UK hits COVID-19 vaccine milestone with 75% of adults inoculated
Three in four British adults have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the British government said on Wednesday.
The health ministry said 75.2% of people 18 and older in the country have received an injection and 49.5% are fully vaccinated after two doses.
One of the leading countries in the world for coronavirus vaccination, Britain is fighting to vaccinate all adults and fight a more contagious delta variant of the virus.
The new strain, which was first detected in India, now accounts for the majority of new cases in Britain.
The UK has recorded nearly 128,000 coronavirus deaths, the highest death toll in Europe.
A mass vaccination campaign that began in December has sharply reduced new infections and deaths, but confirmed cases are on the rise again.
The UK on Wednesday reported 4,330 new infections and a 35% increase in the past seven days.
Yet daily deaths remain low. Britain reported no new daily deaths linked to COVID-19 for the first time since July last year on Tuesday.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock called the 75% milestone a big step forward, but warned that “a global pandemic of disinformation” threatened the vaccination campaign.
“The speed of disinformation is a deadly threat,” Hancock said at an international meeting hosted by Britain to encourage vaccination.
The UK government has come under heavy criticism for its missteps in handling the pandemic, including its reluctance to lock down the country in March 2020 and test the failures that have seen people with the virus released from hospitals to nursing homes nurses, where thousands of residents have died.
But his vaccination campaign was widely praised. Britain has secured early contracts for several vaccines – four of which have been approved for use – and used medics, soldiers and volunteers to deliver more than 65 million doses at thousands of sites.
Hancock said Britain had boosted confidence in the vaccine by using “voices of confidence” – including naturalist David Attenborough and Queen Elizabeth II – to reveal they had received an injection and to deliver a pro message. -vaccine.
He said another key factor was making sure the process was fair, first administering the vaccines to the elderly and those most at risk, and then moving down the age groups in an orderly fashion.
“We Brits love to stand in line,” Hancock said. “And there’s nothing more upsetting than someone skipping the line.