Greater than 15 million folks within the U.Okay. have had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, in a transfer hailed as a “important milestone” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The U.Okay. authorities on Sunday night confirmed that 15,062,189 folks had now acquired a primary dose of the jab, with Johnson saying the “extraordinary feat” had seen vaccines administered “into the arms of a number of the most susceptible folks within the nation.”
Ministers had aimed to supply a vaccine to everybody within the U.Okay.’s prime 4 precedence teams — equal to fifteen million folks — by February 15.
Whereas the info doesn’t present whether or not this pledge has been met throughout the 4 U.Okay. nations, Johnson mentioned all 4 susceptible cohorts in England had now acquired their first dose. Wales final week turned the primary U.Okay. nation to satisfy the purpose.
Britain’s 4 preliminary precedence teams embrace frontline employees within the Nationwide Well being Service; care dwelling residents and employees; these aged over 70; and people who find themselves thought to be clinically extraordinarily susceptible. The NHS this weekend started inviting folks aged 65-69 to get vaccinated.
The determine comes two months after Britain — which has endured a steep dying toll from the virus — started a vaccination program that has drawn favorable worldwide comparisons.
Jonathan Ashworth, shadow well being secretary for the opposition Labour Celebration, mentioned ministers wanted to “lock within the positive factors of vaccination” by boosting measures to curb the unfold of the virus, together with extra beneficiant monetary help for these in self-isolation.
“We’ve got already seen the virus mutate, it’s pressing extra is finished to scale back its unfold whereas vaccination continues at tempo,” he added.
The well being service’s chief government Simon Stevens mentioned the milestone was a “exceptional shared achievement” and marked the “greatest and quickest in Europe — and within the well being service’s historical past.”
The most recent figures in the meantime present 537,715 folks within the U.Okay. have acquired a second dose of a vaccine.