Boris Johnson: 1.3 million people given Covid vaccine across UK so far

5 January 2021, 17:27 | Updated: 5 January 2021, 18:21

By Megan White

1.3 million people across the UK have received the coronavirus vaccine so far, Boris Johnson has announced.

That figure includes 650,000 people over 80 - 23 per cent of the over 80s in England.

The Prime Minister said by February 15, the NHS hopes to have vaccinated everybody in the top four priority groups - older care home residents and staff, everyone over 70, all frontline NHS and care staff and all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

Read more: Third national lockdown for England underway amid soaring Covid cases

From Monday, there will be daily updates on the number of people who have been vaccinated.

The figures came as it was revealed more than one million people in England are currently infected with Covid-19 - around one in 50.

Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference: "This afternoon, with Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca combined, we have now vaccinated over 1.1 million people in England and over 1.3 million across the UK.

"And that includes more than 650,000 people over 80, which is 23 per cent of all the over 80s in England, and that means that nearly 1 in 4 of one of the most vulnerable groups will have in 2 to 3 weeks – all of them - a significant degree of immunity.

"When you consider that the average age of Covid fatalities is in the 80s, you can see the importance of what we have already achieved.

"And that is why I believe that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation was right to draw up a programme aimed at saving the most lives the fastest."

The Prime Minister said there are already 595 GP-led sites providing vaccines, with a further 180 coming on stream later this week.

There are also 107 hospital sites carrying out vaccinations, with an additional 100 joining the programme this week.

The press conference came the day after the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was given to the first UK patient.

Brian Pinker, 82, was the first person in the UK outside of trials to receive the new Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Oxford University Hospital.

The retired maintenance manager, a dialysis patient who describes himself as Oxford born and bred, said the jab would allow him to be free to celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife later this year.

"I am so pleased to be getting the Covid vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford," the 82-year-old said.

"The nurses, doctors and staff today have all been brilliant and I can now really look forward to celebrating my 48th wedding anniversary with my wife Shirley later this year."

Ms Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "It was a real privilege to be able to deliver the first Oxford vaccine at the Churchill Hospital here in Oxford, just a few hundred metres from where it was developed.

"We look forward to vaccinating many more patients and health and care staff with the Oxford vaccine in the coming weeks which will make a huge difference to people living in the communities we serve and the staff who care for them in our hospitals.

The initial batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccinations will be delivered in Oxford and five other hospital trusts - two in London, and others in Sussex, Lancashire and Warwickshire - to allow for monitoring before the bulk of supplies are sent to hundreds of GPs later this week.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca drug is easier to transport and store than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which needs cold storage of around minus 70C.

It is also easier to distribute to care homes and other locations across the UK because it can be stored at fridge temperatures, between two and eight degrees.