Over 60% of UK adults have now been vaccinated with a second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
The UK's vaccination programme has continued at unprecedented pace and scale. 75,188,795 million doses have now been administered in total. 43,448,680 million people have had their first dose (82.5%), while 31,740,115 million people have had both doses (60.3%).
Recent analysis by Public Health England (PHE) shows that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.61.2) variant. The analysis suggests the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after both doses.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
"The vaccination team have been working incredibly hard to provide people with much-needed protection from this life-threatening disease.
"With more and more evidence emerging on just how effective two doses of our vaccines are in protecting against the Delta variant, it’s a great to see three in five adults have been double jabbed, so we’re well on our way to the whole country getting the fullest possible protection.
"We’re so close now to ensuring the entire adult population is protected – now everyone aged 18 and above can make an appointment, so make sure you book in for your first and second doses as soon as possible."
The government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by 15th April and is on track to offer a first dose to all adults by 19th July - two weeks earlier than planned. NHS England has extended the offer of a vaccine to everyone aged 18 and over.
The successful vaccination programme is weakening the link between cases and hospitalisations. The latest evidence shows that two doses are needed to provide effective protection against the Delta variant. To ensure people have the fullest possible protection against COVID-19, second doses for all over 40s will be accelerated by reducing the dosing interval from 12 weeks to eight weeks.