Nearly 21 million people in the UK have now had a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The government also reported 242 more coronavirus-related deaths and 6,573 new cases in the latest 24-hour period.
Excluding weekends and Mondays when there are often delays in recording figures, 242 is the lowest daily fatality number since Friday 23 October last year when 224 deaths were reported.
Yesterday, 315 fatalities and 6,385 infections were announced.
The number of people who have now had a first COVID-19 vaccine dose is 20,982,571 after a further 278,956 had the jab on Wednesday.
And almost a million people – 963,862 – have now received the second jab, government figures show.
Meanwhile, Downing Street has urged people to continue to respect the lockdown after a survey suggested more than four in 10 over-80s who received a vaccine appear to have since broken the rules by meeting up with someone indoors.
After the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data was released, the prime minister’s official spokesman said: “It’s important that people continue to follow the guidelines that are in place.”
Asked if the elderly were behaving irresponsibly, the spokesman said: “We are asking everybody to continue to follow the rules and guidelines.”
The survey found 43% of over-80s said they had met up with someone outside their household, support or care bubble indoors after getting their first jab.
And 41% admitted they did so less than three weeks after getting their first dose, “appearing to break lockdown regulations”.
Since the pandemic began, a total of 124,025 people in the UK have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, and there have been 4,201,358 lab-confirmed cases.
Also, the UK could become one of the fastest countries in the world to approve new COVID-19 vaccines to tackle variants.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will oversee a fast-track approach to approving new jabs, after studies suggested variants may make vaccines less effective.
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Scientists have become concerned about several variants, including one that was first identified in Manaus, Brazil.
A study this week suggested 25%-61% of people in the city who had previously had COVID were susceptible to reinfection with the worrying P1 variant found there.
So far, six cases of P1 have been found in the UK – three in England and three in Scotland.