More than 137,000 people in the UK have received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the first week of the largest vaccination programme in British history, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.
According to provisional figures at least 137,897 people received their first dose of the vaccine by the end of Tuesday 15 December, with 108,000 people were vaccinated in England. The majority of the vaccines have been administered to the over-80s, care home workers and NHS staff through more than 70 sites across the UK. GP-led centres started vaccinating patients this week in England and the roll out will expand to care homes soon.
Read more: COVID-19: ‘Landmark moment’ as first NHS patient receives vaccination
‘Thanks to the hard work of the NHS across the UK, over 137,000 people have already received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.
‘This is just the start and we will steadily expand our vaccination programme – ultimately helping everyone get back to normal life.’
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the first vaccine to be authorised for use by the medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Patients require 2 doses of the vaccine – 21 days apart – for the vaccine to be fully effective.
Read more: COVID-19: UK authorises Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
‘A really good start to the vaccination program. It’s been 7 days and we have done… U.K total 137,897. That number will increase as we have operationalised hundreds of PCN (primary care networks,’ said Health Minister Nadhim Zahawi.
‘Transparency is vital as we deliver vaccines across the UK. For now, these figures are provisional. From next week, we will begin to publish weekly figures on the number of vaccines administered.’