Almost five million people have been given a first dose of a COVID vaccine, as the UK recorded another 1,290 deaths and 37,892 cases, figures show.
A total of 363,508 first coronavirus vaccinations were administered yesterday, the highest daily figure to date.
As many as 4,973,248 first doses have now been given and 464,036 second doses, an increase of 3,411 on figures released the previous day.
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The seven-day rolling average of first doses given in the UK is now 293,571.
Based on the latest figures, an average of 401,070 first doses of vaccine would be needed each day in order to meet the government’s target of 15 million first doses by February 15.
The latest death toll comes after the UK reported record numbers two days in a row, with 1,820 fatalities, the highest yet, reported on Wednesday.
Today’s figures bring the total number of deaths in the country where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate to 95,829 – with 94,580 within 28 days of a positive test result.
The seven-day rolling average is now at 1,224.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where COVID has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 111,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
The government also said that, as of 9am on Thursday, there had been a further 37,892 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.
It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 3,543,646.
Regarding the date on which deaths actually occurred, not when they were reported, 12 January was confirmed yesterday to have become the deadliest day of the pandemic so far with 1,117.
Those case numbers come after researchers claimed coronavirus infections did not slow down, and may have increased instead, in the first days of the latest national lockdown.
The major ongoing study from REACT-1 at Imperial College in London said: “During the initial 10 days of the third COVID-19 lockdown… prevalence of COVID-19 was very high with no evidence of decline.”
Programme director Professor Paul Elliot went further, saying: “Our data are showing worrying suggestions of a recent uptick in infections which we will continue to monitor closely.”
Earlier on Sky News, the education secretary Gavin Williamson said pupils could be told next week if they will be returning to classrooms after the February half-term.