ALMOST 300,000 people across Dorset have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Figures from the NHS reveal a total of 299,286 people in Dorset have received the first dose, while 9,560 have received both doses - giving a cumulative total of 308,846 doses as of March 4.

The two vaccines that have been approved by the MHRA that are in use across the UK, have impressive efficacy rates, offering protection to those most at risk, according to the NHS.

The short-term vaccine efficacy from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is calculated at around 90% and around 70% for Oxford AstraZeneca, with high protection against severe disease.

Given the high level of protection afforded by the first dose, expert clinical modelling produced by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation shows vaccinating a greater number of people with a single dose will prevent more deaths and hospitalisations than vaccinating a smaller number of people with two doses.