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Half of U.K. population has had first COVID-19 vaccine dose, official says

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The United Kingdom has reached another COVID-19 vaccination milestone with over half of the population having had at least one injection, health secretary Matt Hancock said on Saturday.

Official data showed a total of 33.51 million people in the U.K. have received the first dose, with more than 12 million people having been given both.

“It’s a brilliant milestone,” Hancock said in a clip on Twitter.

Read more: U.K. sees 60% drop in COVID-19 cases due to vaccines, lockdown

The UK’s official population is 66.8 million, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

Britain’s vaccine rollout, which has raced ahead of countries in the European Union, means it is on track to ease lockdown measures and re-open the economy in line with its plan.

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“This vaccination programme is our way out of this pandemic,” Hancock added.

Officials also reported on Saturday a further 2,061 coronavirus cases and 32 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

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