Our vaccination programme has so far been an extraordinary success – with over 25.7 million people across the UK now having received their first dose, helping to cut infection rates and reduce the spread of the virus. We have administered over 27.6 million vaccines across the UK. We are averaging almost 2.7 million doses a week, and almost half of the adult population across the country have now received their first dose.
95% of people aged 65 and over have been vaccinated with their first dose. 9 in 10 of those clinically extremely vulnerable have also received their first jab. We are now inviting all people aged 50 and over for their COVID jab. We will also continue to do all it takes to reach those in the most vulnerable groups who haven’t come forward yet.
Whilst, there will be a slowdown in our vaccination programme from 29 March (expected for a few weeks) because of a significant reduction in vaccine supply, this will not affect second doses. Small fluctuations in supply are to be expected, but we remain on course to deliver the offer of a vaccine to groups 1-9 (all those aged 50 and above) by 15 April and give around 12 million people their second dose next month. We are making extraordinary progress with the vaccine effort and we remain on track to offering the jab to all adults across the UK by the end of July.
The latest data is clear – vaccines save lives. Both the Oxford and Pfizer vaccines reduce the likelihood of serious illness by 60 per cent after the first dose, and reduce the likelihood of hospitalisation by 80 per cent after one dose. The vaccine is safe, effective and will help us get back to normal. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has clarified that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, far outweigh the risks of side effects. It is still the case that it has not been confirmed the reported blood clots were caused by the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. People should continue to go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.
PM statement at coronavirus press conference - 18 March 2021
Last night the Prime Minister reassured the nation that not only are the vaccines safe and effective, but we have the supply we need to meet our targets – meaning our progress towards freedom continues unchecked. Our route to freedom depends on the continued success of our vaccine programme, and while we have vaccinated 25 million people across the UK, we know many want the reassurance that our vaccines are safe and in supply.
Our independent MHRA, having regularly reviewed the evidence, has confirmed the vaccine is safe, and we also welcome the scientific conclusion of the European Medicines Agency that it is both safe and effective. Vaccines offer us a safe path out of this pandemic, and the best way we can reclaim the things we love, see our family and friends again, and return to our normal way of life is to get the jab when our turn comes.
To view the Prime Minister’s full statement at the coronavirus press conference - 18 March 2021, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-at-coronavirus-press-conference-18-march-2021.
£7 billion for NHS and social care for COVID-19 response and recovery
Yesterday the Health Secretary announced a £7 billion package of additional funding for the NHS and social care services that will help their ongoing response and recovery from the pandemic - so they can treat patients, stay safe and save lives.
At every stage of the pandemic the Government have backed our healthcare and social care workers, ensuring they have the resources and support they need in responding to the biggest public health emergency we have faced as a nation.
That is why the Government are now committing a further £6.6 billion over the next six months to support the NHS with the continued costs of COVID-19 and begin the recovery of elective services, taking the total funding the Government are providing to £92 billion; in addition, the Government are providing an extra £341 million to support adult social care in the months ahead.
The Government are committed to giving our NHS and social care sector the resources and funding they need so they can continue to deliver world-class care, and in doing so, ensure they are always here for us when we need them.
For any more information on the Government’s £7 billion package for the NHS and social care for COVID-19 response and recovery, including comments from the Health Secretary, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/7billion-for-nhs-and-social-care-for-covid-19-response-and-recovery.