More than 25-million people in the United Kingdom have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to figures released by the country’s Department of Health and Social Care.
Health services vaccinated a total of 25,3-million people between 8 December and 16 March with first doses of the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, while 1,78-million UK residents have had their second dose.
“This means almost half of the adult population have already been vaccinated and will soon develop strong protection from serious illness, saving countless lives and significantly reducing pressure on the NHS,” the department said in a statement.
One of the biggest logistical exercises since the war
“It has been such a national mission. One of the biggest logistical exercises since the war,” Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said during a Downing Street press conference.
“We’re moving in the right direction. Thanks to everybody following the rules that are keeping us safe now and coming forward to get a jab that will keep us safe for the future. So let’s stick with it, follow the rules and when you get the call, get the jab.”
According to the Department of Health, the rollout is continuing at pace and the UK is on track to achieve the Prime Minister’s target of offering the first dose of the vaccine to all over-50s by 15 April, as well as all adults by the end of July.
Jabs available free from thousands of vaccine centres
Speaking at the same press conference, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said data from Public Health England’s real-world study shows that both the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective in reducing Covid-19 infections among older people aged 70 years and over.
The vaccines are available free of charge from thousands of vaccine centres and through GPs and pharmacies. The Government says 98 percent of people live within 10 miles (16km) of a vaccination centre in England – which includes mosques, Westminster Abbey and football stadiums.
“This latest milestone is an incredible achievement – representing 25-million reasons to be confident for the future as we cautiously reopen society,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.