UK Hits Vaccination Milestone

'It's a huge success'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 20, 2021 11:06 AM CDT
UK Hits Vaccination Milestone
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson receives the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine administered by nurse and Clinical Pod Lead, Lily Harrington at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, Friday, March 19, 2021.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)

The UK says half of the country’s adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, a milestone in the government’s drive to reach everyone over age 18 by the end of July, the AP reports. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Saturday that more people received injections on Friday than any day since the country's vaccination program began in early December. “It’s a huge success,” Hancock said in a video posted on Twitter. “And I want to say many, many thanks to all those involved, including the half of all adults who have come forward. It’s so important because this vaccine is our way out of this pandemic.’’

But the celebration comes amid growing concerns about the failure of wealthy countries to share scarce vaccine supplies with developing nations. While Britain should be proud of the success of its vaccination drive, it is time to start thinking about the rest of the world, said Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome, a London-based health policy think tank. Britain has the rights to enough doses to vaccinate its entire population twice, and it is time to begin sharing that surplus with countries that are most in need, Farrar said in a statement. “Science has given us the exit?strategy,?but it will only work if its benefits can reach the maximum number of people around the world,” he said.

(Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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