London [UK], September 12 (ANI/Xinhua): Another 29,547 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 7,197,662, according to official figures released Saturday.
The country also recorded another 156 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 134,144. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
The latest data came as the British Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that in England, COVID-19 rates were rising in children aged from two to those in year 11, and for those aged 35 to 49 in the week to Sept. 3.
Figures for the same time period showed that the infection rate in Scotland was the highest recorded, and the rate in Wales was the highest seen since Christmas.
"It was expected that Scotland's school return (on Aug. 19) would lead to rise. Since English schools did not go back until Sept. 1, the ONS data released today will not report on the effect of English school's return. I would expect next week's ONS data to show the beginning of a rise due to schools, this is because I expect England to follow Scotland," said professor James Naismith from the University of Oxford.
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the use of Pfizer and AstraZeneca as COVID-19 booster vaccines.
"We know that a person's immunity may decline over time after their first vaccine course. I am pleased to confirm that the COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca can be used as safe and effective booster doses," said Dr June Raine, chief executive of MHRA.
"This is an important regulatory change as it gives further options for the vaccination programme, which has saved thousands of lives so far."
It will now be for Britain's vaccine advisory body, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), to advise on whether booster jabs will be given and if so, which vaccines should be used.
About 89 percent of people aged 16 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 80 percent have received both doses, the latest figures showed.
More than half of all teenagers aged 16 to 17 in England have already received their first dose, just over four weeks after the green light was given for this age group to be offered the vaccine.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines. (ANI/Xinhua)