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UK marks third consecutive record day of Covid vaccinations
21 March 2021, 15:53 | Updated: 21 March 2021, 18:10
The UK has recorded a third consecutive record day of Covid vaccinations, with 844,285 people receiving a jab over 24 hours.
NHS England revealed during one hour on Saturday, jabs were given out at a rate of 26 a second.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "A huge thank you to everyone involved and please come forward to get your jab when you are invited to do so."
The figure equates to roughly 1.3 per cent of the UK population receiving a vaccination in the last 24 hours - and means more than 2.24 million people have received a jab in the last three days.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also said in a tweet that a record number of vaccinations had been given.
He tweeted: "For the second day running, the team has reached a new RECORD number of vaccines administered in a single day - 873,784.
"This mammoth team effort shows the best of Britain - THANK YOU to the British public for coming forward."
Yesterday was a record-breaking day for the vaccine rollout, with 873,784 people receiving a jab.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 21, 2021
A huge thank you to everyone involved and please come forward to get your jab when you are invited to do so.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: "The speed and precision of the NHS vaccination campaign has been on full display this weekend, and yesterday NHS staff across England administered a remarkable 27 jabs a second.
"In just one day we vaccinated the equivalent of the entire adult populations of Liverpool, Southampton and Oxford combined."
It comes as Boris Johnson is facing mounting pressure to justify seeking a six-month extension to "authoritarian" lockdown powers in England, amid a Commons rebellion from Conservative MPs.
The Government is expected to receive approval from MPs to extend measures within the Coronavirus Act until October amid fierce criticism from some of its own number that the roadmap out of lockdown isn't fast enough due to the success of the UK's vaccination rollout.
Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith today called for the economy to be opened up again and for government scientists to follow data, not dates to get the country back up and running.
Sir Iain was asked during an appearance on Swarbrick on Sunday on LBC whether some types of behaviour, like protesting, might be criminalised for longer than was necessary due to government plans to keep lockdown powers in place for another six months.
Meanwhile, experts have warned of the prospect of an impending third wave of Covid-19 infections in the UK, advising people not to consider overseas holidays even when restrictions ease later this year.
However, there is growing pressure on the government to allow foreign holidays and travel to resume for economic reasons, despite fears of a third wave of coronavirus being imported from Europe.
Brits are currently not allowed to leave the country unless their travel comes under a limited list of exceptions, and all arrivals must isolate.
Health secretary Matt Hancock has said England's roadmap out of lockdown should go ahead as planned despite the concerns.
He said: "There is no sign that we won't be able to make progress as set out in the roadmap. Here, thankfully the number of deaths is falling very, very fast, by more than a third a week."