NEWS
31/01/2021 18:16 GMT | Updated 31/01/2021 19:37 GMT

UK Vaccinates Nearly 600,00 People In Just One Day

But only 10,621 were second doses.

The UK vaccinated nearly 600,000 people against Covid-19 on Saturday, the highest number since the rollout of the program began.

Government data up to January 30 shows 9,468,382 jabs given so far, a rise of 598,389 on the previous day’s figures.

But only 10,621 of those administered on Saturday were second jabs, taking the national total to 491,053.

Health secretary Matt Hancock revealed that four fifths of those aged over 80 had now received their first dose of the vaccine, alongside three quarters of those aged between 75 and 79.

The government has set a target of getting the first dose to 15 million people in the top priority groups, including all over-70s, by February 15.

Based on the latest figures, an average of 401,512 first doses of vaccine would be needed each day for this target to be met.

Meanwhile, Labour has called for teachers to receive the jab before schools return, but only after those in the four most vulnerable groups have been vaccinated, which is anticipated by mid-February.

Former prime minister Tony Blair backed the calls and said there was a “very strong case” for teachers to be vaccinated before schools are reopened to all students in England, which the Government has earmarked for March 8.

However, this appeared to be ruled out by International Development Secretary Liz Truss, who said that this could leave other vulnerable groups at risk, PA Medias reports.

Asked if teachers should be moved up the priority list, she told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “The issue is that for every person you vaccinate who isn’t in the most vulnerable group, that’s somebody in the most vulnerable group who isn’t getting their vaccine and who is more likely to die in the next few weeks and months.

“I just don’t think that’s right. That’s the decision made by the independent committee that we are going to vaccinate first the over-70s and those in the most vulnerable group, and then the over-50s.”

Under the current vaccine delivery plan, those who top the priority list are people who live and work in care homes, followed by people over the age of 80 and frontline health and social care workers, including NHS staff.

Next on the list are people over the age of 75, and the fourth group are people aged over 70 and those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.

Elsewhere, Professor Anthony Harnden, JCVI deputy chair, said he was “confident” of the UK’s vaccine supply following fears it could be interrupted by the EU’s export controls and demands for British-manufactured jabs.

He told BBC Breakfast: “We’re progressing extremely well in the number of vaccines in this country, we’ve had 8.3 million first doses so far.

“These vaccines aren’t easy to manufacture, it’s a complicated process involving a lot of batch testing and supply chains, there are bound to be some bumps along the road.

“I’m quite confident the Vaccine Taskforce has ordered so many millions of doses of different vaccines that we can keep the supply going.”