Almost one in 20 Brits have received at least the first of two doses of a vaccine against Covid-19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today.
The UK has now given at least a first vaccine dose to 3.3million people, nearly one in 20, Number 10 claimed.
This includes 1.3million – or nearly 45 per cent – of over 80s and more than 100,000 older care home residents – or nearly 40 per cent of the total.
No. 10 said 2.8 million people have been vaccinated in England, 225,000 in Scotland, 126,000 in Wales and 115,000 in Northern Ireland.
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Bullish Health Secretary took to Twitter to report more than 3.2 million people have now been vaccinated across the UK.
He wrote on Twitter: “Fantastic that over 3.2 million people have now been vaccinated across the UK, including almost 45 per cent of over 80s and almost 40 per cent of care home residents.
“THANK YOU to everyone playing your part in our national effort to stay at home as we accelerate the Covid vaccine roll-out.”
At today’s Downing Street briefing, Mr Johnson said almost 40 per cent of care home residents in England have received a coronavirus vaccine.
Boris Johnson said 45% of the over-80s and almost 40% of care home residents have received at least one dose.
“We are steadily protecting those most at risk,” he told the press conference.
But he warned “this is not the time for the slightest relaxation of our national resolve and our individual efforts. So please stay at home, please protect the NHS and save lives.”
He added: “What we can’t have is any false sense of security so that we, as it were, lift the restrictions altogether and then the disease really runs riot in the younger generations.”
The Prime Minister said around one third of Covid patients admitted to hospital are under 65, while a quarter are under 55.
“So it can affect and does affect huge numbers of younger people as well, often very badly, and the risk is that those numbers would be greatly inflated if we let go too soon in circumstances where the disease was really rampant.
“That is not to say that I don’t want to try to get to relaxations as soon as we reasonably can – but there are a lot of things that have to go right.”
Mr Johnson paid particular tribute to vaccine teams in north-west Lincolnshire, Sunderland and Morecambe Bay, where more than 80 per cent of care home residents have been given a vaccine.
The majority of care home residents in England are expected to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of the week, health officials have said.
NHS England has told GPs that it “expects” care home residents and staff at homes across England to be vaccinated by the end of this week, or by January 24 “at the latest”.
Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference: “We are steadily building up that immunity, that protection, for the vulnerable, for the NHS and for us all.
“So when the call comes, please do get the jab and in the meantime, stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Care groups have been calling on the NHS to publish daily breakdowns on how many people in priority groups, including care home residents, have received a coronavirus vaccine.
While politicians have given ad hoc updates on what percentage of residents have received the jab, care groups want daily updates and say the current lack of detail “seems unhelpful in the extreme”.
Regular updates will also enable better scrutiny of whether the Government is on track to meet its targets.
The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has said some of the new variants may be able to “get round” the vaccines.
However, he told a No 10 news conference that it was “really quite easy” to adjust the vaccines to deal with mutations in the virus.
“It is possible that the variants will get round vaccines to some extent in the future and some of them that are out there in the world now may well have more of an effect to bypass some of the existing immune system that has come up in response to a vaccine or previous infection,” he said.
“I think it is likely that the vaccine we have now is going to protect against the UK variant and is going to provide protection I suspect against the other variants as well. The question is to what degree.”
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