Monday, November 29

More than 30 million in UK have had both jabs

More than 30 million people in the UK are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the government.

A total of 30,209,707 people have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine (57.4% of the adult population). And 41,831,056 have received a first jab (79.4%).

It comes as the UK reported more than 7,000 daily COVID cases for a seventh day in a row. Another 7,673 infections have been recorded in the latest 24-hour period, along with 10 more coronavirus-related deaths.

The figures compare with 7,742 infections and three fatalities announced on Monday, while 6,048 cases and 13 deaths were recorded this time last week. NHS England has now extended the offer of a vaccine to everyone over the age of 23. And all over-18s in England will be able to book a first dose by the end of this week, Downing Street has confirmed.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has told Sky News that 19 July is the terminus date for England’s remaining coronavirus restrictions and it would take an unprecedented and remarkable change in circumstances to derail that. Also, Scotland is likely to maintain COVID restrictions for a further three weeks from 28 June, the nation’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Meanwhile, members of the public who have already had their first jab are being urged to come forward for their second dose to help protect against the threat of new COVID variants.

To ensure people have the strongest possible protection, second doses for over-40s will be speeded up by reducing the dosing interval from 12 weeks to eight weeks. The data suggests the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after both doses.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: Second doses are increasingly vital, so this is an incredibly important milestone. Day after day, our vaccination programme reaches new heights. 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.