COVID-19: One in five adults has first vaccine dose in UK – as 915 more people die with coronavirus

‘One in five’ have had a jab, says Hancock

 

Another 915 people have died with coronavirus in the UK, according to the latest government data.

This compares to the 1,322 fatalities that were reported yesterday.

It comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the UK remained on track to complete the vaccination of the top four priority groups – 15 million people – by 15 February, with one in five of all adults now having received a jab.

469,016 people had a first vaccine dose yesterday, taking the UK total of initial inoculations to 10,490,487.

This is equivalent to 19.9% – or one in five – of the UK’s adult population.

Also, more than 500,000 people have now received a second jab.

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2,995 people had a follow-up dose on Wednesday, taking the total to 501,957.

“We are on track to deliver the commitment we have made of offering the jab to all of the top four priority groups by February 15th,” Mr Hancock told reporters.

“I’m just so proud of the team who are delivering this, it’s going really, really well. You saw yesterday 10 million jabs done. Today we passed the threshold of one in five of the population who have been jabbed already.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Every jab gets us closer to defeating the virus, so please come forward when you are called for the vaccine by the NHS.”

Up to 31 January, 88% of those aged over 80 have received a first dose, along with 55% of over-70s.

Since the pandemic began, a total of 110,250 people have lost their lives within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test.

Also, there have been a further 20,634 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, compared to the 19,202 announced on Wednesday.

There are variations in vaccination rates among ethnic groups in England, with NHS England data suggesting 14% of the white population has been given a first dose, compared to 8% of ethnic minorities.

The government has announced the economy in England will be gradually unlocked after the hoped-for return of children in schools in early March.

And Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, spoke of how vaccinations had helped improve the outlook of the economy.

A report from the Bank predicted the first quarter of 2021 will see slower than forecast growth, but “GDP is projected to recover rapidly towards pre-COVID levels over 2021, as the vaccination programme is assumed to lead to an easing of COVID-related restrictions and people’s health concerns”.

Mr Bailey said: “The [report’s] central forecast assumes that COVID-related restrictions and people’s health concerns weigh on activity in the near term, but that the vaccination programme leads to those easing, such that GDP is projected to recover strongly from the second quarter of 2021, towards pre-COVID levels.”

Research is being carried out into how mix-and-match vaccine regimens work – where an initial AstraZeneca/Oxford jab is followed by a Pfizer/BioNTech a few weeks later or vice versa.

The study will be run across eight hospitals in England and volunteers are currently being recruited.

It comes after research from the AstraZeneca/Oxford team found that just a single dose of their inoculation is 76% effective from day 22 to day 90 after administration.

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