UK could give 1 million Covid vaccine doses a day ‘within next few weeks’

‘Bumper boost’ to supplies will allow rollout to expand rapidly

Samuel Osborne
Saturday 13 March 2021 01:10 GMT
A woman receives an injection of the the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at Elland Road vaccine centre in Leeds
A woman receives an injection of the the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at Elland Road vaccine centre in Leeds (Danny Lawson/PA)

Coronavirus vaccine stocks in the UK are expected to more than double, allowing for up to 1 million doses a day in the next few weeks, according to reports.

All over-40s should have been offered their first vaccine by Easter, The Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday, citing government sources.

The paper said a “bumper boost” to supplies will allow the vaccine rollout to expand rapidly next week.

Similarly, an analysis for The Times found Britain is on course to offer every adult in the country at least one dose of a vaccine by around 10 June, more than a month before the government’s target of the end of July.

It added that the UK was currently set to immunise all adults around two months before the European Union.

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, has pledged that all over-50s will have been offered jabs by 15 April, and everyone over 18 by the end of July,

More than 23 million people have now had their first dose of a vaccine as of Thursday.

It comes after a major new study found two doses of either the Pfizer or Oxford vaccine dramatically cuts transmission of the virus.

Public Health Scotland and the University of Glasgow assessed 300,000 NHS workers and their households between 8 December – the first day of vaccination in Scotland – and 3 March to give the first direct knowledge of how the jabs impact transmission.

The study assessed the records of people who live with both vaccinated and unvaccinated healthcare workers, and found the rate of Covid-19 among them was at least 30 per cent lower when the health worker had received a single dose.

Given that people living with healthcare workers could also catch the virus from other sources, researchers said the 30 per cent figure is a low estimate.

For those living with workers who had both doses of either vaccine, their risk of Covid was found to be at least 54 per cent lower.

The number of people infected with coronavirus continues to fall across England, though appears to be levelling off in Northern Ireland and Scotland, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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