Covid: UK passes 60m jabs milestone after 762,000 in a day

More than 60 million coronavirus vaccine doses have been given in the UK, the health secretary has announced.

Matt Hancock said Saturday was a “huge day” with 762,361 first or second jabs given, the second highest daily total since the rollout started.

It comes as a study found the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective after two doses against the variant identified in India.

The UK Health Security Agency’s head urged people to get their second dose.

Dr Jenny Harries said the study was the “first real-world evidence of vaccine effectiveness” against the variant and the “straightforward message” was for people to get both doses.

But speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, she urged the public to remain cautious to avoid another lockdown, warning of the threat from the Indian variant which has become the “dominant strain” in some parts of the country.

“Thank you to everyone involved in our national effort.
When you get the call, get the jab.”

‘Fantastic milestone’

The latest government data shows 556,951 UK adults received a second jab on Saturday, meaning that 43% of the adult population – 22,643,417 people – have now been fully vaccinated.

A total of 205,410 first doses were administered, with that measurement reaching 37,943,681 people, or 72% of UK adults.

The only time when more jabs were given was 20 March when 844,285 doses were administered.

Another 2,235 new cases and five deaths within 28 days of a positive test were also announced on Sunday.

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Public Health England, which ran the study into the two vaccines said they are likely to be even more effective at preventing hospital admission and deaths.

Some 13,000 deaths and 39,100 hospitalisations have been prevented in the UK due to the vaccination programme up to 9 May, according to PHE analysis.

Responding to the latest vaccination figures, Mr Hancock tweeted: “This is a fantastic milestone in our fight against this virus.

“Thank you to everyone involved in our national effort. When you get the call, get the jab.”

Earlier he said the PHE study’s findings made him “increasingly confident” that the government was on track for the final stage of easing restrictions in England on 21 June.

The data showed that getting both doses of the vaccine was “absolutely vital”, he added.




Appointments for second doses for people in England have been brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for those in the top nine priority groups.

It follows advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which recommended reducing the interval to counter the threat of new variants.

The variant – also known as B.1.617.2 – is responsible for the majority of new cases in parts of England.

The PHE study found two jabs of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine give a similar level of protection against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant as they do for the Kent one.

However, both vaccines were only 33% effective against the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose. This compared with 50% effectiveness against the Kent variant.

The Moderna vaccine has also been used in the UK since April but the study said the numbers who had received it were too small for them to include it in their research.

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