“A vaccination milestone to be proud of” – covid vaccinations in the east of England hit three million doses

Yesterday saw the vaccination programme in the east of England reach three million doses, including both first and second doses administered.

Everyone in the top nine priority groups is now eligible to book theirs, and millions of people have done exactly that over the last few days – appointments for first doses are still available until 29th March, but they are filling up fast.

Ann Radmore, Regional Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the East of England, said: “This is an extraordinary achievement by all NHS colleagues and health and care partners in the east of England, and a vaccination milestone to be proud of.

“Setting up and running so many vaccination centres has taken a lot of collaboration between the NHS, local authorities and businesses, as well as the incredible volunteers who give their time to ensure the smooth running of our programme.

“If you are aged 50 or older, now is a great time to book your NHS COVID jab – it’s quick and efficient, safe and effective, and painless. I’ve had my vaccine too, and would encourage everyone to take the opportunity when they are eligible.”

If you are in an eligible group – meaning you are aged 50 or older, have a health condition that puts you at greater risk, or are a health or social care worker – and you haven’t booked your first dose yet, the time to do so is right now.

It’s quick and simple to book at or by phoning 119, and the vaccines are safe and effective.

If you already have an appointment over the coming weeks, whether for your first or second dose, this remains in place and it’s really important that you attend it as planned.

The first dose of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offer good levels of protection, but to get maximum protection everyone will need to get a second dose, so we are urging people to come back when they are contacted or if they have an appointment booked.

Whether you have had your vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus and save lives.

Notes to editors

The NHS made history when 90-year-old Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to be vaccinated against coronavirus outside of a clinical trial when she received the Pfizer vaccine at Coventry Hospital on the 8 December.

Just hours later, Arthur, 86, and his wife, Barbara, 82, received their dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Milton Keynes University Hospital, making history as the first patients to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in the East of England.

In under four months the health service in England has given the vital first vaccine dose to more than half of all adults.

Vaccinations are now being administered at more than 1,600 sites across the country, including mosques, museums and rugby grounds, with the distribution of centres meaning 99% of the country lives within 10 miles of at least one vaccination service.