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More than 25 million people receive first dose of Covid-19 vaccine in UK

by Rachel Carter
17 March 2021

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More than 25 million people in the UK have received their first Covid jab, the Government has announced.

The latest figures show staff have vaccinated a total of 25,273,226 people between 8 December and 16 March, with first doses of the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines.

A total of 1,759,445 people have also now had their second dose of a Covid vaccine.

The Government also confirmed that 95% of people aged 65 and over, and nine in 10 of those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable have now had a first dose.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said this means almost half of the adult population (26.5 million) in the UK have already been vaccinated. 

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘This is an extraordinary feat, coming exactly 100 days after Margaret Keenan received the first authorised jab in the whole world.

‘It has been a national mission, one of the one of the biggest logistical exercises since the war and I’d like to thank everyone who played their part, including every NHS vaccinator, GPs, pharmacists, volunteers and the armed forces for their crucial role in every corner of the UK.’

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi added that the vaccination programme will continue to expand over the coming weeks and more people will receive their second doses.

According to DHSC, the UK is on track to achieve the Prime Minister’s target of offering a first dose to all over 50s by 15 April, as well as all adults by the end of July.

NHS England also announced today that it is extending invites to book a Covid vaccination to all over 50s – the ninth and final priority cohort of the first phase of the programme.

It said that two million text messages will go out from today inviting patients to book with a pharmacy-led service or mass vaccination centre. Text invites will also be received ‘from local booking services through a GP-led team’.