UK hits 1m second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as campaign shifts to next phase

More than 1m people UK-wide have now had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, official figures will confirm today.

COVID-19 vaccine: second dose milestone (Photo: Anthea Cumming/Getty Images)
COVID-19 vaccine: second dose milestone (Photo: Anthea Cumming/Getty Images)

Data from NHS England show that by the end of 3 March 963,862 people in the UK had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

A total of 68,450 people received their second dose of vaccine on 3 March - the highest figure recorded in a single day since the NHS began publishing daily data in early January. Analysis by GPonline shows that the seven-day average figure for daily vaccinations has now climbed to 37,592 and is rising fast.

The figures suggest 1m second doses was surpassed on 4 March - with the milestone set to be confirmed in data published by the government at the end of this week.

COVID-19 vaccination

Second-dose COVID-19 vaccinations have surged at the start of this month, accounting for almost one in five of all jabs administered on 3 March - the highest proportion recorded since daily figures became available.

NHS officials have told GPs to prepare for a slow-down in vaccinations in the week beginning 8 March - but deliveries the week after will rise sharply to around double the level seen in the first week of this month.

Administration of second doses of vaccine is set to accelerate as millions of patients who received a first dose in the final two weeks of 2020 and at the start of this year reach the 12-week deadline for a second dose this month.

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Find out how the vaccination campaign is going: GPonline COVID-19 vaccination tracker

GPonline analysis shows that vaccination sites will need to deliver up to 3m second-dose jabs per week in April and May - in addition to continuing to deliver first-dose vaccinations to patients in the later priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations (JCVI) and other adults.

Nearly 21m people in the UK had received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 3 March - and the government has said it aims to complete first doses for the entire adult population by 31 July.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock this week thanked GPs for their 'monumental effort' in driving the rollout of vaccinations.

In a letter to GPs distributed via the RCGP, Mr Hancock wrote: 'Three quarters of COVID-19 vaccine doses were delivered in primary care. The fact we have been able to vaccinate [millions] of the UK’s most vulnerable people in just weeks, as well as delivering the biggest flu vaccination campaign ever, is testament to your incredible efforts.’

However, the BMA GP committee warned this week that practices could not be expected to continue to deliver the campaign 'on goodwill' alone - calling for a swift correction to missing payments last month for the vaccination campaign that left PCNs thousands of pounds short.

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