More than 2.5 million people in England have now received their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine, with more than one-in-three of those taking place in the last week.

More than 25 million people in England have been vaccinated with their first dose, with the number of people receiving their second dose reaching a new weekly high.

Approximately 900,000 people received their second jab in the last week, NHS England said, around twice as many as the week before.

The focus is now on ensuring those in the most at-risk cohorts have had the chance to be vaccinated, ahead of a target of offering all priority groups their first vaccine by 15 April.

With a tighter supply of available doses next month, NHS England continues to urge those aged 50 and older or those with an underlying health condition to get their first jab. It said three-in-four people aged 50-54 have been jabbed so far, up from half in the last week.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and NHS medical director for primary care, said: “The NHS in England has now vaccinated 25 million people which is an unbelievable achievement by NHS staff across the country, who have continued to work at speed.

“At the same time as increasing second doses week on week, the NHS is reaching out to those 50-69-year-olds who haven’t yet taken up the offer to be vaccinated. If you are one of those people yet to book a first dose, please come forward and get your life-saving Covid-19 vaccine which will not only protect you but those around you.”

Across the UK, government data up to 26 March shows that of the 33,020,952 jabs given so far, 29,727,435 were first doses – a rise of 411,305 on the previous day. 3,293,517 were second doses, an increase of 283,654.

Prof Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “This is the latest major milestone showing rapid and targeted progress in getting people in England protected against coronavirus.

“While supplies of doses will be tightened next month, anyone with a second jab booked should come forward, and our other top priority is to remind everyone who is aged 50 and older or who has an underlying health condition that their first jab is available to them, now and throughout April.”

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said last week there will be a significant dip in vaccine supply in April, confirming supplies have been hit by a need to retest 1.7m doses and a delay in arrival of imports from India.

India has sold or gifted about 59m vaccine doses abroad, compared with the 37m it has administered at home, with another 38m distributed to state governments and awaiting use.

This content first appear on the guardian

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