England vaccinates 252,992 people against Covid as immunisation drive is off target for fourth day running
- England gave out 252,992 Covid-19 vaccines on Wednesday, official figures show, in drive to immunise the UK
- The NHS data figures show that 252,992 Covid vaccinations were administered across England on January 27
- Cases in England have fallen 17 per cent in a week amid the brutal restrictions, official figures have revealed
England gave out 252,992 Covid-19 vaccines on Wednesday, official figures show, as the drive to immunise the UK is off its 400,000-a-day target needed to reach 15 million of the most vulnerable groups by mid-February.
The NHS data figures show that 252,992 vaccinations were administered across England on January 27 – of which 251,902 were given to people receiving their first dose.
The UK needs to be vaccinating at least 400,000 people every day for the next three weeks to fulfil Number 10‘s promise of immunising all 15million of the most vulnerable Brits by February 15. For each day that passes without the target being hit it becomes slightly higher.
Overall, 6.9million first and second doses have been administered across England and 6.5 million have at least received their first dose while 1,090 received their follow-up jab on Wednesday.
The NHS data figures show that 252,992 vaccinations were administered across England on January 27 – of which 251,902 were given to people receiving their first dose. Pictured: Pharmacist Bhaveen Patel gives a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in Brixton, London
This means the prospect of lifting tough social distancing rules that have already been in place for three weeks is reliant entirely on the vaccine programme getting up to speed.
However coronavirus cases in England have fallen 17 per cent in a week amid the brutal restrictions, official figures have revealed.
Test and Trace said 274,898 people tested positive for the virus in the week to January 20, the lowest number since before Christmas and the second week in a row a dip has been recorded.
It is another glimmer of hope that measures are turning the tide on the second wave after separate statistics from a Government-commissioned study also showed cases were dipping in England – although scientists insisted the drop was ‘shallow’.
And Department of Health figures are indicating the number of Britons testing positive for the virus every day is falling – with yesterday’s figures 88 per cent below the levels two weeks ago.
Experts say lockdown is reducing transmission of the virus, although some worry this isn’t happening fast enough to relieve pressure on over-stretched hospitals.
Test and Trace – run by the Department of Health and private contracters – has been dogged by allegations it is too slow to reach positive cases and had failed to plan ahead for spiking numbers of infections in September when schools returned.
The figures published today show almost 56,000 fewer Britons tested positive for the virus in the third week of January than the week before.
There were 330,871 positive swabs in this week, which was 57,000 people fewer than the seven-day spell before when 388,037 people tested positive – the peak of the second wave.
Test and Trace figures only pick up symptomatic cases – when someone gets a swab after suffering a high temperature, new continuous cough or loss of taste and smell.
But they leave out those that are infected but are not experiencing any symptoms of the virus.
The Health Minister Lord Bethell today warned one in three people who are infected with the virus do not suffer symptoms, ‘meaning you can infect others unknowingly’.
‘It is therefore crucial that we continue to follow public health guidance, and all play our part by following the rules and reducing our social contact to slow the spread of the virus,’ he said.
The figures also showed nine in ten people who go for tests are now receiving their results within 24 hours, in a boost to the system.