More than 11 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have now been administered, with the chairman of the UK Vaccines Taskforce has said he is “very optimistic” of meeting the target to jab all over-50s by May.
Downing Street confirmed on Friday that the vaccine programme is intended to reach all those aged 50 and over, as well as adults aged 16-65 in an at-risk group, by May – having previously said it aimed to do so “by the spring”.
The breakdown of Covid-19 vaccines is as follows:
All figures below relate to the number of vaccinations given between December 8, 2020, and February 5, 2021, presented as total jabs / first doses / second doses.
- South-west England, 1,173,677 / 1,117,594 / 56,083
- Midlands, 1,956,456 / 1,885,378 / 71,078
- East of England, 1,243,484 / 1,186,225 / 57,259
- London, 1,203,229 / 1,141,771 / 61,458
- North East and Yorkshire, 1,595,844 / 1,519,871 / 75,973
- North-west England, 1,422,280 / 1,354,738 / 67,542
- South-east England, 1,651,635 / 1,570,649 / 80,986
Meanwhile the latest figures from Scotland reveal that 786,427 people have received the first dose of the Covid vaccination and 10,332 have received the second dose.
In Wales, 556,997 people have received their first dose and 2,471 have had both doses, while the latest total for inoculations in Northern Ireland stands at 301,279 – 275,232 first doses and 26,047 second.
Government data up to February 5 shows of the 11,975,267 jabs given in the UK so far, 11,465,210 were first doses – a rise of 494,163 on the previous day’s figures.
Some 510,057 were second doses, an increase of 4,064 on figures released the previous day. The seven-day rolling average of first doses given in the UK is now 440,896.
Based on the latest figures, an average of 392,754 first doses of vaccine would be needed each day in order to meet the government’s target of 15 million first doses by February 15.
Vaccines tsar Clive Dix, speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, said: “Every time we’ve been set an objective in the taskforce, we’ve met it and we will work day and night to ensure whatever the target that is feasible can be met.
“I’m very optimistic that we will definitely meet the May target.”
While admitting there was the “possibility” of a so-called “black swan” mutation emerging that could escape the vaccines currently on offer, Dix added: “The UK is properly at the forefront of surveying all of these variants.
“We have actually sequenced nearly 50% of all the virus that has been sequenced in this pandemic at the Sanger centre in Cambridge.
“Taking that data and having scientists look very seriously at what’s emerging – where the mutations are occurring, what they might do to the protein – we can kind of second guess some mutations that haven’t even occurred yet and we can go ahead and make those.
“And that’s part of the collaboration – we’ll make libraries of future vaccines, just small amounts, enough to then, if it does occur, do a quick clinical study to see that it works and then start manufacturing.”