The UK Coronavirus vaccination campaign is still on track, to meet its target of offering a first jab to all adults by the end of July, the Government says.
The latest lockdown, together with the vaccination programme, have successfully reduced cases, and as a result deaths.
Dr Mike Tildesley, an expert in the spread on infectious diseases, said it was “really good news”.
“It’s a really good sign and we’ve seen several parts of the country where prevalence is really, really low. So, I think it gives us confidence.”
Last week, NHS England began inviting people aged 40 and over to get their first dose.
As of Sunday, 34,505,380 million people had received one dose and 15,329,617 million had been given their second jab, for a total of just under 50 million vaccines.
SAGE trials have shown that not all elderly people have an immune response to the first dose of a vaccine – which may explain why some still end up in hospital after their jab – but generally everybody shows signs of immunity after the second dose.
The promising figures come as other research earlier this week showed that the jabs can cut the risk of transmitting the virus by up to half even between people living together.
SAGE Research and Data
Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked those who had made the vaccination rollout possible as the UK reached the milestone of 15 million fully vaccinated people.
He tweeted: “15 million people across our United Kingdom have received two doses of a COVID vaccine. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible. Please keep coming forward to get your jabs to give yourself maximum protection from the virus.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “It’s fantastic news that 15 million people have now received two jabs.
“The vaccination progress has been extraordinary, and I want to give my thanks to all the team – NHS, volunteers, military and so many others.
“Getting a second dose is absolutely vital to ensure people are getting the strongest possible protection from this deadly virus – I encourage everyone to book their jab as soon as they are offered it.”