Matt Hancock today confirmed the UK will roll out booster vaccines later this year as he announced 10million people have now had second doses.
The Health Secretary hailed the ‘terrific milestone’ today after another 221,193 people got their booster jabs on Sunday, taking the total to 10,152,039. It means almost one in five adults in Britain now have the best available protection against Covid, with almost all of the country’s most vulnerable people now covered.
A total of 32.9million people have had their first dose of a vaccine, meaning well over half of the adult population have at least some protection. But supply problems and a huge surge in demand for boosters means the number of first-timers coming forward is a fraction of what it was in March, dropping to around 100,000 a day.
Experts estimate the jabs have already saved 10,000 lives while the country’s three-month lockdown brought down case rates and hospital admissions.
Mr Hancock said uptake of the jab so far has been ‘astonishingly high’ and that the country remains on track to offer a first jab to all adults by the end of July. It also remains on track, he said, to come out of lockdown in June. He said new variants of the virus were the biggest threat to Britain’s newfound security.
The booster rollout, expected to come in the autumn, will offer people a third jab that tackles strains like the South African one which may weaken the original vaccines.