By Deirdre Tynan • 23 June 2021 • 19:38
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More than 30 million people in the UK have received a second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, the latest figures published on June 15 show, as the vaccination programme continues at unprecedented pace and scale.
More than 30 million people in the UK have been vaccinated with a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, giving them the fullest possible protection and more than 79 per cent of people in the UK have had their first dose.
The public are being urged to come forward for second doses to help protect against the threat of new variants. Analysis by Public Health England shows that two doses of vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta variant. Vaccines are now available to everyone over the age of 23.
By 19 July, all those aged 50 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable will have been offered their second dose.
Health and Social Care 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.
“The strength of the union has never been clearer than in the UK vaccination effort. All 4 corners of this country have pulled together for one common purpose – to get the jab and fight this virus. I want to pay tribute to everyone right across the country who has answered our call to arms and rolled up their sleeves to get the jab. I encourage everyone over 23 to come forward and get the jab.”
To ensure people have the strongest possible protection against COVID-19, second doses for all over 40s will be accelerated by reducing the dosing interval from 12 weeks to 8 weeks. All over 40s who received a first dose by mid-May will be offered a second dose by 19 July.
The move follows advice from the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which has considered the latest available evidence and has recommended reducing the dosing interval to counter the threat of new variants of concern.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said, “I am delighted that we have reached another poignant milestone in our vaccines programme, with over 30 million people receiving the fullest possible protection from this virus.
“In the space of six months, the UK has made history after not only deploying a licensed vaccine to the first person in the world, Margaret Keenan, but also to tens of millions of others in the largest vaccination programme in our history. I encourage everyone to come forward for the vaccine, and for the crucial second dose when the offer comes. It could save your life and protect your loved ones,” he added.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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