London, December 25: More than 600,000 UK citizens have received the vaccine against the coronavirus developed by Pfizer and BioNTech pharmaceutical companies, the Department of Health said.

"Thanks to a huge effort from the NHS [National Health Service] to overcome significant logistical challenges, 616,933 people across the UK have had their jab of the coronavirus vaccine," the ministry said on late Thursday. Vatican Says COVID-19 Vaccines Developed Using Cell Lines From Aborted Foetuses is 'Morally Acceptable'.

More than 521,000 people got vaccinated in England, over 56,000 in Scotland, more than 22,000 in Wales and over 16,000 in Northern Ireland.

"Over the coming weeks and months, the rate of vaccination will increase as more doses become available and the program continues to expand, with more vaccines being delivered direct to care homes," the department added.

Last week, the UK identified a new variant of the coronavirus that is 70 per cent more transmissible than other SARS-CoV-2 virus strains. After media reports, many countries across the world shut their borders and halted travel to the UK.

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