Covid: More than 32,000 new cases as another 49 people die with coronavirus

A further 49 people have died with coronavirus in the UK, with more than 32,253 new infections recorded as of 9am Sunday, according to government figures.

It brings the UK's official coronavirus death toll to 131,640, but separate figures collated by the Office for National Statistics put the total at 156,000.

Government figures only record a new Covid death if it occurred within 28 days of the person testing positive, whereas the ONS tallies all fatalities where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate.

Meanwhile, another 69,270 people received their first dose of a coronavius vaccine on Saturday, with 192,060 more getting their second jab.

In total, 47,643,064 first doses have been administered and 41,688,636 second doses, meaning more than 61% of the UK's population is now fully vaccinated.

The government will soon turn its attention to booster jabs, with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) currently considering whether vulnerable people should soon be offered their third dose.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has previously said he anticipates a programme beginning in early September.

Virologist Dr Chris Smith told the BBC: “As we go into winter now is a critical period and I think that is why we haven’t seen a rash, rushed decision by the JCVI and the government.

“While other countries are embarking on booster programmes, people are taking stock, they are looking at the data and maybe making a decision on how to intervene strategically in certain groups.

“They’re going to have to make a decision soon because winter is soon going to be upon us and it takes time for the programme to be rolled out and it takes time for the vaccines to actually have their effects in these people.”

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