The United Kingdom is vaccinating 140 people per minute against COVID-19 on average, Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Monday.
The United Kingdom, which has the world’s fifth worst official COVID-19 death toll, is racing to be among the first major countries to vaccinate its population - seen as the best way to exit the pandemic and get the economy going again.
Latest figures show the United Kingdom has vaccinated 3,857,266 people with a first dose and 449,736 with a second dose.
“It is going well, we’re vaccinating on average 140 people, that’s first jab, literally a minute. That’s the average so some areas are doing better,” Zahawi told Sky.
“You’ll see that improve as we open more of the large vaccination centers, 17 in total by this week and 50 by the end of the month.”
“Today, in some areas where they’ve done the majority of their over 80s, letters are going out to the over 70s and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable,” he said.
He said the 24-hour vaccine offering would begin to be piloted in London by the end of the month.
Key workers such as teachers, the police and shopworkers could move to the top of the list for a vaccine once all those over 50 have been offered a shot, Zahawi said.
“Teachers, police officers, shop workers, those who through no fault of their own other than the work that they do may come into contact with the virus in much greater volume, should be
top of the list,” Zahawi told Times Radio.
Britain is currently rolling out the vaccine to the most vulnerable first, starting with those who are in care homes or over 80 years of age.
Zahawi said he would work with the Joint Committee on Vaccination to establish who gets the shot next in phase two of the roll out.