More than 75% of adults in the United Kingdom have now received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the government announced on Aug. 10.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, a total of 39,688,566 people have received both doses while 47,091,889 people — 89% of the population — have received at least one dose, amounting to over 86.7 million doses administered in the UK.
Data from Public Health England and Cambridge University showed that the vaccines prevented about 60,000 deaths and 22 million infections.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the milestone as “a huge national achievement, which we should all be proud of.”
The government also announced that from Aug. 16, fully vaccinated people will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 cases.
However, anyone who tests positive will still be required to isolate, regardless of their vaccination status, the government said.
As for the booster shots, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that the government was “waiting for the final advice” from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization.
“But I anticipate it will begin in early September, so I’m already making plans for that,” Sajid said, according to a report by Sky News.
However, Oxford Vaccine Group Director Andrew Pollard said that the decision to offer booster shoots “should be scientifically driven.”
“The time we would need to boost is if we see evidence that there was an increase in hospitalization — or the next stage after that, which would be people dying — amongst those who are vaccinated. And that is not something we are seeing at the moment,” Pollard said, as quoted by BBC News.
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