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UK averaging '140 jabs a minute' as more Covid vaccination centres due to open
17 January 2021, 13:45
The UK is vaccinating people against Covid-19 at "140 jabs a minute," the vaccine deployment minister has said.
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.
We are averaging 140 jabs a minute. The @NHSuk family @RoyalAirForce @RoyalNavy @BritishArmy The volunteer army are knocking the ball out of the ball park. Lots done, much more to do. Massive thank you 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽💉💉💉— Nadhim Zahawi (@nadhimzahawi) January 17, 2021
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.
Speaking exclusively to LBC's Swarbrick on Sunday, foreign secretary Dominic Raab declared there was "light at the end of the tunnel" and the Government hopes to protect 99% of all people at risk of dying from the virus by spring.
He added that once the ambitious target is hit "we'll be in a position to start thinking about the decision about easing up on the national lockdown".
The positive message was echoed by health secretary Matt Hancock, who said the UK is "nearly on the home straight" as 10 further mass vaccinations centres are due to open from Monday.
Writing in the Sunday Express, he praised the "rigorous scientific scrutiny and an extraordinary amount of patience" that has allowed the fast rollout of two "highly effective vaccines, with a third coming in spring and others progressing through clinical trials".