A person receives the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on January 11 in Oldham, England. Anthony Devlin / Getty Images

More than 3.5 million people in the UK have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, which, according to the UK government, has exceeded the number of people who tested positive for the virus. A total of 3,559,179 people received their first dose last Friday, but only 447,261 of them had a second dose.

The head of the National Health Service in England told the BBC on Sunday that more than half of those over 80 have received the first dose, with the pace of vaccinations accelerating in the coming weeks.

“We’re going to start testing around the clock in some hospitals for the next 10 days, but we’re currently vaccinating at a rate of around 140 bumps per minute,” said Simon Stevens.

Stevens said that every 30 seconds someone is hospitalized with the virus.

Britain has the highest number of coronavirus deaths in Europe, according to Johns Hopkins University, with 81,800 deaths.

“Since Christmas Day, the number of inpatients in hospitals across England has increased by an additional 15,000, equivalent to filling 30 hospitals with coronavirus patients,” said Stevens.

10 more mass vaccination sites will open across England on Monday as the vaccine rollout in the country accelerates.

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