BRITAIN has become Europe’s leading light in the effort to vaccinate against coronavirus.
Latest figures reveal the UK has given 10 times more jabs than many of its European neighbours after the government kick-started Covid vaccinations last month.
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The UK is leading the way with its Covid vaccination programme compared to the rest of Europe
More than 2.6 million people – almost four per cent of the UK population – had received a jab as of yesterday.
A huge NHS operation has seen seven mass vaccination hubs open across the country this week, supported by hundreds more GP surgeries, hospital hubs and pharmacy-led sites.
However, vaccination drives across the continent have got off to a sluggish start, with country such as France and the Netherlands delivering less than a tenth of the number of jabs.
Compared to the UK’s 3.94 per cent, both are currently on just 0.21 per cent. Meanwhile Belgium has vaccinated only 0.07 per cent of its population so far.
Behind Britain, the best performing countries in Europe are Denmark with 2.02 per cent and Iceland and Italy on 1.43 per cent and 1.19 per cent respectively.
Globally, only Israel, UAE and Bahrain have currently vaccinated more of their populations than the UK.
Boris Johnson visited one of the UK’s first vaccine super hubs in Bristol yesterdayCredit: Getty – Pool
Frontline NHS workers have been among the first priority groups given a jabCredit: Reuters
Seven vaccination hubs such as this one in Manchester have opened this weekCredit: Manchester Evening News
The UK was the first to approve the Pfizer vaccine last month and Margaret Keenan, 91, from Coventry became the first person in the world to receive the jab on December 8.
Britain has ordered a total of 350m vaccinations from seven different firms – including 100m of the Oxford/Astrazeneca jab which was approved for use by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on December 30.
Meanwhile, the European Union didn’t approve the Pfizer vaccine until two weeks after the UK and the first jabs weren’t carried out until December 27.
In France fewer than 150,000 people have been injected so far.
Red tape and rules meaning anyone receiving a vaccination should have a consultation with a doctor first has dramatically slowed the rollout.
Surveys also show more than half of the French population are skeptical about receiving the jab.
Seven vaccination super hubs opened across England this week
The hubs will be supported by a network of around 1,200 sites
The UK’s vaccine rollout programme was revealed yesterday with Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying the government is on track to innoculate 13m high-risk Brits by mid-February.
Mr Hancock said: “Vaccines are important and I care about them because I want our country to get back to normal as fast as possible.
“I want us to have that great British summer – my team and I are working fast to deliver this as soon as possible.”
He added two fifths of over-80s have now received their first dose, while almost a quarter of care home residents have received theirs, with a commitment to reach all residents by the end of January.
Daily data on vaccinations is being released from this week.
He hailed the thousands of Brits who have signed up to be vaccination volunteers and help with the roll out through The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign.
Mr Hancock said: “Come and join, the jabs army is marching.”