UK announces half of all adults have received at least first coronavirus shot

UK announces half of all adults have received at least first coronavirus shot
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The U.K. announced Saturday that half of all adults in the country have received at least the first coronavirus vaccine dose, reaching a new milestone for a country that has grappled in recent months with the surge of a highly infectious variant of the illness. 

Health Minister Matt Hancock announced the news on Twitter, saying the country reached the figure Friday after 660,276 shots were administered.

“I’m absolutely delighted to tell you that we have now vaccinated half of all adults in the United Kingdom. It’s a huge success,” he said.


“It’s so important because this vaccine is our way out of this pandemic," he continued. "So when you get the call, please come forward and get the jab, and join the majority of adults who’ve now been jabbed.”

The news comes a day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson received his own dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine. The U.K. so far has mostly leaned on that shot and the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech. Both vaccines require two doses for maximum efficacy.

Britain has adopted a unique strategy for its vaccination program compared to other countries. While most nations, including the U.S., have worked to guarantee that anybody who gets a first dose can get a second dose, Britain has focused on getting as many first doses out as quickly as possible to provide some protection to more people and delaying second shots. 

The strategy has led the U.K. to only trail Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Chile in number of vaccinations per capita. 

“The U.K. vaccination program is a big success story. It’s down to the hard work of many, many people. This isn’t easy, but we’re making massive strides,” said Hancock.