U.K. Expands Vaccinations; Six Million Shots Given

LONDON (AP) -
A sign of a NHS vaccination centre is seen, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Wembley, London, January 18. (Reuters/Matthew Childs)

Britain is expanding a coronavirus vaccination program that has seen almost 6 million people get the first of two doses — even as the country’s death toll in the pandemic approaches 100,000.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Sunday that three-quarters of the U.K.’s over-80s have received a vaccine shot. He said three-quarters of nursing home residents have also had their first jab. Almost 5.9 million doses of vaccine had been administered by Saturday.

Health officials aim to vaccinate 15 million people, including everyone over 70, by Feb. 15.

Britain’s vaccination campaign is a rare success in a country with Europe’s worst coronavirus outbreak. The U.K. has recorded 97,329 deaths among people who tested positive.

Another 1,348 deaths were reported Saturday, and the U.K. is set within days to become the fifth country in the world to record 100,000 COVID-19 deaths.