Over half of UK adult population has now had at least one Covid-19 vaccine

24 April 2021, 15:10 | Updated: 24 April 2021, 15:44

More than half the adult population in the UK has had at least one Covid jab
More than half the adult population in the UK has had at least one Covid jab. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Over half of the adult UK population has now had at least one Covid-19 jab, new figures have shown, as the country steams ahead with its vaccination programme

NHS England data up to April 23 shows that of the 38,189,536 total doses given in England so far, 28,102,852 were first doses - a rise of 107,656 on the previous day.

It means the UK-wide first-dose total so far is 33,496,293, with more recent figures still to be reported by Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The UK population is estimated to be 66,796,807, so the latest national figures show that more than half the population have now had a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Experts have said vaccines should be able to control the Covid-19 pandemic as they published new real-world UK data showing that jabs slash infection and are likely to cut transmission.

Read more: Vaccines 'significantly reduce Covid-19 infections and likely cut transmission'

Just one dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine leads to a two-thirds drop in coronavirus cases and is 74% effective against symptomatic infection.

After two doses of Pfizer, there was a 70% reduction in all cases and a 90% drop in symptomatic cases - these are the people who are most likely to transmit coronavirus to others.

Experts are still collecting data on two doses of AstraZeneca but say their findings show that both vaccines work and are effective in the real world.

Read more: Indian variant: Vaccines 'no longer going to help,' virologist warns

Read more: Over 400,000 social care workers yet to receive a coronavirus vaccine

One of the new studies, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, is based on data from the national Covid-19 Infection Survey run by the University of Oxford and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It included a random sample of more than 373,000 adults from across the UK, who produced more than 1.6 million swab test results between December and April.

Professor Sarah Walker, from the University of Oxford and chief investigator for the survey, said the study suggested vaccines could reduce transmission and were also effective against the Kent variant of coronavirus.