Covid vaccine: How many people in the UK have been vaccinated so far?

By The Visual and Data Journalism Team
BBC News

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More than 36 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine - part of the biggest inoculation programme the country has ever launched.

With the aim of offering vaccines to as many adults as possible by summer, the government says the continued success of the vaccine programme is one of the four conditions needed for further easing of restrictions.

Who can get a vaccine now?

First vaccines are now being offered to people below the age of 50. Those aged 38 and above in England, over 30s in Northern Ireland, those aged 40 and above in Scotland and the over 40s in Wales are all being invited to book appointments.

The rollout has expanded after the UK government hit its target of offering a first jab to everyone in the top priority groups - all those over the age of 50, plus those in high-risk categories - before 15 April. These groups account for 99% of coronavirus deaths so far.

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The government plans to vaccinate the rest of the adult population, another 21 million people, by the end of July.

People will be vaccinated in age order until all those over 20 have had a first dose.

So far, more than 36 million people have had a first vaccine dose and more than 19 million have had a second.

The number of first doses administered each day is now averaging around 149,000 - a drop from an average of about 500,000 in mid-March - as the schedule of second doses kicks in.

An average of about 365,000 second doses are now being given a day.

On Friday, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the delivery of second doses to the over 50s in England will be accelerated, in response to the emergence of the Indian variant of the virus in the UK.

The UK has three vaccines approved for use: Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna, all of which require two doses for maximum protection.

The campaign to reach as many people as quickly as possible was boosted by a shift in policy in early January - to prioritise the first dose of a vaccine, with a second dose up to 12 weeks later, a bigger gap than originally planned.

Public Health England has estimated that 11,700 deaths have been averted in people aged 60 years or older in England, as a direct effect of being vaccinated, up to 25 April 2021.

The progress made in the UK so far means the country continues to be among those with the highest vaccination rates globally.

People aged under 40 are to be offered an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to evidence linking it to rare blood clots.

Has the rollout been even across all areas?

Across the country, there continues to be some variation in the vaccine programme.

Scotland has vaccinated 90% of those aged 40 and over with at least one dose, while Northern Ireland has reached 88% and Wales 89%.

England, on average, has vaccinated 90% of the same age group, with the South West reaching 92% and London 81%.

When looking at all those aged 18 and above, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all vaccinated well over half of adults with the first dose.

Second doses are also being rolled out, with all nations reaching about a third of adults so far.

There have also been disparities between ethnic groups and poorer and wealthier areas.

Analysis of NHS records by the OpenSAFELY group - a collaboration between Oxford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine - shows that black people were the least likely to have received a vaccine among six of the older age groups.

The study was based on more than 20 million patient records in England and covers people not living in care homes. Areas of London are under-represented in the data.

In addition, vaccine take-up in poorer areas is lower than in more affluent areas.

For example, 76% of those aged 50-54 in the poorest areas had been given a vaccine by 5 May, compared with 91% in the most affluent.

Where are the vaccines coming from?

The UK is now receiving doses of three vaccines approved by the medicine regulator.

The Pfizer-BioNTech jab - the first to be given the green light in December - is being imported from Puurs, Belgium.

A second vaccine, from Oxford University and AstraZeneca, is being made at a number of sites in Britain. Further doses are expected to come from the Serum Institute of India and the Halix plant in the Dutch city of Leiden.

The third, from Moderna, is coming from sites in Switzerland and Spain, via Belgium.

The UK is also lined up to receive at least three further vaccines if they are approved for use.

A jab manufactured by US firm Novavax will be made in Stockton-on-Tees in north-east England, while another by French company Valneva will be made in Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland.

The third, produced in the Netherlands by Belgian firm Janssen, owned by Johnson & Johnson, should also be available later this year.

How will people be vaccinated?

People will be vaccinated in three main ways, at:

  • Local GP practices and community pharmacies1
  • Hospital hubs
  • Major vaccination sites across the country

The government has urged the public to "play their part" in supporting "the largest vaccination programme in British history", including helping people attend their appointments.

Is there enough vaccine?

The UK has ordered more than 500 million doses of seven of the most promising vaccines, including the three so far approved for use.

An extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were ordered last month as the government prepares for a vaccination booster programme in the autumn.

Ministers have also announced an eighth deal with biopharmaceutical company CureVac to develop vaccines against future variants.

It has placed an initial order for 50 million doses to be delivered later this year - if they are required.

But there have been a number of challenges in what is called the vaccine "supply chain" - the logistics of how the jab gets from manufacturers to people.

Getting enough supplies, checking those supplies are up to scratch and transporting vaccines according to their requirements have all thrown up difficulties.

Will your vaccine appointment be the first time you have left home in a long while? Have you or your loved ones been making a special effort for the occasion? Send your photos or videos to yourpics@bbc.co.uk.

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