A dose of AstraZeneca vaccine is prepared at COVID-19 vaccination centre in the Odeon Luxe Cinema in Maidstone, Britain February 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

March 19, 2021

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain on Friday said it had given 660,276 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in a single day, a new daily record, in a boost to the rollout before the country prepares for a drop-off in the “bumper” supplies of shots.

The single day record for first and second doses comes as Britain approaches the milestone of giving half their adult population at least one COVID-19 vaccine.

Israel is the leader in vaccinating its population, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Chile and then the United Kingdom – and investors are watching closely to see which economies could recover first.

Britain’s official data showed that 26.264 million people had received a first dose of the vaccine, and 2.011 million people had received a second. It also recorded 101 new deaths of people who had tested positive for COVID-19 within 28 days, and 4,802 new cases of the disease.

Distributed by the state-run health service, Britain’s vaccine rollout has got off to a blistering start but the government has warned this week of a marked slowdown in April due to a delay of a shipment from India’s Serum Institute and because a batch in the UK needed to be retested.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is due to receive his own first vaccine on Friday, said the two issues meant supplies in April would be lower than they were in March.

Britain has so far relied on vaccines from AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and Pfizer and BioNTech.

(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Alistair Smout; Editing by Kate Holton)

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