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More than 137,000 people get Covid vaccine in first week of programme

by Rachel Carter
16 December 2020

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More than 137,000 people in the UK have received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in the first week of the vaccination programme, according to Government figures.

The provisional figures show 137,897 people received the first of the two doses – which must be given 21 days apart – between 8 and 15 December, with 108,000 vaccinated in England.

Most of the vaccines have been administered to the over 80s, care home workers and NHS staff, the Government said, and vaccinations have taken place at more than 70 UK sites.

GP-led sites started vaccinating patients in England this week, but some GPs have reported issues with the delivery of vaccine stock, leading to delays in the rollout of the programme.   

Around 100 GP sites were set to receive Covid vaccine stock on Monday, with ‘at least another 100’ to receive theirs on Tuesday and more planned for later this week, NHS England said.

A DHSC spokesperson told Management in Practice that figures for how many people have received the Covid vaccine at a GP site will be available from next week, when formal statistics are released.

The Government has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which is the first to be authorised for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Rolling reviews on the other two vaccines – Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna – are ‘currently underway’, DHSC said.  

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘Thanks to the hard work of the NHS across the UK, over 137,000 people have already received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

‘This is just the start and we will steadily expand our vaccination programme – ultimately helping everyone get back to normal life.’