LONDON (Reuters) – Half of adults in Britain have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the world’s first major economy to hit the milestone sin.
Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Twitter that the figure was reached after 660,276 shots were administered on Friday.
Israel is at the forefront of vaccinating its population, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Chile and then the United Kingdom – and investors are keeping a close eye to see what the economies are which may recover first.
“The vaccine is a national success story and our way out of this pandemic,” said Hancock, adding that he was “delighted”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson received his first dose of vaccine on Friday, receiving a bullet from AstraZeneca – which several European countries stopped using earlier in the week over safety fears.
Surrounded by the state-run health service, Britain’s vaccine rollout has got off to a strong start but the government has warned this week that there are significant delays in April due to delayed transfers from the Serum Institute of India and due to incoming badge the UK had to be re-certified.
Britain has so far relied on vaccines from AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and Pfizer and BioNTech.
Reporting by Sarah Young; Edited by Alexander Smith and Helen Popper