We have administered a total of over 68.8 million vaccine doses across the UK, with over 40.5 million people across the UK now having received their first dose and over 28.2 million people having received their second dose - four in ten adults have received two jabs. We're making great strides in protecting our country from this virus thanks to the hard work of the NHS staff, volunteers and the British public and we remain on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July.
Yesterday as we marked six months since the first vaccine was administered in the UK, we reported a surge in vaccine bookings as everyone over 25 became eligible for their jab.
Vaccines are our route of the pandemic - vaccinated people are less likely to get COVID-19 symptoms, be admitted to hospital or die from the disease, and there is growing evidence that vaccinated people are less likely to pass the virus on to others. That is why it is vital for young people to come forward for their vaccine when invited, so we can build on the continued success of our historic vaccine programme which has already seen over half of the UK population having the fullest possible protection from two doses, and over three quarters receiving at least one dose.
We are on the home straight – and if everyone plays their part in the national effort, together we can take another step forward in our journey back to normality – so when you get the call, get the jab.
Delta (B1.617.2) Variant
With cases of the Delta variant continuing to rise across the country, the Government is introducing additional measures and support in the North West to stop the spread of the virus.
Even as we continue the rollout of our historic vaccine programme, we cannot be complacent about the threat this virus still poses as cases continue to rise across the country. That is why the Government is now deploying additional measures in Greater Manchester and Lancashire to stop the spread including ramping up testing, including in schools, enhancing contact tracing and maximising vaccine up.
Early research shows that vaccines provide strong protection against the new variants. Effectiveness against symptomatic disease from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant is similar after 2 doses compared with the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), and even higher levels of effectiveness are expected against hospitalisations and death.
The Government and its world-leading scientists are closely monitoring the evolving situation and the rates of variants, and the Government will not hesitate to take additional action whenever necessary. Further details about the measures in each area are being made available through individual local authorities.
As we tackle the virus in these areas, we continue to urge everyone to come forward and get the jab as soon as they are eligible – that is our way out of the pandemic together.
For more information on the further measures in additional areas to tackle Delta (B1.617.2) variant, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-measures-in-additional-areas-to-tackle-delta-b16172-variant.