More than half of the UK’s total population has received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, figures show.
It means the UK first dose total so far is now 33,496,293, with more recent figures still to be reported by Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The UK population is estimated to be 66,796,807, so the latest figures show that more than half the population have now had a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock called it “a brilliant milestone”, saying “this vaccination programme is our way out” in a twitter post.
“It’s clearly saving lives - we can see that - and it’s meaning that fewer people are catching the disease as well.”
He added that he was “thrilled” the uptake among those aged over 50 was over 95% “which will give this country so much protection in the weeks and months ahead.”
Experts have said vaccines should be able to control the Covid-19 pandemic as they published new real-world UK data showing that jabs slash infection and are likely to cut transmission.
Just one dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine leads to a two-thirds drop in coronavirus cases and is 74 per cent effective against symptomatic infection.
After two doses of Pfizer, there was a 70 per cent reduction in all cases and a 90 per cent drop in symptomatic cases – these are the people who are most likely to transmit coronavirus to others.
Experts are still collecting data on two doses of AstraZeneca but say their findings show that both vaccines work and are effective in the real world.
One of the new studies, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, is based on data from the national Covid-19 Infection Survey run by the University of Oxford and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It included a random sample of more than 373,000 adults from across the UK, who produced more than 1.6 million swab test results between December and April.
Professor Sarah Walker, from the University of Oxford and chief investigator for the survey, said the study suggested vaccines could reduce transmission and were also effective against the Kent variant of coronavirus.