4 in 5 adults receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine
With 72,891,861 doses administered in total, 42,216,654 people across the UK have now been vaccinated with a first dose (80%), while 30,675,207 people have had both doses (58%).
New analysis by Public Health England (PHE) shows for the first time that two doses of COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.61.2) variant. The analysis suggests the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after both doses.
The Government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by 15 April and is on track to offer a first dose to all adults by 19 July, 2 weeks earlier than planned. By 19 July, all those aged 40 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable, who received their first dose by mid-May, will have been offered their second dose.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Now that 4 in 5 adults in the UK have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and more than half of adults have had a second jab, we are entering the final furlong in our race against the virus.
"Vaccines save lives and have enabled us to restore many freedoms that we cherish. To allow us to ease restrictions fully, it is more important than ever that people come forward for their jabs when eligible and book a second dose to receive the fullest possible protection. We’re accelerating our vaccine programme by reducing the time between doses for all people aged 40 and over to 8 weeks and the NHS will open invites for everyone aged 18 and above later this week.
"Our successful vaccination programme is weakening the link between cases and hospitalisations. The latest evidence shows that two doses are needed to provide effective protection against the Delta variant."