COVID-19: More than 35 million people have had first vaccine dose as UK reports 15 more deaths

More than 35 million people have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as the UK reported another 15 deaths related to the virus.

On Friday, there were 2,490 new cases reported in the latest 24-hour period, according to government data.

The figures compared to 13 deaths and 2,613 cases on Thursday while 15 fatalities and 2,381 infections were revealed last Friday.

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Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have been 152,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Government data up to 6 May shows that of the 51,834,361 jabs given in the UK so far, 35,069,641 were first doses – a rise of 135,470 on the previous day.

Some 16,764,720 were second doses, an increase of 473,001.

It comes as all under-40s are to be offered an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine as a precaution.

The change in advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation marks an extension to existing guidance where those aged under 30 were given a choice of COVID-19 jab over blood clotting concerns.

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Meanwhile, a coronavirus strain first detected in India has been declared a "variant of concern" by Public Health England.

Cases of the variant, known as B1617.2, have more than doubled in a week.

Despite concerns over the current coronavirus variant, health experts have said they "haven’t seen any hint" any COVID strain can evade the vaccines.

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