2.4 million have received coronavirus vaccine in UK, says Boris Johnson

The PM is visitng a mass vaccination centre in Birmingham (Image: SWNS)

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2.4 million people have now received a coronavirus jab across the UK, the prime minister says.

On Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the figure stood at around two million.

Mr Johnson made the comments on a visit one of the newly opened vaccination centres at Ashton Gate Stadium.

The news came as England’s chief medical officer warned that the UK has not yet hit the peak of the current wave of Covid-19 infection, with the next few weeks being “the worst” of the pandemic for the NHS.

Professor Chris Whitty said the vaccine rollout offered hope that lockdown restrictions could be lifted in the coming months, but described the current UK death rate as “appalling”.

During a BBC phone-in on the current high case rates, he said: “I don’t think we’re yet at the peak, I’m afraid.

Boris Johnson at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, where one of the seven mass vaccinations centres has been set up
(Image: PA)

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“I think we will be at the peak if everybody can double down and absolutely minimise their contacts.

“The point of the lockdown is to bring that forward, but it only works if everyone really thinks about every individual interaction they have and try and minimise them.”

Prof Whitty said the the new variant of coronavirus was causing a “significant problem”, telling BBC Breakfast: “We will get through together, but at this point in time we’re at the worst point in the epidemic for the UK.”

Asked if coronavirus is being spread outdoors, Prof Whitty said the risks were much lower than for indoors, but said problems could occur if people gathered in groups, such as huddled round a market stall.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly discussed the prospect of introducing tougher controls to ensure the public abide by the restrictions, such as stopping people exercising with one other person.

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