COVID-19: Two-thirds of UK adults have received two vaccine doses, Health Secretary Sajid Javid announces

Two-thirds of adults in the UK have now received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, the health secretary has announced.

Sajid Javid said on Twitter: "Two-thirds of adults across the UK have now had two jabs.

"We have beaten our target by almost a week – this is a huge achievement. Thank you to everyone who has come forward.

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"The vaccine is our wall of defence against the virus."

The figure is a key milestone ahead of a drastic easing of restrictions on Monday.

The government delayed lifting most rules until 19 July so two-thirds of adults could be double-jabbed, and every adult could be offered a first vaccine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked people for "coming forward" and "helping others get jabbed" on Twitter.

He said: "Barely 8 months since the first vaccine, 2/3 of UK adults have had both doses.

"Thank you to everyone coming forward and to those helping others get jabbed. You are the reason we are able to cautiously ease restrictions next week.

"If you’re over 18, book both your jabs now."

The prime minister announced last week that those who have been double-jabbed will not have to quarantine on their return to England from an amber list country from 19 July, providing they received their second jab at least 14 days prior.

Latest data from the Department of Health shows a total of 81,192,857 doses have been administered in the UK, with 46,037,090 people receiving a first dose (87.4%) and 35,155,767 people receiving both doses (66.7%).

Reacting to the figures, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi urged everyone to get vaccinated to help the country return to "normality as quickly as possible".

He said: "This is a remarkable success and achieved ahead of target. Thanks to everyone who has come forward for their jabs so far and to the NHS for their tireless work to vaccinate as many people as possible.

"As we start to cautiously ease restrictions, I urge everybody to get their vaccines so we can return to normality as quickly as possible."

England will lift all coronavirus restrictions on Monday, including limits on social contacts and the legally mandated mask requirement for indoor spaces.

Some 1,200 scientists – including four SAGE members – have urged the government to push the brakes on the plans, warning the decision to unlock the country is "unethical".

Writing in The Lancet, they accused the government of pursuing an "unscientific" policy of "herd immunity by mass infection".

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Scotland is also set to ease the majority of its remaining restrictions on Monday, as it moves to level zero, but face masks will remain mandatory.

Earlier, First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, announced the nation would move to relax some restrictions from Saturday but face masks will still have to be worn on public transport and in most indoor public places.

He added that most rules will be eased further on 7 August if cases remain low, but even after that, the requirement for wearing face masks will continue for some settings.

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