People sit and talk to healthcare workers as they wait to receive the coronavirus disease vaccine at a vaccination centre inside the Blackburn Cathedral, in Blackburn, Britain on January 19, 2021 (Photo: REUTERS/Molly Darlington)

More than four million people in the UK have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine as part of nation’s biggest vaccination drive.

The NHS vaccinated a total of 4.06 million people between December 8 and January 17, including more than half of those aged 80 and over and more than half of elderly care home residents, the latest official data showed on Tuesday (Jan 19).

The latest vaccination data is more than double the number of vaccinations, per person per day, than any European country. It is also a significant step towards hitting the government’s target of offering vaccines to the top 4 priority groups by the middle of February, the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) said.

“This group of around 15 million people accounts for 88 per cent of Covid deaths, so vaccines will play a crucial role to saving lives and protecting the NHS,” the DH added.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is the biggest medical deployment in British history and it’s one of the biggest civilian operations that this country’s ever undertaken.

“We’re on track to deliver our plan to vaccinate the most vulnerable groups by the middle of February, the groups that account for 88 per cent of Covid deaths”.

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