There were 1,979 new cases of coronavirus recorded on Monday 17 May, and five deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test while the number of those vaccinated against the virus continues to rise.
Since vaccines started being administered in December, over 20m adults in the UK have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine while more than 36m have been vaccinated with a single dose.
Matt Hancock, the Health and Social Care Secretary, called the progress “extraordinary” and said: “20 million people now have the fullest possible protection from this virus”. Hancock encouraged the British public to take up their second doses as soon as they are eligible to get fullest possible protection.
The government says that vaccinated people are far less likely to experience serious covid symptoms, to be admitted to hospital or to die from the virus.
The rollout of vaccinations in the UK has, by the end of April, saved over 11,000 lives and prevented 33,000 hospitalisations in England according to data from a study by Public Health England.
While the government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by 15 April, and remains on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July, there is a push to ensure people get their second dose too.
“We have one of the highest vaccine uptake rates in the world, but our work is not done yet,” said Nadhim Zahawi, Vaccines Minister.
The government announced that appointments for second doses will be brought forward by four weeks for people in the top nine priority groups still awaiting them.