UK hits milestone as half of all adults get their first dose of vaccine

© Reuters. The British flag is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Half of all adults in the UK have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, making it the first major economy in the world to hit this milestone.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Twitter the number was hit after a record 660,276 shots were fired on Friday.

Israel leads the way in vaccinating its population, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Chile and the United Kingdom – and investors are watching closely which economies could recover first.

“The vaccine is a national success story and our way out of this pandemic,” said Hancock, adding that he was “excited”.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson received his first dose of vaccine on Friday and received the shot from AstraZeneca (NASDAQ :), which several European countries temporarily stopped using earlier this week for safety reasons.

The rollout of the UK vaccine, which is being marketed by the National Health Service, has got off to a rapid start, but the government this week warned of a significant slowdown in April due to a delay in a shipment from the Indian Serum Institute and a batch in the UK had to be tested again.

The UK has so far relied on vaccines from AstraZeneca and Oxford University Pfizer (NYSE 🙂 and BioNTech.

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