New data from the Department of Health and Social Care revealed that over 90% of the UK population aged over 12 has received their first Covid vaccine.
To protect against the Omicron variant, the Prime Minister and NHS England launched the Get Boosted Now campaign on 12 December, urging all eligible adults to come forward for their booster before the New Year. However, the campaign led to increased uptake of individuals having their first Covid vaccine.
More than 51.7 million Covid vaccines have now been delivered up and down the country, with an almost 50% surge in people coming forward for their first Covid vaccine.
Improved protection from covid vaccines
The UK government urges those who can be vaccinated to get three doses of a Covid vaccine to boost protection against symptomatic infection from the Omicron variant. Whilst two doses of a Covid vaccine provides strong protection against the Delta variant; it is not enough to protect from Omicron.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I want to be clear – it is never too late to come forward for your vaccine. The first jab is the first step towards getting boosted to protect yourself against Omicron.
“The NHS is ready for you and has been working around the clock for over a year to jab more than 90% of the UK population, an incredible 51.7 million jabs.”
The COVID-19 vaccination programme has been a historic national effort for both the NHS and the public, with tens of thousands of volunteers stepping up to support NHS staff and thousands of people queuing up to secure the protection for themselves and others.
Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: “It is brilliant to see more and more people rolling up their sleeves to get their first dose of a lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine.
“It is never too late to get your first jab. The programme has been turbocharged and we are opening up more vaccination sites all the time, making it even easier for people to come forward.”
3,000 vaccination sites in England
There are now around 3,000 sites across England, which includes double the number of hospitals offering jabs to the public – going from 30 to 71 in two weeks.
There was a record festive period of vaccinations in England. Vaccinators worked at sites up and down the country to give people their boosters over Christmas. More than 214,000 jabs were reported across Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, including 184,445 boosters.
Local areas are continuously working to find more convenient vaccination sites for the community – from football stadiums to leisure centres.