A new report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has said the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme made effective use of public money, as it met “stretching and unprecedented targets”, saved lives and reduced hospital admissions.
In the UK, 88.5% of adults are reported to have received two doses of the vaccine up to February 16, 2022.
By the same date, more than 116 million doses are reported to have been administered, with over 72% of vaccinations up to the end of January 2022 having been delivered by GPs and community pharmacists.
Figures also showed that second dose vaccine uptake was increasing among ethnic minority groups too, with the NHS having been carrying out a number of campaigns to encourage people of different ethnicity to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
The NHS will next begin the expansion of the vaccine to all 5-11 year olds, as well as additional doses for over-75s, housebound and immunosuppressed people, in line with the latest guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Following the release of the NAO report, Dr Nikki Kanani, Deputy Lead for the NHS Vaccination Programme and an active GP, said: “The National Audit Office finding that the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Programme delivered value for money confirms what we already knew about the biggest and most successful vaccine drive in health service history.
“It was delivered efficiently, effectively, and at speed, vaccinating more than four in five adults with a booster and preventing more than 100,000 hospitalisations since mid-December, according to the latest data.
“As the programme continues to respond to new scientific advice, NHS staff and volunteers are still committed to pulling out all the stops, vaccinating at community hubs like places of worship and sports stadiums, as well on buses, at drive-through clinics, and even in ‘mini toy towns’ created especially for children, in order to ensure all communities are protected from Covid.
“Hospital admissions may be starting to fall slightly but community transmission remains high in some parts of the country and it’s not too late to come forward for your first, second of booster dose, if you haven’t already – the offer of a Covid vaccine on the NHS is evergreen”.