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More than 30m people in UK now fully vaccinated against Covid
15 June 2021, 17:35
More than 30 million people in the UK are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, health officials have said.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 57.3 per cent of adults - 30,204,738 million people - have now had their second dose, while almost four in five have received one dose.
It comes after the prime minister announced on Monday that so-called Freedom Day has been pushed back to allow for more people to get their second jab.
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Boris Johnson also said the vaccine timetable has been sped up so that all adults would be able to receive their first jab by 19 July and that over-40s would receive their second dose eight weeks after the first, instead of 12 weeks later.
Meanwhile, the vaccine booking system opened to 23 and 24-year-olds for the first time on Tuesday.
By 19 July, when all restrictions are due to be lifted, all over-50s and the clinically vulnerable should have received both vaccine doses. Overall, two-thirds of the adult population are expected to have received both jabs.
The head of the NHS in England said the health service would "finish the job" of the Covid vaccine programme to the "greatest extent possible" over the next four weeks.
Sir Simon Stevens also told the NHS Confederation conference that he expected that over-18s would be able to book their first Covid-19 jab by the end of the week.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Second doses are increasingly vital, so this is an incredibly important milestone.
"With over 30 million people across the UK now receiving a second dose, we are giving the fullest possible protection to our loved ones in the face of new variants."
Dr Emily Lawson, NHS England's lead for the NHS vaccination programme, added: "It is absolutely crucial that people receive their second jab to ensure they have maximum protection against the virus, and I urge everyone to come forward and book theirs as soon as they are invited, or move their second dose appointment forward if contacted to do so."
Mr Hancock said on Monday that 1.3 million people who are over 50 and 4.5 million over-40s have so far had a first jab but not yet a second.
A previous study by Public Health England (PHE) found the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is 88 per cent effective against the Delta variant after two doses and the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab was 60 per cent.
Both vaccines were 33 per cent effective against symptomatic disease from the Delta variant, which was first found in India, three weeks after the first dose.
A separate study found that Covid-19 vaccines are "highly effective" in preventing hospital admission with the Delta variant of coronavirus.
PHE's study of hospital admissions found that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is 94 per cent effective against hospital admission after just one dose, rising to 96 per cent after two doses.
And the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is 71 per cent effective against hospital admission after just one dose, rising to 92 per cent after two doses.