More than half of adults have now had both coronavirus jabs
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Health services across the UK have now administered 66,180,731 vaccines since December 8, which includes 39,758,428 people with first doses (75.5 per cent) and 26,422,303 people with both doses (50.2 per cent).
A recent study by Public Health England (PHE) shows two doses of the Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective against the Delta variant first identified in India, which is currently a cause for concern in several areas of the North West and further afield.
The government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by April 15 and says it remains on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Shortly after vaccinating three-quarters of adults with a first dose, I'm thrilled that we have now vaccinated over half of adults with the life-saving second dose.
“We know how important the second dose is to give protection, particularly against the Delta variant. That's why we’ve brought forward appointments from 12 to eight weeks for the most vulnerable people.
“I encourage everyone who is eligible to join the millions who have the fullest possible protection from this virus. Let's roll up our sleeves and put this pandemic behind us, once and for all.”
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Over half of UK adults have now been fully vaccinated and have maximum protection against this awful virus, which is heart-warming news.
“Everyone who has received their second dose can breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing that they have ultimate protection from the virus and the new variants.
“We have come an incredibly long way in just under six months with our vaccination programme. But our work is not done yet. If you’ve had one dose, please come back for your second jab when you get the offer.”
Data from PHE’s real-world study shows the vaccines are already having a significant impact in the UK, reducing hospitalisations and deaths, saving more than 13,200 lives and preventing 39,700 hospitalisations in England.
Analysis shows that people who receive a single dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine have approximately 80 per cent lower risk of death against the Alpha coronavirus variant originating in Kent and a second dose of the vaccine can provide 85 to 90 per cent protection against symptomatic disease.
Protection against death from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rises from approximately 80 per cent after one dose to 97 per cent after two doses against the Alpha variant.
Approved vaccines are available from thousands of NHS vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies.
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