People urged to get second Covid jab amid fears millions missed out

The UK government is urging millions of people to come forward and receive their second dose of the vaccine, following concerns millions of people have missed out. 

Data published by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency shows around 1.5 million single-dosed people have missed the recommended date for getting jabbed again.

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The Prime Minister and the Department of Health have continuously reiterated that getting two doses is the best way to protect yourself from the effects of Covid, with some vaccines providing up to 95 percent immunity. 

'Benefits outweigh the risks'

Figures published by the Government show that by August 18, a total of 1.4 million people who were due to have their second Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had missed having it.

In those who had received the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine, up to 600,000 had missed out on their second dose. 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommends an eight week gap between jabs, as well as recommending you do not wait more than 12 weeks. 

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By 18 August, around 40.5 million people in the UK had received their two 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.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care told PA 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.

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“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.”