More than half a million people in the UK have been vaccinated against Covid-19, Boris Johnson has revealed.
The Prime Minister told a Downing Street press conference more than 500,000 people in the UK have now received their first dose of the two-part vaccine.
It comes little more than two weeks after grandmother Margaret Keenan became the first patient in the world on 8 December to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 jab following its clinical approval.
The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said in a tweet it was “such good news” as the UK faces a high-stakes race to inject people with the vaccine faster than the virus can infect.
As the nation is faced with a fast-spreading new variant of the virus, a Kent resident suggested the vaccine rollout might now be expanded to cover different geographical areas and working age people.
Mr Johnson said the Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination is “sticking” to its priority list which currently focuses on giving the vaccine to the 80-plus age group, the particularly vulnerable and those in care homes.
He described it as “the sensible thing to do” while the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the two-part vaccine should still be effective against the new rapidly-transmitted Covid variant strain.
Sir Patrick told the Downing Street press conference: “The transmission is increased, we can’t say exactly by how much, but it is clearly substantially increased, so it is more transmissible, which is why we see it growing so fast and spreading to so many areas.
“There is no evidence that the disease course is any different, so if you catch it the disease looks the same as any other form of Covid infection.
“In terms of the immune response, there is nothing to suggest that this won’t have the same susceptibility to antibody attack from vaccine or pre-existing infection as any other form.”
Sir Patrick added the vaccine “looks as though it should be as effective and that’s obviously being looked at”.