older people aged 70 years and over.
The country is already seeing a significant impact from the vaccination programme on reducing hospitalisations and deaths, with at least 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 sites such as mosques, Westminster Abbey and football stadiums.