Covid-19: More than half UK population has received their first dose of vaccine

More than half the UK population has received a first dose of Covid-19 vaccination, according to the latest figures.

As of the end of Friday, 33,508,590 people have had at least one dose of the coronavirus jab, while 12,071,810 people have had both doses.

The UK population is estimated to be 66,796,807.

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Experts have said vaccines should be able to control the Covid-19 pandemic, as they published new real-world UK data showing that jabs slash infection and are likely to cut transmission.

Just one dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine leads to a two-thirds drop in coronavirus cases and is 74% effective against symptomatic infection.

After two doses of Pfizer, there was a 70% reduction in all cases and a 90% drop in symptomatic cases - the people who are most likely to transmit coronavirus to others.

Experts are still collecting data on two doses of AstraZeneca but say their findings show that both vaccines work and are effective in the real world.

Ministers are pushing to drive up Northern Ireland’s vaccination rates Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

One of the new studies, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, is based on data from the national Covid-19 Infection Survey run by the University of Oxford and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It included a random sample of more than 373,000 adults from across the UK, who produced more than 1.6 million swab test results between December and April.

Professor Sarah Walker, from the University of Oxford and chief investigator for the survey, said the study suggested vaccines could reduce transmission and were also effective against the Kent variant of coronavirus.