The UK has recorded a further 6,238 coronavirus cases – the highest daily figure for more than two months.
The latest government figures also show another 11 COVID-19 related deaths.
The number for cases is up on the 5,274 recorded on Thursday but the death figure is down on the 18 recorded in yesterday’s daily figures.
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The number of cases is the highest since 25 March, when 6,397 were recorded.
Meanwhile, another 191,266 first and 377,641 second vaccine doses were administered, bringing the total number of people who have had one jab to 39,949,694 and those who have had two to 26,799,944.
It comes amid the news that the UK’s medicines regulator approved the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the decision followed a “rigorous review” of safety and effectiveness in that age group – and that the benefits of having the COVID jab outweighed the risks.
Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: “We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all UK-approved COVID-19 vaccines and this surveillance will include the 12- to 15-year age group.”
The move follows coronavirus cases in the community rocketing by 76.5% in just one week, according to official data for England.
And Public Health England officials said that the Delta variant – first identified in India – has now overtaken the Alpha (Kent) variant as the most dominant strain in the UK.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that 85,600 people in the country had COVID-19 in the week to 29 May – equating to around one in 640 people in private households.
This is the highest level since the week to 16 April and is up from 48,500 people – one in 1,120 people – in the week ending 22 May.
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