THE United Kingdom Health Secretary, Matt Hancock says more than one million COVID-19 jabs were booked in just two days after the NHS opened its vaccination programme to all adults in England on Friday.
The UK National Health Chief Executive, in a statement today said a total of 1,008,472 appointments were arranged over Friday and Saturday through the booking service, an average of more than 21,000 every hour, or six every second.
The true figure is likely to be higher as it does not include appointments at local GP-led vaccination services or people getting the jab at walk-in centres.
The NHS has now administered around 62 million doses since Margaret Keenan became the first member of the public to get a jab on December 8.
In a data released by the England NHS, four in five adults have now received their first vaccination, with three in five having both.
According to England’s COVID-19 Director, Sir, Simon Stevens, she hoped all people over 40 could get their vaccine before the full easing of lockdown restrictions planned for July 19.
People over 40 are now being contacted to bring forward their second jab in line with update guidance from experts.
The NHS chief executive said the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme is gathering momentum as the finishing line comes into sight.
“It is fantastic to see so many young people coming forward to play their part, protecting themselves, their friends and their family; nearly nine million people in their twenties and thirties have now had their first dose.”
“It is superb to see the continued enthusiasm young people are showing for vaccines across the country.” He stated.
Adding that it is vital the momentum for second doses is built so people can have the fullest protection possible.
“Our life-saving vaccines are having a huge impact, protecting against symptoms, serious illness and hospitalisations from this awful disease.” Hancock stated, while urging all those who are now eligible to come forward.
All adults can book a vaccine at one of the 1,600 vaccination centres, pharmacies or GP clinics available through the national booking service.
Report says, hundreds of people formed long queues at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium in London yesterday, which opened as a pop-up vaccination centre for one day only.
Despite the long line, the wait was only about half an hour and people were in and out of the vaccination booths within 10 seconds, one attendee said.
It follows similar pop-up centres set up at sporting venues in London the day before.
Giant jab clinics were opened at the Olympic Stadium, Stamford Bridge, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Charlton Athletic FC, Selhurst Park and Crystal Palace Athletics Centre for Super Saturday.
Regional Director for London at Public Health England, Professor Kevin Fenton, said the capital was entering a summer sprint to get as many people vaccinated as possible by so-called Freedom Day on July 19.
Prof Fenton while speaking to the media on Sunday said that the uptake in London has been lower than elsewhere.
He said health official knew getting vaccines into the arms of all Londoners would be harder than in other parts of the county due to its diverse population and its pockets of poverty and deprivation.