The NHS are leading the global fightback against coronavirus with our vaccine programme. On 23 January, a record 491,970 people received their first dose of the vaccine. In total this means more than 6.3 million people across the UK have now had a least one dose of the vaccine, including three quarters of those over 80.
Yesterday the Health Secretary set out that the NHS England vaccinated more people in the last three days than France has done in its entire programme. Overall the UK has vaccinated more people than France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Austria and Belgium combined.
Only two countries – the United States and China – have vaccinated more people than the UK. We have administered more than four times as many vaccinations as Germany and only 1.65 million less than the entire European Union combined.
We are the third country in the world for vaccinations per capita. Only Israel and the UAE have vaccinated more people per capita than the UK – a testament to the NHS and British science, as we are leading the world from the front in science, research and development.
Vaccine Delivery Plan
We are opening up new vaccination sites every day as part of our Vaccine Delivery Plan to ensure every community is within 10 miles of a vaccination centre. Vaccinations are already available from more than 1,000 GP-led services, over 200 hospitals and a growing network of large-scale NHS Vaccination Centres, 993 Local Vaccination Services and 17 Mass Vaccination sites.
Last week we announced 60 new vaccination sites being rolled out across cinemas and religious places of worship. From today, a further 33 vaccine centres will start delivering vaccinations, as we continue to accelerate the biggest immunisation programme in the history of the NHS. This means there will now be a network of 50 large scale centres, capable of jabbing thousands of people a week across the country. New centres include the Black Country Living Museum, a former IKEA store in East London, the Nightingale Hospital in Sunderland and the Blackpool Winter Gardens.
The full list of sites across England can be found at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/hospital-hubs-and-local-vaccination-services/.
Community Champions scheme
Today the Government are funding 60 councils across England to enhance their vital efforts to engage with the hardest to reach groups to encourage vaccine take up as we continue to roll out the largest vaccination programme in our nation’s history. In our determination to get vaccine take up as high as possible, and through our Community Champions scheme, 60 councils and community groups across England will now benefit from £23 million to boost their work in communicating accurate health information and encouraging those amongst the hardest to reach groups to take up a vaccine when offered.
Looking ahead, our vaccine supply and scheduled deliveries mean the NHS are on track to offer vaccinations to all those in JCVI priority cohorts 1-4 by 15 February. While meeting this target is a challenge, the NHS are on track to meet it.
The Government has signed deals for substantial future supply of both vaccines to enable swift vaccination across the UK in the weeks and months ahead.