More than four million people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, with more than half of those over 80 receiving a jab.
Between 8 December and 17 January, the NHS has vaccinated 4.06 million people against COVID-19 with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, including half of those over 80, and more than half of care home residents.
The count marks a significant step towards the government’s target of offering vaccines to the top four priority groups by the middle of February
Protection against COVID-19
The NHS has so far been working to vaccinate the first two priority cohorts recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which are care home residents and staff, and those aged 80 and over and frontline health and care staff. Letters have been sent to those aged 70 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable in England inviting them to get their vaccinations as the NHS begins roll out to the next two priority groups.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is the biggest medical deployment in British history and it’s one of the biggest civilian operations that this country’s ever undertaken. We’re on track to deliver our plan to vaccinate the most vulnerable groups by the middle of February, the groups that account for 88% of COVID deaths.
“Our approach is, of course, to save as many lives as possible – as quickly as possible and to reduce the pressure on the NHS.”
The vaccination programme continues to expand, with 10 large-scale vaccination centres recently opening in England.
The government is also urging people to take part by helping those aged 80 and over by supporting friends, family, and loved ones with their appointments, as well as volunteering to help those in the community; signing up to clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments; and by keeping up to date with accurate and trusted NHS advice.