The government today said over 42m adults in the UK have received their first dose of the Covid vaccine.
The latest figures show almost 73m doses of the vaccine have been administered in the UK, with more than 30m adults receiving both doses. The government says it is on track to offer a first dose to all adults by 19 July.
Analysis by Public Health England (PHE) showed that two doses of the vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation, even in the Delta variant.
The news comes as PHE today said the risk of catching Covid more than once is low.
Publishing population surveillance data on coronavirus reinfections for the first time, 15,893 cases of possible reinfections were identified up to May this year. Out of nearly 4m people with confirmed infections, this was equivalent to around 0.4 per cent of cases becoming reinfected.
While this rate is low, Dr Susan Hopkins, strategic director for COVID-19 at PHE, said: “it is important we do not become complacent about this – it is vital to have both doses of the vaccine and to follow the guidance at all times to reduce your chance of any infection.”
Research also published today shows the pandemic grew “exponentially” in England at the beginning of the month, driven by unvaccinated young people.
However, the latest government data show preliminary signs of the Covid-19 case growth rate slowing. While, coronavirus cases previously appeared to be doubling every 10 days, this has slowed to around every 14 days this week.
Matt Hancock, the health and social care secretary, said: “Vaccines save lives and have enabled us to restore many freedoms that we cherish. To allow us to ease restrictions fully, it is more important than ever that people come forward for their jabs when eligible and book a second dose to receive the fullest possible protection.
“We’re accelerating our vaccine programme by reducing the time between doses for all people aged 40 and over to eight weeks and the NHS will open invites for everyone aged 18 and above later this week. So if you get the call, get the jab to fight this virus.”