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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
LONDON — Two-thirds of adults in the United Kingdom have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the UK government announced on Friday in a press statement.
According to the statement, health services across the UK have now administered a total of 51.8 million vaccines between Dec. 8, 2020, and May 7, 2021, including 35 million people with their first dose (66.6 percent) and 16.7 million with their second (31.8 percent).
Commenting on the development, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This has been a truly national effort, with NHS and care staff and volunteers coming together across the UK to deliver the vaccine at an incredible pace, saving thousands of lives.”
“One jab at a time, the approved vaccines are helping to send this virus into retreat, with coronavirus cases and deaths now at their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic. I strongly encourage everyone to take up the offer when it comes so we can put this pandemic behind us.”
Data from Public Health England’s real-world study shows the vaccines are already having a significant impact in the UK, reducing hospitalizations and deaths, saving more than 10,000 lives in England by the end of March.
The latest vaccine effectiveness data from PHE show that in those aged over 70, both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines reduce the risk of getting the symptomatic disease by around 60 percent after a single dose.
This protection lasts for several weeks. In those aged over 80, protection against hospitalization is around 80 percent and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is 85 percent effective at stopping people aged over 80 from dying from COVID-19.
Data from the ONS and Oxford University shows that COVID-19 infections fell significantly, by 65 percent after the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, rising further after the second dose.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Two-thirds of the adult population have now been vaccinated with one dose in the UK — an incredible achievement.
“It is now more important than ever to come forward for the second dose, so we can ensure everyone has the absolute strongest possible protection from this dreadful virus.”
The vaccine minister exhorted people to come forward and take the vaccine whenever they are offered.
“I encourage everyone to book their jab as soon as they’re offered it and to come back for their second dose. It’s never too late to come forward if you are eligible,” Zahawi added.
An extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been secured by the UK government to help support preparations for the booster COVID-19 vaccination program from the autumn if clinically needed.
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