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UK records further 144 coronavirus deaths as major vaccine milestone reached
28 February 2021, 16:11 | Updated: 28 February 2021, 18:27
A further 144 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in the UK as over 20 million people have now received the first dose of a vaccine.
Over 6,000 new cases were also recorded in the 24 hours to Sunday morning and brings the total number of infections to 4,176,554.
A total of 122,849 Covid-related deaths have also been recorded - the highest in Europe and one of the highest in the world.
But infections, hospitalisations and deaths continue to fall dramatically as lockdown and a rapid rollout of Covid-19 vaccines continues across the UK.
Cases have dropped by 21% and deaths by 34% compared to the previous seven days, today being the lowest number of cases since September 27.
It comes as it was announced that over 20 million people have now had their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens described the rollout as "firing all cylinders" and praised the "amazing teamwork" of all NHS staff, armed forces personnel and volunteers involved.
He said: "Vaccinating 20 million people - including 17 million across England - in a few short weeks shows the NHS vaccination campaign is firing on all cylinders, and looking out to Easter and beyond it's full speed ahead.
"As we can see from other parts of the world, having vaccines from the manufacturers versus actually administering them to patients can be two different things.
"So this latest milestone is also a tribute to careful health service planning, effective organisation and amazing teamwork across the whole of the country."
20 million people across the UK have now got the jab – a huge national achievement and a testament to the tireless work of NHS staff, volunteers, the Armed Forces & many more.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) February 28, 2021
I urge everyone to get the jab when called. Every jab makes a difference in our battle against COVID. pic.twitter.com/kdkB2EkGlS
Government data up to February 27 shows that 20,089,551 first doses of the jab have now been given - a rise of 407,503 on the previous day.
Some 796,132 second doses were also administered - an increase of 27,322.
Nine out of 10 people aged 65 and over in England have had their first Covid vaccine.
But there are concerns that the positive news has encouraged some to break current restrictions, with crowds gathering at beaches and parks over this weekend.