Half of the UK’s adults have received their first dose of a Coronavirus vaccine, the Government has said.
On Thursday, a further 528,260 people received their first dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 in the UK, taking the total number of first COVID vaccine doses administered in the UK to 26,263,732. To date, just over 2 million people have received their second dose of a Coronavirus vaccine in the UK.
On Friday, more people received their first vaccine dose, including both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi. On Saturday morning, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that more people were vaccinated on Friday than any day yet and that the halfway mark had been reached. Announcing the news in a tweet, the Health Secretary said;
“Yesterday we vaccinated more people than any day yet. I’m delighted to be able to say that we’ve now vaccinated HALF of all adults in the UK
“The vaccine is a national success story & our way out of this pandemic. When you get the call, get the jab.”
The Government previously met a target of vaccinating everyone in the first four priority groups by mid-February and is aiming to offer a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to everyone in the UK aged 18 or over by the end of July this year. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, there are an estimated 52.7 million people aged 18 and over in the UK.
The achievement of the Government’s next major vaccination target looks in close reach, with the Government aiming to vaccinate the first nine priority groups set out by the JCVI (including all over 50s) by 15 April. If the current vaccination rate continues, that target will be achieved quite significantly ahead of time – though lower vaccine supply is expected for a period starting later this month.
So far, the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout has been one of the fastest in the world and the clear leader in Europe. Only Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Chile have so far given more vaccine doses relative to their country’s population.
As the number of people being vaccinated continues to increase, the number of Coronavirus patients being admitted to hospital has also continued to fall steadily. On 15 March, 494 people in the UK were admitted to hospital as COVID-19 patients – compared to 4,578 in a single day on 12 January.