The UK is on track to give half of all adults a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by the end of the week.
The latest figures show 24,453,221 people had received a first dose as of Sunday. Last week, 2,075,966 first doses were issued, with 512,108 on Saturday alone.
The pace of the vaccine rollout is expected to pick up considerably in the coming days because of increased supplies of the jab.
According to The Times, some five million jabs are set to be administered this week, with NHS England expecting “around twice the level of vaccine supply previously available”.
Therefore, it can be assumed the number of first doses is highly likely to surpass 26.3 million – or half of UK adults – this week.
The chart below shows the current pace of the vaccine rollout, plus projections for the coming days, assuming that 80% of the five million jabs will be first doses, in line with rates so far.
The UK’s rollout of the vaccine has been one of the most successful in the world, and has been a major factor behind the fall in COVID cases, hospital admissions and deaths.
According to Oxford University’s respected Our World in Data website, the UK has one of the world highest rates of vaccines issued per 100 people.
It comes amid the ongoing row over Europe's use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine: one of two being used in the UK.
A small number of cases of blood clots in people having the jab have been reported in Europe, prompting several countries including Germany, France, Italy and Spain to halt the rollout of the vaccine.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to continue using the AstraZeneca jab, saying no association has been found so far with blood clots and the vaccine.
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Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the WHO’s chief scientist, said the rates at which blood clots have occurred in people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine “are in fact less than what you would expect in the general population”.
In the UK, Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon have both defended the vaccine.
Emer Cooke, the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) executive director, also said there was no indication the vaccine was the cause of reported blood clots.
She told a virtual press conference on Tuesday: “They have not come up in the clinical trials and they are not listed as known side events with this vaccine."
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