Vaccine programme has prevented 100,000 deaths, report says

The Covid-19 vaccine programme in England is estimated to have prevented more than 100,000 deaths, according to Public Health England.

In its latest report, the Government body said the vaccination scheme has so far directly averted between 102,500 and 109,500 deaths in total.

Previous estimates had put the number between 91,700 and 98,700 deaths.

While the number of hospital admissions directly averted by the scheme remains unchanged at more than 82,100.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid described the new data as “phenomenal” and said it was a “testament to the UK’s vaccination programme”.

“The vaccines have made a life-changing difference to so many of us and continue to help us build a stronger wall of defence every day,” he said.

“With over 24 million infections prevented, vaccines are keeping people safe from harm and helping us reclaim our freedoms so we can return to normal life.”

He added: “Getting the vaccine has never been easier, thanks to sites being made available across a variety of sites including places of worship, festivals, and sporting grounds so please ensure you get your jab as soon as possible to ensure yourself, your loved ones and the people around you are protected.”

Business minister Nadhim Zahawi also reacted to the figures, writing in a tweet: “Thanks to our wonderful NHS and our vaccination programme, we are keeping people safe. This is yet further proof the vaccines work – please get your jab if you haven’t already.”

Head of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in England, Professor Sir Keith Willett, said the success was down to “the tireless efforts of NHS staff and volunteers”.

He said: “NHS staff have now delivered more than 75 million vaccinations since administering the world’s first vaccine in December with around nine in 10 adults having had their first dose, as well as hundreds of thousands of newly eligible teens, and four in five adults are fully vaccinated giving them maximum possible protection from coronavirus.

“The vaccine is safe and effective and remains the best way to protect yourself, your friends and your family and so if you haven’t already I would encourage you to make that lifesaving appointment today.”

Immunisation chief at PHE, Dr Mary Ramsay, said: “Everyone that has come forward for their vaccine has played a part in this vital effort.

Reading Festival 2021
Covid case rates now highest among those aged 10 to 19, as young people urged to get vaccinated and tested before heading to festivals and other events.

“To build on this success it remains important that everyone gets two doses of the vaccine, to protect you and those around you from Covid-19. You must get two doses to gain maximum protection.”

The PHE COVID-19 Surveillance Report, published on Thursday, also showed that case rates are now highest in those aged 10 to 19, and lowest in those aged 80 and above. However, those aged 85 and above still represent the highest hospital admission rates.

Hospital admission rates for Covid-19 were highest in the West Midlands, with a rate of 11.46 per 100,000 population.

Alicia Demirjian, incident director for Covid-19 at Public Health England, said: “Cases of Covid-19 are still high, especially among young people. If you have Covid-19 symptoms, please do not go out – stay at home and get a PCR test as soon as possible.

“If you are heading to a festival or other event this Bank Holiday weekend, to protect your friends and others we encourage you to take a free rapid test before you leave to check that you do not have the virus.”