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Half of all over 80s have now received a Covid vaccine
17 January 2021, 17:22
Half of all over-80s have received a coronavirus vaccine, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.
He tweeted: "I'm delighted that over half of all over-80s have been vaccinated.
"Each jab brings us one step closer to normal.
"Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives."
It comes amid the news that the UK is vaccinating people against Covid-19 at "140 jabs a minute."
Nadhim Zahawi thanked the NHS, armed forces staff and volunteers for "knocking the ball out of the ball park" and delivering the jab at speed.
The number is due to increase significantly still as the Government seeks to rapidly expand the number of vaccination centres.
Ministers aim to leave nobody in the UK more than 10 miles away from a building that offers the virus jab.
I'm delighted that over half of all over-80s have been vaccinated.— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) January 17, 2021
Each jab brings us one step closer to normal.
Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.
Over four million people in the country have now received a first or second dose - more than the total number of Covid infections across the entire UK since the pandemic began.
A total of 3,514,385 Covid-19 vaccinations had taken place in England between December 8 and January 15, according to provisional NHS England data released on Saturday.
The total includes first and second doses, which is a rise of 324,711 on Friday's figures.
The first doses are being rolled out rapidly, with over three million were the first dose of the vaccine, a rise of 320,894 on Friday's figures, while 424,327 were the second dose, an increase of 3,817.
On Sunday, Matt Hancock said the UK is "nearly on the home straight" as 324,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines were administered in the space of 24 hours.
Mr Hancock, writing in the Sunday Express, said: "We can see the way out of this pandemic. We are nearly on the home straight.
"After months of detailed preparations, rigorous scientific scrutiny and an extraordinary amount of patience, we are rolling out two highly effective vaccines, with a third coming in spring and others progressing through clinical trials.
"We're rolling it out to as many vulnerable people as possible and we expect tens of millions of people to be vaccinated by the spring."
Ministers are urging the public to "play their part" in supporting the vaccination programme, such as by helping the elderly attend their appointments.
And Mr Hancock said people should also sign up to clinical trials for vaccines and treatments, and stay informed with accurate and trusted NHS advice.
He urged the public to commit to "three pledges" to support the rollout, saying: "Everyone has a part to play in this national effort - to protect our NHS, our loved ones and other people's loved ones too."