Almost 138,000 people across the UK have been vaccinated against Covid-19 so far, a health minister has said.
Nadhim Zahawi, who oversees the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in England, tweeted that there had been a “really good start” to the NHS vaccination programme with the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.
He wrote: “A really good start to the vaccination program(me). It’s been 7 days and we have done: England: 108,000 Wales: 7,897 Northern Ireland: 4,000. Scotland: 18,000 U.K Total 137,897. That number will increase as we have operationalised hundreds of PCN (primary care networks).”
About 200 GP-led vaccination clinics are expected to be up and running by the end of the week, with more to follow.
It came after Government officials refused to be drawn on how many doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are due to arrive in the UK and on what schedule.
It had been hoped that 10 million doses would be in the country by the end of 2020, but this has now dropped to five million doses.
To date, 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are known to be in the country, which is enough for 400,000 people.
Overall, the UK has ordered 40 million doses – enough to vaccinate 20 million people.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he hopes several million people can be vaccinated before Christmas.
Of the latest data, he said: “This is just the start and we will steadily expand our vaccination programme – ultimately helping everyone get back to normal life.”
Formal statistics will be published every week from next week to give a running total of how many people have been immunised.
The rate of vaccinations is expected to rise as more doses become available and the programme continues to expand.
People require two doses of the Pfizer jab 21 days apart for the vaccine to be fully effective.