The UK has recorded another 17 coronavirus-related deaths and 2,685 new cases in the latest 24-hour period – as a quarter of adults have now had two doses of a vaccine.

The data compares to six deaths and 2,064 cases announced on Monday, while 33 deaths and 2,524 cases were reported last Tuesday.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 127,451 people have died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19, and there have been 4,409,631 lab-confirmed infections.

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First doses of a coronavirus vaccine have now reached 33,843,580 after 90,695 people had their jab on Monday.

Also, 304,688 people had their second dose on Monday, meaning 13,201,811 are now fully vaccinated.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi revealed earlier that a quarter of the adult population in the UK have now had both doses.

The vaccine rollout has already reached over half of the UK’s population with a first dose.

The next phase of the programme – which aims to offer all adults a jab by the end of July – means vaccines are now being offered to those aged 42 and over in England.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, 42, says he is now “standing by my phone awaiting my text”.

It is the second time this week the vaccine booking system has been extended to more people in their 40s, after they were offered to those aged 44 and over on Monday.

The target of offering a first vaccine dose to the nine most vulnerable groups by 15 April was reached three days early.

Despite supply constraints and second jabs for those at highest risk of contracting COVID being prioritised, the rollout was subsequently slowly expanded to adults under the age of 50.

People in their mid to late 40s are the first group to be offered the jab as part of this second phase.

Within a week of the booking system opening, two thirds of 45 to 49-year-olds had received their first vaccine.

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