More than half of over-50s have received their Covid-19 booster jab, as the once sluggish rollout picks up the pace, NHS England has confirmed.
The booster rollout, which targets those who were prioritised last year in the UK’s immunisation programme, has seen over 4.5m over-50s receive a third dose in less than six weeks.
The programme has also vaccinated another half a million vulnerable people outside of the age bracket. While bookings for the booster jabs saw record bookings last week, surging more than 42 per cent on the previous week, NHS England added, with nearly 900,000 people booking.
It comes as UK deaths surpass 165,000, according to the Office for National Statistics today.
The death rate has increased 7.9 per cent in the last week, though the virus remains a small portion of total deaths in the country, making up 6.4 per cent of all deaths in England and Wales, the ONS found.
Infections continue to be most common among secondary school age children, who are now able to get a vaccine.
With more jabs in arms, Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye has urged that mandatory testing for flights be removed as schools break for October half-term.
“The next thing is to move to a removal of testing which is what we’ve seen in the EU, but we want to see stability most of all and some common international standards,” he told Sky News.
“It is fantastic to see the US starting to open up on 8 November, that’s going to be a really busy day I hope.
“But we want to get people back doing what they do best which is going out and selling UK goods around the world.”