Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received his first dose of the Oxford / AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.
Mr Johnson received the sting just after 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening at St. Thomas’ Hospital in central London.
The prime minister had previously dismissed concerns related to blood clots and told the nation at a press conference Thursday that it was “safe”.
New figures suggest that half of adults in England have likely received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. It is the first of the four British nations to have reached this symbolic milestone.
According to NHS England, a total of 22,337,590 people had received a first push on March 18.
This equates to 50.5% of the UK population aged 18+ based on the latest estimates from the Office of National Statistics (ONS)
Meanwhile, countries like France, Germany and Italy have started restarting their vaccination programs with the AstraZeneca push. This reversed previous decisions to suspend her because of blood clot concerns.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the AstraZeneca vaccine was “safe and effective,” and its benefits in preventing the admission and death of Covid-19 hospitals far outweighed the potential risks.
However, the EMA has not been able to definitively say that the bite was not related to “extremely rare” blood clots in the brain, which 18 million people have reported vaccinated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK Medicines and Health Products Regulator (MHRA) have declared the sting is safe and encouraged people to take their vaccination appointments.
The WHO Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety issued a formal statement on Friday saying the vaccine “continues to have a positive benefit-risk profile with tremendous potential to prevent infections and reduce deaths around the world” .
New ONS figures show that about one in 340 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week leading up to March 13, compared to about one in 270 the week before.
In Wales, an estimated one in 430 people in the week leading up to March 13 had Covid-19 (down from one in 365), while in Northern Ireland (similar to the week before) it was one in 315 and roughly one in 275 in Scotland, of one in 320. The current reproduction rate (R) for the UK is 0.6-0.9.
Other data shows that the UK ended 2020 with one of the highest excess mortality rates for people under 65 among European countries.