Covid: 50m AstraZeneca doses in UK and 2.5bn worldwide administered in year since introduction

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Brian Pinker, 82, was the first person to receive the life-saving jab

One year ago the UK became the first country to administer the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine.

At 7.30am on 4 January last year, Brian Pinker, 82, was the first person to receive the life-saving jab outside of clinical trials at Oxford University.

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Since then, almost 50 million doses have been administered in the UK, saving countless lives and keeping people out of the hospital.

Worldwide, 2.5 billion doses of the UK-made jab have been administered to more than 170 countries.

The UK Government has said it will donate a further 20 million doses to countries in need this year as part of the Government’s commitment to donate 100 million doses overall.

The Government invested more than £88 million to help research, develop and manufacture the vaccine by investing early in Oxford University’s team and supporting their vaccine technology since 2016, and their Covid-19 jabs since March 2020.

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What has been said about the vaccination programme?

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Backed by government funding, the UK-made Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has played an absolutely crucial role in our fight against Covid-19, saving countless lives in the UK and around the world.

“I’m extremely proud of our world-leading researchers and scientists who are responsible for developing some of the most effective vaccines and treatments during the pandemic and the NHS for the incredible roll out.

“The UK’s vaccination and booster programme is world-leading but with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, it is more important than ever that people come forward for their vaccines and booster to top up your immunity this winter and protect the progress we have made.”

The Covid-19 vaccination programme is the largest in British history with thousands of vaccine centres set up in England, meaning around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination clinic.

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Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: “The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is a UK success story and demonstrates what can be achieved when researchers, scientists and the government work together.

More than 133 million Covid-19 vaccinations have been administered in the UK in just over a year, including around 34 million boosters and third doses, securing vital protection against Omicron.

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