World 'Incredibly important milestone': More than 30m people in UK have now had both COVID jabs

19:35  15 june  2021
19:35  15 june  2021 Source:   news.sky.com

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More than 30 million people in the UK are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the government.

a man and a woman looking at the camera: A member of the RAF gives a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine © PA A member of the RAF gives a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A total of 30,209,707 people have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine (57.4% of the adult population).

And 41,831,056 have received a first jab (79.4%).

It comes as the UK reported more than 7,000 daily COVID cases for a seventh day in a row.

Another 7,673 infections have been recorded in the latest 24-hour period, along with 10 more coronavirus-related deaths.

The figures compare with 7,742 infections and three fatalities announced on Monday, while 6,048 cases and 13 deaths were recorded this time last week.

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NHS England has now extended the offer of a vaccine to everyone over the age of 23.

And all over-18s in England will be able to book a first dose by the end of this week, Downing Street has confirmed.

Meanwhile, members of the public who have already had their first jab are being urged to come forward for their second dose to help protect against the threat of new COVID variants.

To ensure people have the strongest possible protection, second doses for over-40s will be speeded up by reducing the dosing interval from 12 weeks to eight weeks.

All over-40s who received a first dose by mid-May will be offered a second dose by 19 July.

Also, new analysis by Public Health England (PHE) showed for the first time that two doses of a COVID vaccine are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta variant, first detected in India.

Testing and vaccine push in north-west England

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The data suggests the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after both doses.

Video: Coronavirus vaccine: 58 million jabs given in the UK so far (Evening Standard)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Second doses are increasingly vital, so this is an incredibly important milestone. Day after day, our vaccination programme reaches new heights.

"With over 30 million people across the UK now receiving a second dose, we are giving the fullest possible protection to our loved ones in the face of new variants.

"The strength of the union has never been clearer than in the UK vaccination effort. All four corners of this country have pulled together for one common purpose - to get the jab and fight this virus.

"I want to pay tribute to everyone right across the country who has answered our call to arms and rolled up their sleeves to get the jab. I encourage everyone over 23 to come forward and get the jab."

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Over-18s in Wales and Northern Ireland can already get a jab, and people over 30 are eligible in Scotland.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a delay to step four in England's roadmap out of COVID-19 measures, pushing back the hoped for 21 June "Freedom Day" to 19 July amid a rise in cases of the Delta variant.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has told Sky News that 19 July is the "terminus date" for England's remaining coronavirus restrictions and it would take an "unprecedented and remarkable" change in circumstances to derail that.

Also, Scotland is "likely" to maintain COVID restrictions for a further three weeks from 28 June, the nation's first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking in Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon did not rule out the further easing of restrictions, but said the Scottish government needed to "buy ourselves sufficient time" to allow the vaccination programme to continue its work.

A three-week delay would allow more people to receive a second coronavirus vaccine amid concerns about rising cases of the Delta variant, she added.

Ministers consider dropping self-isolation rules for those with two jabs

  Ministers consider dropping self-isolation rules for those with two jabs The government is considering dropping forced self-isolation for those who have had two coronavirus jabs, Sky News understands. Sky News political correspondent Rob Powell said "it is early days but the idea is being discussed in Westminster and people would instead have to take daily tests".The idea would only be brought in later in the year once the adult population has been offered both doses, Powell said.He added that "this idea of offering more privileges to people who've had two jabs is clearly in the ascendancy".

Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

New South Wales records two new Covid cases overnight .
New South Wales has recorded two new cases of Covid-19 overnight as the number of sites exposed to the virus across the state reached 35.Health officials in NSW confirmed the community infections following the 8pm cut-off on Sunday evening, along with five cases in hotel quarantine.

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