Nearly 600,000 people in the UK were vaccinated against Covid-19 on Saturday, a daily record for the vaccination program.
Adoption has been particularly strong in England, with nearly 540,000 people having received their first vaccination. In Wales just over 25,000 people received their first stroke, with nearly 23,000 in Scotland and just over 10,500 in Northern Ireland.
A total of 598,389 vaccinations were administered across the UK on Saturday. Of the 9,468,382 injections administered in the UK to date, 8,977,329 were first doses and 491,053 were second doses.
The seven-day moving average of first doses administered in the UK is now 374,858. According to the latest figures, an average of 401,512 first doses of vaccine would be needed each day to meet the government’s target of 15 million firsts. doses by February 15.
The Midlands delivered more vaccine than any other region in England (1,533,699), followed by north-eastern England and Yorkshire (1,306,355). London and the South West vaccinated the least, with 950,032 and 946,947 doses, respectively.
The UK’s vaccination program has been up and running for seven weeks since Margaret Keenan, 90, became the first person to be vaccinated on December 8.
Currently, only the four most vulnerable groups are entitled to their first dose of vaccine: those over 70, residents of health centers, health and social service workers, and clinically extremely vulnerable people.
Professor Anthony Harnden, vice-chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, said he was confident in the UK vaccine supply, fearing it would be interrupted by export controls from the EU and its demands for British-made vaccines.
He told BBC Breakfast: “We are progressing extremely well with the vaccine count in this country, we have received 8.3 million first doses so far.
“These vaccines are not easy to manufacture, it’s a complicated process involving a lot of batch testing and supply chains. There are bound to be bumps along the road.
“I have no doubts that the vaccine task force has ordered so many millions of doses of different vaccines that we can maintain the supply.”