The UK vaccines minister said on Wednesday that the country’s vaccination program had saved over 14,000 lives.

The campaign had also prevented 44,500 hospital admissions in England, Nadhim Zahawi said at a press conference.

Vaccine take-up has been slower in London, however, Zahawi said a summit will be held in the capital in a bid to boost take-up.

“This country is getting a little bit safer every day,” he said, adding: “Whatever your age, whatever your background, the vaccine will protect you.”

“The enthusiasm is making a huge difference. We have already given first doses to almost half of all 25 to 29 year-olds in England and only a week after the program opened to all adults on Friday, one third of people aged between 18 and 25 have had their first dose,” he said.

“To all of the young people who have stepped up, I want to say a huge thank you – you’ve protected yourself, you’ve protected your families and you’ve protected your communities, because the one thing you know, that we know, is that vaccines are making the real difference.”

British government figures released on Wednesday showed that over 43.4 million Brits, 82.5%, have received their first doses of vaccine, and over 31.7 million, 60.3%, have received their second doses.

Britain also recorded 16,135 new cases across the country over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to over 4.6 million since the start of the pandemic. The UK also recorded 19 new deaths, bringing the total to 128,027.

This means the UK recorded its highest number of cases since Feb. 6, when 18,262 cases were recorded.

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