Half of UK adults have received both doses of a Covid vaccine amid rising cases

3 June 2021, 14:35 | Updated: 3 June 2021, 19:41

Half of UK adults have received a vaccine dose
Half of UK adults have received a vaccine dose. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

Half of the UK's adult population have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine as the country recorded the highest daily rise in cases since March.

The news comes a day after it was announced three quarters of adults across the country had received at least one dose.

The Government continues to watch the impact of reopening, with ministers expecting a rise in cases.

But they hope the successful vaccine rollout means the link between cases and deaths will largely be broken as adults become resistant to the virus.

Both doses are needed for maximum protection against it. Ministers also want as many people to take up a vaccine to battle ongoing concerns about variants, which can be more transmissible.

"This is an amazing achievement so I want to thank you for coming forward and playing your part in the incredible Team UK effort that is the Covid vaccination programme," Boris Johnson, who confirmed he also received his second dose on Thursday, said.

"After months of sacrifice we’re getting to do many of the things we’ve yearned to do for a long time."

It came ahead of a further 5,274 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus being confirmed by the Government, the highest 24-hour figure since March 26.

Another 18 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid 19, taking the Government's official total to 127,812.

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Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi tweeted: "Another important milestone today. 50% of all adults in the UK have had the protection of two doses. Thank you to a brilliant team. We keep going."

More than 26.4 million second jabs have been given out since the vaccine programme began nearly six months ago, equivalent to 50.2% of adults.

England accounts for 22.4 million of those, or 50.7% of its adult population, while Scotland is on 48.2%, or 2.1 million second doses.

Northern Ireland has given out a second jab to 47.1%, or 684,000, of its people aged 18 and over, while in Wales the figure stands at 45.9%, or 1.1 million.

However, Wales leads the way for first doses, with 85.7% of adults having received an initial jab, compared to 75% in England, 74.6% in Scotland and 73.9% in Northern Ireland, according to data from all four countries.

The Government aims to offer a dose to every adult by the end of July.

It wants to ensure everyone aged 50 and over has received their second dose by June 21, the earliest possible date for step four of England's major lockdown easing.