Number of first vaccine doses in UK drops to lowest daily level since early January

6 April 2021, 17:46 | Updated: 6 April 2021, 18:50

The number of daily first doses of the Covid vaccine has dropped to its lowest level since the start of the year
The number of daily first doses of the Covid vaccine has dropped to its lowest level since the start of the year. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The number of first coronavirus vaccine doses administered in the UK on Monday dropped to its lowest daily level since early January.

Figures published today on the government's official Covid-19 database show first vaccination numbers have dropped to their lowest level since the data started being released on 10 January.

It shows that on Easter Monday, 40,744 people received their initial dose, a drop on the previous day's total of 48,055.

However, yesterday did see 64,590 individuals receive their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while on Easter Sunday stood at 47,708 - the lowest since 14 March.

However, three-fifths of adults have now been vaccinated, according to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who tweeted: "Fantastic that 3 in 5 adults have now been vaccinated across the UK.

"Thank you to everyone involved in the vaccine roll-out - we're making great strides in our national effort."

It comes as the country recorded another 2,379 infections and 20 more deaths over the latest 24-hour period.

Numbers have often dropped on previous Sundays and the four-day bank holiday weekend could explain the recent drop in inoculations.

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Read more: 'Link' found between Oxford jab and blood clots, EMA official says

Figures show vaccination numbers dropped to the lowest level since data began being published
Figures show vaccination numbers dropped to the lowest level since data began being published. Picture: Gov.uk

Ministers had previously warned that, amid possibly vaccine shortages in April, first doses could drop off to ensure people receive their second dose within 12 weeks of their first one.

However, the government is maintaining its promise to offer every adult in the UK a first jab by the end of July.

So far, 31,622,367 people - or three in five adults - have received their first dose, while 5,496,716 people - more than one in 10 - have been given their second.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, 126,882 people in Britain have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus and there have been 4,364,529 infections.

However, separate figures where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate show there have been almost 150,000 deaths.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi told LBC presenter Nick Ferrari there are no vaccine supply issues in the UK.

"Supply is always challenging and supply is finite, as you're seeing around the world," he said.

"But I'm confident that both Pfizer and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine - we've got Moderna about to deploy as well and then the Janssen vaccine once it gets regulatory approval - will be available to us.

"So I'm confident that we'll meet our targets and will certainly be up there as one of the top countries around the world in terms of vaccinating our people and then, of course also, proudly offering the vaccine through Covax to the rest of the world, which we're already doing by funding Covax to £548 million."

However, it comes as the head of vaccines at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said there is a link between the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and rare blood clots.

In light of the announcement, the UK's medicines agency reiterated that people should get their jab when invited.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said officials are conducting a "thorough and detailed review" into reports of "very rare and specific types of blood clots with low platelets following the Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca".

But they stressed that "no decision has yet been made on any regulatory action" and CEO Dr June Raine encouraged people to "continue to get their vaccine when invited to do so".

The comments come after Marco Cavaleri, who is one of the top officials at the EMA, told Italy's Il Messaggero newspaper: "In my opinion, we can say it now, it is clear there is a link with the vaccine."

He added that it was not clear what had caused such a reaction and the EMA have since distanced themselves from the comments.

Meanwhile, new modelling by Imperial College London has suggested daily Covid deaths will stay below 100 even if there is a resurgence of the virus.