New figures show millions are not having their second jab

Millions of people have been missing their all-important second Covid-19 vaccination, which provides protection against the virus.

By August 18, 1.4 million people who were due to have their second Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine missed it, according to government figures, PA news agency analysts have reported.

Between 400,000 and 600,000 people eligible for their second dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine had not come forward by that date.

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The concerning uptake could impact the key immunity needed to protect against the virus and people are being urged to ensure they have both.

The latest breakdown of figures, published by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, but taken from Department of Health and Social Care statistics, said that up to August 18, about 16.6 million have had their Pfizer/BioNTech second dose, while 23.9 million had their second Oxford/AstraZeneca dose.

As a result of the Government changing the rules on how long people need to wait in between doses, people who had their first vaccines on and before May 26 and June 23 were eligible to receive a second jab on or before August 18.

For people who had the Pfizer vaccine, 14 million first doses were given on May 26 and 18 million first doses were given by June 23.

But by August 18, 12 and eight weeks later, only 16.6 million had jabs.

With the AstraZeneca vaccine, 24.3 million people had their first jabs on May 26 and 24.5 million had their first dose on June 23.

By August 18, only 23.9 million had their second doses.

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A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care told PA news agency more people have now come forward and had their vaccines since the data was published by the MHRA on Thursday.

They added: “Almost nine in 10 people in the UK have now received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and the latest ONS data reports that 98% of adults who received their first dose have said they are likely to have their second dose.

“Getting two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine is the key to protecting yourselves and your loved ones and enjoying a host of new freedoms safely, whether that be to enjoy a trip abroad with family or a night out with friends, as we continue to build our wall of defence.

“The benefits of the vaccines against Covid-19 continue to outweigh any risks. The vaccines have already saved around 105,900 lives and prevented 24.1 million infections in England up to 20 August, according to the latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University.”

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