Covid: Nearly 2m people got first Covid vaccine in last week

Sheila Evans receives an injection of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at the Al Abbas Mosque, Birmingham

PA Media

Close to two million people in the UK have received their first dose of a Covid vaccine in the past week, government figures show.

By the end of Tuesday 4.61 million people had received their initial jab, up from 2.64 million the week before.

The government is aiming to offer a vaccine to all over 70s, the extremely clinical vulnerable and health and care workers by mid-February.

Sixty-five new vaccination centres are due to open in England on Thursday.

These include a mosque in Birmingham and a cinema in Aylesbury.

It comes after scientists warned of “immense pressure” on the NHS after a study showed a rise in infections in the community at the start of the latest lockdown in England.

The UK recorded another all-time high of daily coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. A further 1,820 people died within 28 days of a positive Covid test, according to government figures – taking the total number of deaths by that measure to 93,290.

In Northern Ireland more than 160,000 people have received a first vaccine dose, while in Wales, where more than 175,000 people have received a jab, people waiting for theirs have been urged to show “patience” and “perspective”.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted her country’s vaccine programme was not lagging behind, during First Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

In England the rollout of the vaccine started with people aged 80 and over. In some regions where the majority of these have been vaccinated, the programmes are now moving on to the over 70s.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said ministers were working to ensure police and other front-line workers are moved up the priority list, while Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told BBC Breakfast he hoped teachers and support staff could be moved up the list.

Meanwhile, pumps and sandbags were brought in to protect supplies of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the risk of flood water at a warehouse in Wrexham, north-east Wales.

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