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UK reaches 5 million Covid-19 vaccinations mark, but infection rates up from December

UK reaches 5 million Covid-19 vaccinations mark, but infection rates up from December
The British health secretary has congratulated his colleagues in the National Health Service as the country reached a positive milestone in the battle against Covid-19, but the virus is continuing to spread rapidly across the UK.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock rejoiced on Thursday as the country administered its five-millionth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, with 4.6 million people having now received at least one dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca jab. 

“This is a huge leap, and one in which we can all take pride. This ongoing expansion will help us to protect even more of the vulnerable even more quickly,” Hancock told Sky News.

The health secretary noted that new sites, including a cinema, mosque, and cricket club will become vaccination hubs this week.

“Let’s all take comfort in the fact that we’re giving 200 vaccinations a minute, but in the meantime, everyone, everyone must follow the rules to protect the NHS and save lives, and we can do that safe in the knowledge that the tide will turn and that, with science, we will prevail,” Hancock said.

The health secretary added that local data on the vaccine programme would be published on Thursday.

Also on rt.com Schools will be the first to reopen, says UK education minister, but high rate of Covid infection means timeline still unclear

The UK remains one of the countries in Europe most afflicted with Covid-19, as a highly contagious strain of the virus spreads throughout the country. 

A study by Imperial College London, published on Thursday, suggested the most recent lockdown had not been effective in reducing infections. Covid test results from 143,000 people indicate that 1.58 percent of Britons had the virus in early January, up from 0.91 percent in December, according to the REACT-1 (Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission) study. 

“During the initial 10 days of the third Covid-19 lockdown … prevalence of Covid-19 was very high, with no evidence of decline,” the study concluded.

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