science

UK passes 10m Covid vaccination milestone


Britain has given a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine to more than 10 million people, according to the latest figures, which showed that at least 361,514 people received a jab on Wednesday.

The milestone took under two months to achieve – after the first Pfizer vaccinations on 8 December – and if the current run rate is continued would mean the top nine priority groups would all have been offered a first dose by early April.

Newly published figures showed England administered 300,173 first-dose vaccinations on Tuesday. Scotland and Wales contributed 38,484 and 22,857 respectively. Figures for Northern Ireland are yet to be released.

It took the UK wide total from the previously disclosed 9.46m first doses to just over 10m. England has completed 8.663m, Scotland 649,262, Wales 462,497 while Northern Ireland’s most recent figure was 233,429.

The UK has offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to about 15% of its population, the largest of any major economy and putting the country in third place worldwide behind Israel (58%) and the United Arab Emirates (38%).

Health secretary Matt Hancock called the figure “a hugely significant milestone in our national effort against this virus”.

A lack of supply in continental Europe has meant that the EU is lagging behind, with Germany having vaccinated 3.1% of its population and France 2.4%.





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