Covid vaccine rollout: More than 250,000 in Wakefield have had jab one year on

More than 250,000 children and adults in Wakefield have received a dose of the coronavirus vaccine – almost one year after an English NHS patient became the first person in the world to receive a Covid-19 jab.

December 8 will mark a year to the day that then 90-year-old Margaret Keenan became the first person to get the Pfizer jab after its approval in the UK.
December 8 will mark a year to the day that then 90-year-old Margaret Keenan became the first person to get the Pfizer jab after its approval in the UK.

December 8 will mark a year to the day that then 90-year-old Margaret Keenan became the first person to get the Pfizer jab after its approval in the UK.

The vaccine was administered at University Hospital Coventry, and marked the start of a historic world-wide mass vaccination programme.

Since then, 265,039 people aged 12 and over in Wakefield have received at least the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, figures up to December 4 from the UK coronavirus daily dashboard show.

That's at least 82% of all people in the age group, based on the number of people on the National Immunisation Management Service.

Of them, 243,786 have also received a second dose – 76% – though 12 to 17-year-olds only became eligible for second jabs in recent weeks.

Across the UK, 51 million people have had their first jab and more than 46 million have received a second dose.

After launching at the end of last year, the vaccine rollout first targeted the most vulnerable and their carers, as well as healthcare workers, before moving down the adult age groups.

The NHS launched its booster jab campaign in September, after data showed falling levels of protection from symptomatic disease and hospital admission six months after people have had their second jab .

Data shows 111,233 people in Wakefield had received a booster jab or third dose of the coronavirus vaccine by December 4.

The UK Government marked one year since it became the first country in the world to approve Pfizer’s Covid vaccine with a "Boost Day" call on December 2.

It saw a series of adverts on TV and radio stations encourage eligible people to get their top-up jabs to protect themselves ahead of Christmas.

The call came amid concerns around the newly discovered Omicron variant – cases of which are continuing to emerge across the UK.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said the Covid-19 vaccination programme – the largest in British history – has been "remarkable".

She added: "Booster jabs will protect the progress we have already made against the virus and help ensure we can enjoy Christmas safely with our loved ones.

"The offer of a first and second dose will always be available and I encourage everybody to come forward to protect yourself and those around you."

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, warned that although more than 96 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have already been given, providing protection to nine in 10 people, the emergence of the Omicron variant shows the pandemic "is far from over".

"Thanks to hard work of NHS staff and volunteers we have carried out almost two million vaccinations a week on average since the largest vaccination drive in NHS history began last December – with more sites delivering jabs across the country," he said.