COVID-19: UK records 43 more coronavirus deaths and 4,052 new cases as vaccine first doses hit 30.9m

The UK has recorded another 43 coronavirus-related deaths and 4,052 new cases in the latest 24-hour period.

This compares with 56 fatalities and 4,040 infections announced yesterday.

Last Wednesday, 98 deaths were announced in the UK along with 5,605 cases.

A total of 126,713 people have now died in the UK within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, and there have been 4,345,788 lab-confirmed cases since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, 224,590 people had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine yesterday, taking the total to 30,905,538.

Some 270,526 had their second dose yesterday, meaning 4,108,536 have now had both shots.

It comes as European Medicines Agency (EMA) executive director Emer Cooke said there is "no evidence" to support restricting the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in any population.

Yesterday, Germany announced it will suspend using the jab in the under-60s over concerns about rare blood clots.

However, the UK is "100% confident in the efficacy" of the vaccine, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News.

He said: "It is a safe vaccine and the UK’s vaccine rollout is saving people’s lives right across the country every day."

Mr Jenrick said the jab’s effectiveness was "borne out by study after study".

The EU medicines regulator – the EMA – and the World Health Organisation have both insisted the vaccine is safe and effective.

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