A STAGGERING 99.25 per cent of Brits have turned up to their second jab appointments so far, The Sun can reveal.
Today for the first time more second doses were put into arms than first.
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Official figures reveal 270,526 vulnerable Brits got their second shots on Tuesday – taking the total number of fully immunised adults to 4.1million.
Ministers say April will be the “second dose month”, as the UK flew past the 30.9 million milestone of first doses – with millions needing their second jab after 12 weeks.
Despite a torrent of fake news about the jabs, Brits have voted with their feet, queuing up for their second doses with barely any cancellations in a major snub to loud mouthed EU chiefs.
The thumping endorsement for the Oxford AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines flies in the face of dangerous fake news pumped out by France’s reckless President Macron.
And today the European Medical Agency again ruled the AZ jab safe despite Germany slapping a ban on using it on under 55s.
Macron and Angela Merkel were also slammed for cosying up to Russia’s President Putin with talks about securing doses of the Russian’s controversial Sputnik V vaccine.
Tonight Health Secretary Matt Hancock declared: “Getting the second dose is so important to maintaining protection for yourself and your loved ones.
“The vaccine programme is a huge success for the U.K. and I am delighted that so many people are coming forward for their first dose but also crucially their second.
“When Sun readers get the call, they should get the jab,” he added.
ON WITH THE JAB
Our revelation comes as a smiling Queen stepped out of lockdown for the first time in almost five months – free of her mask and raising hopes she has joined millions in receiving her second jab.
Her Majesty appeared at her first public engagement since November to pay tribute to hero airmen telling crowds she was “delighted” to be outdoors.
It is just under 12 weeks since it was officially announced on January 9 that she and Prince Philip had already received their first vaccine.
And her first public outing beyond her strict Covid “bubble” inside Windsor Castle today raised the possibility that she has already had her second jab.
Studies say that would give her close to 100 per cent immunity from contracting a life-threatening dose of the disease.
BRITS BEATING THE BUG
Daily Covid deaths were 43 today taking the weekly total to 332 – a 40 per cent drop on the previous seven days.
And the number of patients hospitalised by the pandemic has seen a 23 per cent weekly fall.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director of Public Health England, warned “We’re not out of the woods quite yet.
She urged the nation not to “drop our guard”.
“Until all of us are protected it remains essential to follow the steps we know stop the virus from spreading.”
Today EU regulators once again slapped down safety fears around the Oxford/AstraZeneca after Germany suspended its use in under-60s.
Chancellor Angela Merkel brought in the ban over unfounded links to blot clots.
But the boss of the European Medicines Agency said there is “no evidence” to support restricting its use.
There have been 44 cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis – a rare type of blood clot on the brain – in 9.2 million Europeans given the Oxford vaccine.
However, experts say a “causal link is not proven”.
EMA executive director Emer Cooke said: “According to the current scientific knowledge, there is no evidence that would support restricting the use of this vaccine in any population.”
The regulator is now carrying out an ongoing review of the jab and will report next week – but has yet to identify any specific risk factors. Covid infection itself is known to trigger blood clots.
UK experts have said the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh any potential risks and have declared it “safe and effective”.
This view is echoed by the World Health Organisation, which has urged countries to continue using it.
And Cabinet Minister Robert Jenrick hit back: “We are 100 pc confident in the vaccine here.”
VLAD JAB SLAM
Meanwhile Germany and France were tonight slammed for flirting with Vladimir Putin over the Sputnik V vaccine after trashing the AstraZeneca jab.
Italian MEP Paolo Borchia said Paris and Berlin were being motivated by an “obsessive hatred of Brexit Britain”.
He warned: “They would rather hand Putin’s Russia a PR victory on the Sputnik jab rather that used the British AZ vaccine which they have already paid for.
“Macron and Merkel detest a democratic Britain so much they are willing to hug the big Russian Bear.
Kirill Dmitriev of the Putin backed Russian Direct Investment Fund says Merkel told Putin in a call on Tuesday night that she may purchase Sputnik doses behind the EU’s back.
He told the BBC: “Germany specifically said that even if European Commission will not decide to buy vaccine, Germany will consider direct purchase.”
Lithuanian MEP Petras Auštrevičius said Moscow was using the shot as “a well-directed PR stunt” and urged the bloc to reject it.
He told The Sun: “Russia is exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic to portray itself as a global power with a so-called strong humanitarian policy line.
Former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage fumed: “For years I was slandered in the EU Parliament for ‘Russian Collusion’.
“Now France and Germany want the Sputnik vaccine. The hypocrisy is incredible.”
So far 233,295 doses of the Russian vaccine have been administered in Europe, all in Hungary.
The country received another 250,000 shots overnight as it breaks away from the bloc’s main jabs scheme.
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SKIP AND DUMP
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Austria is set to become the second EU member to buy them in, and plans to place an order for a million jabs next week,
Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz said: “There must be no geopolitical blinkers when it comes to vaccines.”
Other states like Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia are also looking at signing contracts.
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