UK sets new daily COVID vaccination record in 'mammoth team effort'

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LONDON (Reuters) - More than 27.6 million people in Britain, well over half the adult population, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, official data showed on Sunday, after a daily record of 873,784 doses were administered the previous day.

More than 2.2 million people have had both doses of a vaccine, the data showed.

"This mammoth team effort shows the best of Britain," Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted, hailing the second daily record number of doses administered in as many days.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged everyone to accept a vaccine when invited to receive one.

The daily release of COVID-19 data in the United Kingdom showed that 33 new deaths were recorded on Sunday, the lowest figure since October and down from peaks of well over 1,000 deaths per day in January and February.

The seven-day total number of deaths was 640, down by 37% compared with the previous seven-day period.

New infection numbers were also down, with 5,312 cases reported on Sunday and a seven-day total of 38,145, down by 4% on the previous seven days.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 126,155 people have died in the United Kingdom within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19, the highest official death toll in Europe and the fifth highest in the word.

Britain's vaccine rollout is the fastest in any major economy, although the government has warned that it will slow down next month due to a supply crunch.

Despite the slowdown, progress is still in line with official targets, meaning that unless anything changes the government's four-step plan to ease lockdown is expected to go ahead as announced.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Catherine Evans, Andrew Heavens and Frances Kerry)