THE coronavirus vaccine rollout has hit a new daily record with 1.2 million jabs given out in the last three days, NHS figures show.
An incredible 425,596 Brits received the jab yesterday, in a huge boost to the government’s target of vaccinating 13.5 million vulnerable people by mid-February.
The coronavirus vaccine rollout has hit a new daily record with 1.2 million jabs given out in the last three days (file photo)Credit: PA:Press Association
Today’s figure marks an increase of 15,741 doses compared with yesterday, when 409,855 jabs were given out.
It is also a significant jump on Thursday’s figure of 363,508.
The increase brings the total number of vaccinations to 5,526,071 since the beginning of the rollout on December 8.
Of this number, 5,085,771 was the first dose of the vaccine while 424,478 was the second dose, which the government has delayed in order to ramp up vaccinations.
It comes as a huge boost to the government’s target of vaccinating some 13.5 million Brits classed as vulnerable by mid-February, seen as key to lifting lockdown restrictions.
Immunisation rates must stay at around 400,000 to meet the PM’s target, but earlier this week he insisted jabs were getting into arms “at an unprecedented rate”.
The vaccine race has been boosted by the opening of vaccine hubs, which will allow the NHS to dole out tens of thousands more doses daily.
Currently there are 17 hubs nationally — some at cathedrals and racecourses.
The Black Country Living Museum, famous as a set for TV hit Peaky Blinders, will open from Monday. Other new hubs include The Francis Crick Institute in London, Stoneleigh Park, Warks, and a former Debenhams in Folkestone, Kent.
People are urged not to ring their GP or the centres directly, but wait for a letter or call from the NHS.
Despite the success of the rapid rollout, doctors have raised concerns over the government’s decision to delay the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine by twelve weeks.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, British Medical Association council chairman, warned that “no other nation” had adopted the UK’s policy – and urged the government to halve the space between doses to six weeks.
A group of medics from the BMA last night wrote to Professor Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, claiming the UK had become “increasingly isolated from many other countries” who were not employing the strategy.
Their warning comes as new research from Israel, which has vaccinated more people per capita than any other country, claimed that one dose of the Pfizer jab was only 33 per cent effective, sparking concern over the government’s policy.
The study of 200,000 over-60s found the first dose led to a 33 per cent drop in cases between 14 and 21 days afterwards.
This data contradicts the UK’s joint committee (JCVI) suggestion that a single dose would stop 89 per cent of people developing Covid symptoms.
But the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance last night insisted that it was “too early” to be concerned about the Israeli data.
Sir Patrick told a Downing Street briefing: “I think the Israeli health ministry has said they’re not entirely sure those are the final data and they’re expecting the effects to increase so I think it’s very preliminary.”
He added that Israeli health authorities “haven’t followed people for long enough” to make any conclusions on the data.