More than 40 million people are now fully vaccinated against COVID in the UK, according to government data.
It comes as the UK records 33,074 new coronavirus cases and 94 deaths in the latest 24 hours – taking the total number of people who have died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test since last March to 130,701.
Thursday’s figures compare with 29,612 new cases and 104 fatalities reported on Wednesday.
This time last week, 5 August, 30,215 new coronavirus cases and 86 deaths were reported.
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Thousands of eligible teenagers have been invited to book their jabs
Another 173,761 people received their second coronavirus jab yesterday, taking the total to 40,013,470. It means that 75.7% of the UK’s adult population is now fully vaccinated.
And 41,568 people were given their first dose, taking the total to 47,170,968 – 89.2% of the population.
England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jenny Harries, said 84,000 deaths have been prevented because of the UK’s vaccine drive, alongside 23 million infections and 52,000 hospital admissions.
She said new model data “shows the effectiveness of the UK vaccination programme”.
The programme is now rolling out to thousands of young people approaching their 18th birthday.
More than 100,000 eligible teenagers will be sent text messages, with more than 300 sites across England currently offering 16 and 17-year-olds the chance to get vaccinated.
It comes as the number of people in England waiting for routine hospital treatment has risen a record high.
Javid: ‘Please come forward for NHS treatment’
With a backlog of around 5.45 million people waiting for non coronavirus-related medical care – the highest since records began in 2007 – health secretary Sajid Javid warned this is likely to rise further.
“We estimate there’s probably some seven million people that ordinarily would have come forward to the NHS that stayed away, understandably, during the height of the pandemic,” he said.
“We want those people to come back. I don’t know how many will come back but, even if half of them came to the NHS – and can I just stress I really want people that need to be seen by the NHS to know the NHS is there for them and they should come forward – but as they do I think waiting lists will rise because there will be a huge increase in demand.”
More than 300 sites across England currently offer 16 and 17-year-olds the chance to get a vaccine
Meanwhile, the number of alerts being sent to users of the NHS COVID-app has fallen by 20%, after the sensitivity was changed, with the app only looking back at contacts two days before someone tests positive.
From Monday 16 August, people who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to self-isolate if they are pinged.
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And there have been calls for more employers to allow staff paid time off to get vaccinated, with research finding one in four companies do not currently.
A survey of 2,000 businesses found that 59% were giving staff paid time off for vaccinations, 4% were not but plan to implement this in the near future, 25% said they were not and do not plan to, and 12% said they did not know.