UK says more than 25 million people have had first COVID shot

FILE PHOTO: UK flag is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration photo taken March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Wednesday more than 25 million people had now received a first COVID-19 vaccination, 100 days after the first person in the country received a shot.

The government said it meant almost half the adult population had received a vaccination dose, putting it on track to have offered all those over 50 a shot by the target date of April 15.

“This latest milestone is an incredible achievement - representing 25 million reasons to be confident for the future as we cautiously reopen society,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.

Britain’s vaccine rollout began on Dec. 8 when Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother, became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine outside of a trial.

Since then Britain has offered vaccines to priority groups, starting with the eldest and most clinically vulnerable as well as frontline health workers, before moving to younger age groups.

Health services have now vaccinated a total of 25,273,226 with either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca shot, and 1,759,445 people had been given both doses of the vaccine.

Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Elizabeth Piper and Kate Holton