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NHS staff delivered almost 100,000 COVID jabs in a single hour yesterday as ‘Super Saturday’ took the vaccine programme to new heights.
A record 756,873 jabs were recorded across England, including 686,424 first doses to cap a bumper week.
Nurses, doctors, pharmacists and countless others delivered 96,834 jabs between 11am and 12pm yesterday, an average of 1,614 a minute or around 27 jabs a second.
The remarkable number took total jabs in the last seven days 956,352 higher than the previous busiest week.
Sir Simon Stevens said: “The speed and precision of the NHS vaccination campaign has been on full display this weekend, and yesterday NHS staff across England administered a remarkable 27 jabs a second. In just one day we vaccinated the equivalent of the entire adult populations of Liverpool, Southampton and Oxford combined.
“When my turn came earlier this week I was delighted to get my first dose, and we have a strong supply of vaccine for the coming week too, so if you are aged 50 plus, don’t delay! Now is a great time to book your NHS COVID jab – it’s quick and efficient, safe and effective, and painless.”
In all, 25,150,062 doses have been delivered providing protection to 23,559,503 people since the NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in the health service’s history, kicked off little over 100 days ago.
More than 1.5 million vital second doses have also been administered.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens and Prime Minister Boris Johnson were among the 2,990,682 people who got their first dose in the last week.
The record week meant that more than half of adults in England had been jabbed by last Thursday, a milestone passed on the day Sir Simon received his vaccine at Westminster Abbey.
Boris Johnson received his at St Thomas’s hospital, in London, where he was treated while critically ill with COVID, on Friday.
Doctors, nurses and countless other staff, supported by volunteers and others, are delivering the life-saving jab at more than 1,600 sites ranging from cathedrals, mosques and temples to racecourses, sports stadiums, cinemas and museums.
One group of GP surgeries in Bristol, known as PCN4, jabbed 1,909 people in a day across four sites yesterday.
Dr Emily Lawson, NHS England’s chief commercial officer and senior responsible officer for vaccine rollout said: “It is remarkable that because of the sustained hard work of NHS staff and all those involved in delivering jabs up and down the country, the vaccination programme has once again topped its own success with its busiest week to date. I could not be more proud of all those involved who have helped us to achieve this latest milestone.
“This week we moved on to offering vaccines to those aged 50 and above and we are making great progress so we urge anyone in this group to make use of the huge range of sites you can book in to across the country and get your jab.”
Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS England’s primary care director and a GP, said: “Thanks to the huge efforts of NHS staff, vaccinators, volunteers, and everyone working tirelessly seven days a week on the vaccination programme, it continues to be a great success.
“These efforts have meant that the NHS had vaccinated half of all adults in England by Thursday and saw a sequence of record-breaking days topping off the most successful week in the programme so far.
“I would encourage anyone who is aged 50 plus to have the vaccine – it’s safe, quick and effective and we have a variety of locations up and down the country where you can book in to get your jab.”
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “We have hit a new record day of jabs completed by our NHS. In England alone, the team recorded more than three quarters of a million jabs. This is a testament to the incredible work of the NHS, GPs and volunteers who have made this happen. The vaccine is saving lives right now so please get the jab when you get the call.”
The NHS made history when 90-year-old Maggie Keenan was the first recipient in the world outside a clinical trial of a Pfizer vaccine at Coventry Hospital on December 8.
Brian Pinker, 82, was the first person to be vaccinated with the new Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on January 4 by the NHS in Oxford, where the jab was created.