Press release: More than 4 million people receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in UK

Department Of Health

January 19
10:16 2021

  • Significant milestone as more than 4 million people receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine
  • More than half of those aged 80 and over have been vaccinated

More than 4 million people in the UK have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as part of the largest vaccination programme in British history.

The NHS vaccinated a total of 4.06 million people between 8 December and 17 January, including more than half of those aged 80 and over and more than half of elderly care home residents.

This is more than double the number of vaccinations, per person per day, than any European country and is a significant step towards hitting the Prime Ministers target of offering vaccines to the top 4 priority groups by the middle of February.

This group of around 15 million people accounts for 88% of COVID deaths, so vaccines will play a crucial role to saving lives and protecting the NHS.

Speaking at todays Downing Street press conference (18 January 2021), Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

This is the biggest medical deployment in British history and its one of the biggest civilian operations that this countrys ever undertaken.

Were 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.

Letters have beensent to those aged 70 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable today in England inviting them to get their vaccinations as the NHS begins roll out to the next 2 priority groups.

The NHS has so far been working to vaccinate the first 2 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.

Vaccinating the first 2 groups will remain the priority, but vaccination sites which have enough supply and capacity for vaccinating further people are allowed to offer vaccinations to the next 2 cohorts those aged 70 and over and clinically extremely vulnerable people.

This will allow areas that have already vaccinated the first 2 groups to keep up the momentum and protect more people.

In some parts of the country, like Gloucestershire, more than 4 in 5 of people aged 80 and over received the first dose. In Slough, every elderly care home resident has already been vaccinated.

The vaccination programme continues to expand, with 10 large-scale vaccination centres coming on stream in England today.

The government is alsourging people to play their partin the historic programme by:

  • helping out: help 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
  • joining up: sign up to clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments
  • staying informed: keep up to date with accurate and trusted NHS advice and make sure to share facts with friends and family

Background information

A total number of 4,062,501 havereceived the first doseof a COVID-19 vaccine in the UK. 452,301 people have received their second jab.

The10 new vaccination sitesare:

  • Bournemouth International Centre
  • Taunton Racecourse
  • Blackburn Cathedral
  • Salt Hill Activity Centre, Slough
  • Norwich Foodcourt, Castle Quarter
  • The Lodge, Wickford, Essex
  • Princess Royal Sports Arena, Lincolnshire
  • St Helens Rugby Ground
  • Park and Ride at Askh

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