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More than 15 million in UK get first COVID vaccine, says minister


More than 15 million in UK get first COVID vaccine, says minister
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (BBC)

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London – At least 15 million people in the United Kingdom have had their first coronavirus (COVID-19) jab, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi says.

The figure was reached just over two months after the first jab was delivered in the UK on December 8.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson described it as a “significant milestone” and an “extraordinary feat”.

It comes as ministers said the UK was on track to meet its pledge of offering a vaccine to everyone in the top four priority groups by Monday.

From Monday, the vaccine rollout is being expanded to include over-65s and those deemed clinically vulnerable.

Tweeting about the milestone, Zahawi said: “15 000 000! Amazing team.”

He added the government would “not rest” until vaccines were offered to all of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s top nine priority groups by the end of April, and after this all adults.

So far the vaccination programme has been aimed at the top four priority groups, including NHS frontline staff, care home residents and workers, over-70s, and people deemed clinically extremely vulnerable.

These groups have accounted for 88 per cent of the UK’s COVID-19 deaths so far, according to the Department of Health and Social Care and are estimated by the JCVI to be some 15 million people.

While the government’s daily data does not show which groups have been vaccinated, ministers say they are on track to meet the PM’s pledge. (BBC)