The UK’s vaccination programme is accelerating again with nine in 10 of all those in eligible age groups in England having already received their first jab, according to NHS data.
The health service said that almost 60 per cent of those in the 45-49 age group were given a first dose within the first week of opening up bookings to them. The next cohort, aged 40-44, is likely to be called up within the next fortnight but ministers have not yet decided when to extend the rollout.
Overall the weekly pace has risen over the course of this month to 3.5 million, faster per head of population than any other large European country despite fears of a supply shortfall slowing the rollout down. Some 33.3 million have had at least one dose, just under half the UK’s total population, and 11.2 million have been given both doses.