More than half a million vaccines administered in our area

Vials of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at Copes Pharmacy and Travel Clinic in Streatham

More than 300,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered across Stevenage, North Herts and Central Beds, 200,000 of which - Credit: PA

Across Stevenage, North Herts and Central Beds, more than 500,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered, according to the latest government data.

Since the vaccine roll out began in December 2020, 506,870 jabs have been given to adults - those aged 18 or over - up to June 1.

Of these, 306,246 were first doses. A further 200,624 were administered as seconds, meaning almost a quarter of a million of the population across the three authorities are fully vaccinated.

In Stevenage, 50,927 first doses have been given out, as well as a further 32,698 second jabs.

In neighbouring North Herts, 82,476 people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, as well as an additional 54,263 having their second - totalling 136,739 doses.

Over in the border in Central Beds, 172,843 first doses have been administered, as well as the 113,663 seconds that have been given.

Although the latest vaccination data comes as a welcome relief, concerns are emerging that the average number of daily cases in the UK are now slowly rising.

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In the week May 23 to May 29, there were 33 cases per 100,000 people in Stevenage. The average area in England had 17.

In North Herts, 16 people per 100,000 were infected with the virus, with a soaring 42 cases per 100,000 in Central Beds.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock also said that up to three-quarters of new UK COVID cases are now thought to be caused by the variant first detected in India.

According to data from the Wellcome Sanger Institute the Indian variant, B.1.617.2, is responsible for 57.9 per cent of cases across the country - with more than 3,000 cases reported between May 15 and May 22.

In the same time period the variant is responsible for 41.7 per cent of cases in Stevenage, 81.8 per cent in North Herts and 92.8 per cent in Central Beds.