Covid vaccine: Midlands becomes first region in the UK to hit 5 million doses

  • May Parsons, the nurse who administered the first vaccine, shared a 'thank you' message to celebrate the milestone

The Midlands is performing above national average as it became the first region to reach the five million vaccines landmark - just over 100 days since the Covid-19 vaccination programme began. The region is leading the way in all six of the age-based groups over 50, including the delivery of at least one vaccine dose to over 95% of people aged over 70.

Over 4.75 million people have received their first dose with 295,136 people having received their second jab, according to NHS figures released today.

Margaret Keenan received the first jab as part of the vaccination programme in Coventry in December. Credit: PA

The biggest vaccination programme in NHS history started right here in the Midlands 106 days ago, when nurse May Parsons administered the jab to 91-year-old Margaret Keenan at University Hospital in Coventry.

Since then, the vaccination programme has been rolled-out to GP surgeries, pharmacies, hospitals and large vaccination centres.

Woodside Pharmacy in Telford was among the first pharmacies to roll out the vaccine on 14 January 2021, and was the first in the Midlands to deliver it.

The Al-Abbas Islamic Centre in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, became the first mosque in the UK to open as a vaccination centre on 21 January 2021. The site's lead pharmacist hailed it a success in their campaign against vaccine hesitancy among the local black, Asian and minority ethnic community.

People receive their covid-19 jabs at a vaccination hub at Villa Park, in Birmingham, the home of Aston Villa. Credit: PA

Sports venues across the region have also become hubs for the vaccine programme, such as Villa Park, Derby Arena and Leicester Racecourse.

Five million vaccines being delivered in just over 100 days since the vaccination programme began right here in the Midlands is a monumental achievement

Alison Tonge, Regional Director, NHS England and NHS Improvement Midlands

Alison Tonge, the NHS England and NHS Improvement director responsible for overseeing the vaccination programme across the East and West Midlands, said the landmark is a "fantastic testimony to all the NHS services, their partners, staff and volunteers."

"The way that communities across the Midlands have come together to support this national effort has been remarkable and I would like to thank each and every person who has played their part."

4.75 million

First doses of the vaccine delivered in the Midlands


Second doses delivered in the Midlands

The news comes days after last weekend was declared a national record for the number of vaccines given.

NHS England and NHS Improvement announced 756,873 jabs were administered on 'Super Saturday' (20 March), the highest number on a single day since the programme began.

Anyone over the age of 50 can book a vaccination appointment online or by calling 119.

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