MORE than 50million jabs have now been handed out in England in a major milestone for the vaccination programme.

The achievement was announced by Matt Hancock on the same day as anyone over the age of 32 was invited in for an inoculation.

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More than 70 per cent of the UK's adult population – 31,546,846 – has now received at least one dose of a Covid jab, while 40 per cent – 18,699,556 – have received two, officials said earlier this week.

The Health Secretary said: "Today over 50 million Covid-19 vaccines have been delivered in England.

"One of the biggest and most important national efforts in our history.

"Thank you to the whole team who have made this happen."

NHS England's lead for the Covid vaccination programme, Dr Emily Lawson, said the rollout was "continuing at pace".

"This success is the result of the tireless efforts of NHS teams, alongside local partners and volunteers, who are determined to protect their patients, families and communities," she said.

"Despite this we must take nothing for granted so when you are invited please book your appointment – and, along with millions of others, get vital protection against coronavirus."

The fourth and final round of unlocking is slated for June 21, when most restrictions are set to finally lift.

The UK is in a race to vaccinate the entire adult population by the end of July.

It comes amid concerns of a new super-infectious mutation of Covid first seen in India.

The variant, which could be up to 50 per cent more transmissible, is likely to become the dominant variant in the UK.

Data from a study of vaccinated Indian healthcare workers earlier this week shows also that the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is 97 per cent effective against the variant.

More to follow…

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