More than 5 million people in the UK have had their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine, news that Boris Johnson praised as a “another milestone in our vaccination programme”.
According to government figures up to 2 April, the number of people who have received their second jab has passed 5.2 million, bringing the total number of immunisations to 36,631,187.
Of these, 31,425,682 were first doses, a rise of 124,415 on the previous day. About 47% of the UK population have now received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. A further 5,205,505 were second doses, an increase of 256,870, according to PA Media.
“We’ve reached another milestone in our vaccination programme, with over 5 million people now having had their second jab,” the prime minister said. “I urge everyone to take up their second dose as soon as they are offered it.”
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, echoed this, saying: “The vaccine is safe and effective, so when it’s your turn, come forward and get the jab.”
Currently, those eligible include anyone over 50, as well as those with certain health conditions, carers and frontline care and health workers.
The news comes as the UK prepares for a further easing of restrictions on 12 April, which will see the reopening of non-essential retail and personal care establishments such as hairdressers and nail salons. Public buildings, including libraries and community centres, will also open their doors.
Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to serve people outdoors, with no requirement for ordering a meal with alcohol and no curfew – though all hospitality venues will be operating table service only and social distancing rules will still apply.
Gyms are set to reopen, but can only be used by people exercising alone or with members of their household. Most outdoor attractions and hospitality venues will reopen, such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas.
People can also visit self-contained accommodation including campsites and holiday lets, as long as there are no indoor facilities shared with other households. Weddings, receptions and commemorative events will be allowed to host 15 people.