More than a third (43%) of the UK’s adult population are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced.
In total, the NHS has delivered over 60 million vaccine doses to eligible members of the public since the programme was first launched on 8 December.
The latest figures show 37.9 million people (72%) have received their first dose and 22.6 million (43%) have had both doses.
This comes as 32 and 33-year-olds in England were called over the weekend (22 May) to book their vaccine, a week after people aged 36-37 became eligible.
Text messages inviting people to book a vaccination were sent to those aged 33 from Saturday and those aged 32 from today (24 May), an NHS England update said.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said yesterday (23 May): ‘Today we hit yet another phenomenal achievement, with 60 million jabs in arms and over four in 10 people fully vaccinated with two doses.
‘I want to pay tribute to the heroic work of NHS workers, volunteers, local authorities and civil servants across the whole country who have worked tirelessly to help make this happen.’
NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: ‘This latest milestone in our ongoing fight against Covid-19 is another opportunity to thank everyone again working throughout this weekend to deliver the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme come rain or shine, through thick and thin – undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements in Health Service history.’
GP-led vaccination sites were last week told to bring forward second-dose appointments from 12 to eight weeks for all risk group patients who have yet to be fully vaccinated, in a bid to tackle rising cases of the Indian (B1.617.2) variant.
Earlier this month, Public Health England (PHE) published research that suggested Covid-19 vaccines had saved 11,700 lives and stopped 33,000 people from needing hospital treatment in England.