NationalNews

More than 15 million people across the UK have now had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

It means a large proportion of the elderly and most vulnerable are fully inoculated against COVID-19.

A further 372,304 second jabs were administered on Saturday, bringing the total to 15,329,617.

The number of first jabs given yesterday was 143,175. Some 34,505,380 people have now had at least an initial dose.

Welcoming the number of second injections, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Thank you to everyone who has made this possible. Please keep coming forward to get your jabs to give yourself maximum protection from the virus."

The head of NHS England, Sir Simon Stevens, said the "biggest vaccination programme in NHS history continues to break records thanks to careful planning".

And vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said "every (dose) is another step closer to normality", adding: "These vaccines are saving lives and having a significant effect on hospitalisations and transmission rates too."

In its latest daily update, the government said a further 14 people had died within 28 days of a positive test.

The number of new infections recorded within the 24-period was 1,671.

That compares to seven deaths and 1,907 cases reported on Saturday.

A week ago, 1,712 infections were announced, and 11 deaths.

The UK is in the "last lap" of its fight against coronavirus, the foreign secretary has told Sky News.

But Dominic Raab said a "careful" approach to easing COVID-19 restrictions was still necessary, adding the government felt "vindicated" that taking "steady steps out of the lockdown is the smart way to go".

Meanwhile, people who attended the "First Dance" event in Liverpool are being reminded they need to take follow up tests.

The city’s director of public health, Matt Ashton, said: "We ask people to take a PCR five days afterwards and that helps us identify any virus that happened as a result of the event.

"I’m not expecting any."

Anyone testing positive will be contact traced in the normal way.

© Sky News 2021