Half of all adults in the United Kingdom have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, Health Minister Matt Hancock announced on Saturday, describing the UK vaccination campaign as a “national success story.”
“I’m delighted to be able to say that we’ve now vaccinated half of all adults in the UK,” Hancock said in a message on Twitter. “This is a national success story and our way out of the pandemic.”
Hancock thanked all the people involved in the vast vaccination campaign launched in the country in early December, and urged the rest of the population to take the vaccine. “When you get the call, get the jab,” he tweeted.
Yesterday we vaccinated more people than any day yet.
I’m delighted to be able to say that we’ve now vaccinated HALF of all adults in the UK 🇬🇧
The vaccine is a national success story & our way out of this pandemic.
The Health Minister stressed that the success of Britain’s vaccination programme was due to the hard work of many. It wasn’t easy, he said, but considerable progress was being made.
The United Kingdom has administered over 26 million first doses of a vaccine against Covid-19. On Thursday alone, 660,276 persons received a jab.
The campaign was recently extended to people above the age of 50 years. The country’s 56-year-old Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, received his first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday, one day after British and European regulators gave assurances on its safety.
Johnson received his dose at London’s St. Thomas Hospital, where he spent three days in intensive care in April 2020 after being infected with the virus.
The UK, whose death toll, at over 126,000, is the highest in Europe, uses both the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines.
A third vaccine, developed by Moderna, has been approved by the British regulator and should be available “in the next few weeks,” the Health Minister said on Thursday.
Although the delivery of vaccine supplies is expected to slow down in April, Johnson has given the assurance that the roadmap for gradually lifting restrictions linked to the pandemic in the next few weeks would not be affected.
The UK government’s aim is to give a first dose of the vaccine to all persons above the age of 50 by mid-April and to all adults by late July.