UK achieves yet another vaccine milestone as 10m get first dose

The UK’s world-wowing vaccine roll-out programme has hit another stunning milestone as new government figures reveal that the number of people getting their first dose of vaccine has crossed the 10m mark.

The figure now stands at 10,021,471 with 498,962 Brits having received both shots. The second figure will continue to lag significantly behind the first because of the UK’s innovative policy of spacing the vaccines out by 12 weeks – a move that has been vindicated by new Oxford University research.

The new data showed how the first AstraZeneca jab was 76% effective for 12 weeks and blocked transmission in up to 7 in 10 cases. The efficacy of the vaccine rises to 82.4% when the doses are spaced 12 or more weeks apart.

Professor Andrew Pollard, the Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said that the data “supports the policy recommendation made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) for a 12-week prime-boost interval, as they look for the optimal approach to roll out, and reassures us that people are protected from 22 days after a single dose of the vaccine.”

The Prime Minister responded to the research news by saying: “Really encouraging data from a new study today shows the Oxford/AZ vaccine provides significant protection against the virus.

“I’m incredibly grateful to all our scientists, NHS staff and volunteers working on our vaccination programme.”

374, 756 people received their first jab yesterday – a figure that is up more than 20% week-on-week from last Tuesday, when 311,060 were vaccinated.

It follows a remarkable weekend in which Britain broke it’s one-day vaccination record, with more than 600,000 people across all four corners of the UK getting a jab.

Performance is significantly worse in the EU, with the faltering bloc still struggling to get its supplies in order after wasting valuable months last summer because of meddling from the bungling European Commission.

But lessons do not appear to have been learnt, with outgoing German chancellor Angela Merkel burying her head in the sand and denying anything has gone wrong.