MORE than 50million jabs have now been handed out in England in a major milestone for the vaccination programme.
The achievement was announced by Matt Hancock on the same day as anyone over the age of 32 was invited in for an inoculation.
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More than 70 per cent of the UK's adult population – 31,546,846 – have now received at least one dose of a Covid jab, while 40 per cent – 18,699,556 – have received two, officials said earlier this week.
A total of 50,246,402 Covid-19 first or second doses of vaccinations took place in England between December 8 and May 21.
The news comes as it was announced six more people had died from the virus.
The Health Secretary said: "Today over 50 million Covid-19 vaccines have been delivered in England.
"One of the biggest and most important national efforts in our history.
"Thank you to the whole team who have made this happen."
NHS England's lead for the Covid vaccination programme, Dr Emily Lawson, said the rollout was "continuing at pace".
"This success is the result of the tireless efforts of NHS teams, alongside local partners and volunteers, who are determined to protect their patients, families and communities," she said.
"Despite this we must take nothing for granted so when you are invited please book your appointment – and, along with millions of others, get vital protection against coronavirus."
The fourth and final round of unlocking is slated for June 21, when most restrictions are set to finally lift.
The UK is in a race to vaccinate the entire adult population by the end of July.
It comes amid concerns of a new super-infectious mutation of Covid first seen in India.
The variant, which could be up to 50 per cent more transmissible, is likely to become the dominant strain in the UK.
In brighter news, data from a study of vaccinated Indian healthcare workers earlier this week show the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is 97 per cent effective against the mutation.
It's sparked a huge push to get every Brit vaccinated as quickly as possible.
More than four in five of those in their forties, and half of people aged 35 to 39, have had their first dose already.
Everyone under 40 will be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine after an extremely rare clotting condition was linked to the jab.
The other UK nations are already offering jabs to younger age groups – people aged 30 and over are eligible in Scotland, as are over-18s in Wales and over-25s in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, over-50s and those considered clinically vulnerable will have their second doses brought forward to eight weeks after their first, rather than 12.
Bolton continues to be the area worst-hit by Covid in England. The Indian variant is now dominant there.
But North Tyneside and parts of west London are among the latest areas to start surge testing of residents amid concerns at its spread.
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