Midlands sets record as more than 10 million Covid vaccinations carried out

More than 10 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Midlands – with the region leading the way with the largest number of people vaccinated in England.

A total of 6,086,345 million people in the Midlands have received at least their first dose and 3,928,744 million people have received both doses – ensuring they have the strongest possible protection from the second dose.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “As the first region in England to administer 10 million doses, the Midlands have truly set the bar with the vaccination programme. It is thanks to the incredible local and community effort that we are able to deliver the vaccine at record speed and numbers across the country.

“We know the vaccine is working – it is protecting people from this dreadful virus and ultimately saving thousands of lives. But with the threat of new variants, we must remain vigilant.

“It is more important than ever that we redouble our efforts to ensure everyone is getting their second dose when the time comes, to give us all maximum protection, especially against new variants. I urge everyone to get the jab when the offer comes.”

More than 38.6 million people in total across the UK have now been vaccinated with a first dose – 73.3 per cent – while more than 24 million people have had both doses – 45.6 per cent.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “The vaccination programme – the largest and most successful in our history – has been led by fantastic local efforts and successes, notably the Midlands where a record number of jabs have been delivered.

“I urge all those invited to come forward and book your jab and join the millions who have maximum protection against this virus. It could save your life and play a vital part in our journey out of the pandemic and back to normality.”

Appointments

A recent study by Public Health England (PHE) shows that two doses of the Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective against the B.1.617.2 variant first identified in India. Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease from the B.1.617.2 variant is similar after two doses compared to the B.1.1.7 (Kent) variant dominant in the UK.

Appointments for a second dose have been brought forward from 12 to eight weeks for the remaining people in the top nine priority groups who have yet to receive their second dose. This is to ensure people across the UK have the strongest possible protection from the virus at an earlier opportunity.

The move follows updated advice from the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which has considered the latest available evidence and has recommended reducing the dosing interval.

The Government and its scientific experts are monitoring the evolving situation and rates of variants closely, and say they will not hesitate to take additional action as necessary.

The latest data from PHE’s real-world study shows the vaccines are already having a significant impact in the UK, reducing hospitalisations and deaths – saving at least 13,200 lives and preventing at least 39,700 hospitalisations in England by May 9. For the over 80s, it is estimated that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduce the risk of hospitalisation by 93 per cent from the B.1.1.7 (Kent) variant.

PHE analysis also shows that individuals who receive a single dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine have approximately 80 per cent lower risk of death against the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant originating in Kent and a second dose of the vaccine can provide 85 to 90 per cent protection against symptomatic disease. Protection against death from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rises from approximately 80 per cent after one dose to 97 per cent after two doses against the Kent variant.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data published on May 6, found that more than nine in ten – 93 per cent – adults reported positive sentiment towards the vaccine.

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