Take-up of extra doses of Covid-19 vaccine slows ahead of Christmas

·2-min read

Take-up of booster and third doses of Covid-19 vaccine has slowed in the run-up to Christmas, though figures are still well above levels seen earlier in December, new data shows.

A total of 605,561 extra doses of vaccine were recorded in the UK on Thursday – the lowest daily figure since December 13.

It is the second day in a row the number has fallen, after hitting a record high of 968,665 on Tuesday.

The total continues to be comfortably above the daily figures for earlier in the month, however.

Between December 1 and 10 the number never topped 500,000.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Nearly 32.3 million booster and third doses have now been delivered in the UK, with more than 5.9 million in the past seven days.

The figures have been published by the UK’s four health agencies.

Around 61% of all adults in the UK have now received a booster or third dose.

The slowdown in jabs might reflect the level of Covid-19 infections across the country.

People are not eligible to receive a vaccine within 28 days of having had the virus.

Separate data published on Friday by the Office for National Statistics showed that an estimated that 1.7 million people in the UK had Covid-19 in the week ending December 19, or around one in 35 people – the highest number since comparable figures began in autumn 2020.

The start of the Christmas holidays may also be having an impact on vaccine take-up, with people busy with festive plans or away from their local area having travelled to stay with family and friends.

NHS England has said booster doses will be continue to be delivered on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with around 200,000 appointments for an extra dose still available across the country over the festive period.

Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: “The best gift you can give your loved ones this Christmas is to get vaccinated, and with many sites continuing to deliver vaccines over the festive period it has never been easier to get your first, second or booster jab – so please come forward as soon as you can and get protected against coronavirus this winter.”

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