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COVID-19: More than 19 million have now had first coronavirus jab – as UK reports another 345 deaths


The UK has reported another 345 coronavirus deaths and 8,523 new cases, while more than 19 million people have now had their first vaccine dose.

It compares with yesterday’s figures of 9,985 coronavirus cases and 323 deaths. They are down on last Friday’s tallies of 12,027 and 533.

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Meanwhile, the total number of first doses has hit 19,177,555 – a rise of 485,720. And 736,037 people have now had their second jab – up by 35,319.

That’s the highest increase in second doses to date and the highest increase in first doses this week.

It comes as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) announced the next phase of COVID vaccinations will continue to prioritise people by age and not their occupation.

People aged 40-49 will be the next in line to get a vaccine after all vulnerable groups and the over-50s are covered, the government said.

The JCVI said this would provide “the greatest benefit in the shortest time”.

It added that prioritising occupational groups such as teachers and police could make the rollout more complex and could potentially slow the programme overall, leaving some vulnerable people at higher risk for longer.

Image:
Pic: UK government

Meanwhile, the UK’s coronavirus reproduction number – or R number – remains unchanged at between 0.6 and 0.9.

It is in line with last week’s estimate of 0.6 and 0.9.

That means that on average, every 10 people infected will infect between six and nine other people.

The growth rate is estimated to be between -6% to-2% – meaning the number of new infections is shrinking by between 2% and 6% every day.

Last week it was -6% to -3%.

The R refers to the average number of people an infected person will pass COVID-19 on to.

Anything above one means the coronavirus outbreak is growing exponentially.



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