More than 13m Britons vaccinated: Johnson

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More than 13 million people in Britain have received their first jab against COVID-19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says, putting the government course to reach its target of 15 million first shots by the middle of February.

About 520,000 Britons have already received a second shot. In England - the largest of the four home nations - one in four adults has already been vaccinated, according to the government.

The number of new infections recorded on Wednesday was just more than 13,000, while more than 1000 additional deaths were recorded. Both rates are declining.

The seven-day incidence rate - that is, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week - is now about 190 nationwide.

The government's chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, expressed satisfaction with the figures. He said this was of the utmost importance in the fight against new strains of the ever-changing virus.

Only on Wednesday, Public Health England had classified a variation of the particularly infectious British virus strain discovered in Bristol as a "variant of concern".

It also carries characteristics of the South African variant, which is associated with a reduced immune response in cured or vaccinated people.