10 million people in UK have now received first dose of Covid vaccine

3 February 2021, 14:47 | Updated: 3 February 2021, 16:37

The NHS covid-19 Vaccine Centre in Wembley
The NHS covid-19 Vaccine Centre in Wembley. Picture: PA

By Megan White

10 million people across the UK have now received their first dose of the Covid vaccine, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed.

In a tweet, he said: "10 MILLION people have now received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

"This is a hugely significant milestone in our national effort against this virus.

Read more: One dose of Oxford Covid jab can 'reduce transmission of coronavirus by two thirds'

"Every jab makes us all a bit safer - I want to thank everyone playing their part."

Responding to the news, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi tweeted: "The magic 10,000,000 reached. That is ten million of the most vulnerable and those who look after them. Well done to the best team in the world!

"@NHSuk big shout out to the thousands of nurses who have been at the heart of this deployment."

Government data up to February 2 shows of the 10,520,433 jabs given in the UK so far, 10,021,471 were first doses - a rise of 374,756 on the previous day's figures.

Some 498,962 were second doses, an increase of 2,166 on figures released the previous day.

The seven-day rolling average of first doses given in the UK is now 408,155.

Based on the latest figures, an average of 414,877 first doses of vaccine would be needed each day in order to meet the Government's target of 15 million first doses by February 15.

In England, a total of 9,126,930 Covid-19 vaccinations had taken place between December 8 and February 2, according to provisional NHS England data, including first and second doses, which is a rise of 301,559 on the previous day's figures.

Of this number, 8,663,041 were the first dose of the vaccine, a rise of 300,173 on the previous day, while 463,889 were the second dose, an increase of 1,386.

The NHS England data shows a total of 1,037,411 jabs have been given to people in the South West between December 8 and February 2, including 981,771 first doses and 55,640 second doses.

This compares to 1,646,671 first doses and 70,171 second doses given to people in the Midlands, a total of 1,716,842.

The news comes after Mr Hancock told LBC how he learned lessons from the film Contagion when planning how the coronavirus vaccine would be rolled out in the UK.

The Health Secretary said the Hollywood film, starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Jude Law, inspired him to be quick to order enough doses for the UK public and plan an early priority list.

He told Nick Ferrari that he "wouldn’t say that film is my primary source of advice on this", but added: "I knew when the vaccine came good... that the demand for it would be huge and that we would need to be ready to vaccinate every adult in the country and I wasn’t going to settle for less.”

Mr Hancock said: “In the film it shows that the moment of highest stress around the vaccine programme is not in fact before it’s rolled out, when actually it’s the scientists and the manufacturers working together at pace, it’s afterwards when there is a huge row about order of priority.

“So not only in this country I insisted that we order enough for every adult to have their two doses but also we asked for that clinical advice on the prioritisation very early and set it out in public I think for the first time... in August or September so that there was no big row about the order of priority.

"Instead, we ask the clinicians and we do it on the basis of how we save most lives most quickly."

Earlier on Wednesday, it was revealed that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine could cut Covid-19 transmission rates by 67%, in news which has been hailed by a leading pharmacologist as the "holy grail" of the global vaccine rollout.

Preliminary results of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford found the efficacy from two standard doses of the vaccine administered three months apart to be 82.4%.

Before these results, little was known about how effective the Covid-19 vaccines were at preventing transmission of the disease.

The potential it could dramatically cut transmission after just one dose that will mean lockdown measures can be lifted sooner, a former chair at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine said.

Dr Gillies O'Bryan-Tear said the results, which have yet to be peer reviewed, were the first definitive estimate of the impact of vaccination on transmission rates.

"If the effect on transmission is confirmed for the Pfizer vaccine too, this would be a very positive," he said.