More than two in three adults in the UK have now received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, giving them very high protection from the virus – hitting the Prime Minister’s target almost a week early.
A total of 81,192,857 doses have been administered in the UK, with 46,037,090 people receiving a first dose (87.4%) and 35,155,767 people receiving both doses (66.7%).
The Prime Minister set a target to vaccinate two thirds of adults in the UK with both doses by 19 July and today’s announcement means this ambition has been achieved ahead of target.
The Prime Minister announced last week that every adult in England has now been offered at least one dose of the vaccine and all adults in the UK are able to get their second doses after eight weeks. This will mean every adult has the chance to have two doses by mid-September.
Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant. The analysis shows the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after two doses.
Further analysis from PHE and the University of Cambridge also suggests vaccines have so far prevented an estimated 8.5 million infections and more than 30,000 deaths in England alone.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Barely 8 months since the first vaccine was given, this is another extraordinary achievement.
“Thank you again to everyone coming forward, and to those helping others to get jabbed. You are the reason we are able to cautiously ease restrictions next week, and return closer towards normal life.
“Now let’s finish the job. If you’re over 18, book both your jabs today.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“We have hit our target almost a week early, this is a huge achievement in the UK’s phenomenal vaccine rollout. The vaccination programme is building a strong wall of protection around our population, saving tens of thousands of lives, preventing millions of infections and allowing us to cautiously progress through the roadmap.
“Everyone has a part to play in overcoming this virus so please come forward for your jab if you haven’t already – it is the best way to protect you, your loved ones and your community.”
The government announced that people who have been vaccinated with both doses will not have to quarantine on their return to England from an amber list country from 19 July, providing they received their second jab at least 14 days prior.
From 16 August, double vaccinated people will also no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
“This is a remarkable success and achieved ahead of target. Thanks to everyone who has come forward for their jabs so far and to the NHS for their tireless work to vaccinate as many people as possible.
“Vaccines provide very high protection against serious illness from COVID-19 and may prevent you from unknowingly passing the virus on to others.
“As we start to cautiously ease restrictions, I urge everybody to get their vaccines so we can return to normality as quickly as possible.”
The UK government secured access to more than 500 million doses of the most promising COVID-19 vaccines early on behalf of the entire UK, crown dependencies and overseas territories. The UK’s medicine’s regulator, the MHRA, was the first in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, allowing the rapid deployment of vaccines across the country and ensuring the UK has one of the fastest vaccination programmes in the world.
Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 with symptoms and even more unlikely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it and there is growing evidence that they are less likely to pass the virus to others.
YouGov polling also shows the UK continues to top the list of nations where people are willing to have a COVID-19 vaccine or have already been vaccinated and ONS data published on 2 July shows that more than 9 in 10 (96%) adults reported positive sentiment towards the vaccine.
Vaccines are available free of charge and from thousands of vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England and vaccinations are taking place at sites including mosques, community centres and football stadiums.