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A further 501 people have died with Covid-19 in the UK.

The country's death toll now stands at 53,775.

Yesterday a further 529 people died, with 598 people losing their lives the day before that.

That represented the highest single day rise in Covid-19 deaths in the UK since May.

Earlier today the number of Covid-19 patients to die in hospital – rather than all settings such as care homes – shot up by 431.

By comparison, last Thursday 592 people died with Covid-19 in all settings, while 1,224 people lost their lives due to the disease at the height of the first wave on April 22.

Today 22,915 more people tested positive for the bug, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,453,256.

The coronavirus death toll has risen sharply today
(Image: Getty Images)

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While the country may be in the grips of the second wave, there are reasons to be hopeful.

The University of Oxford coronavirus vaccine produces a strong immune response in older adults, its latest trials have found.

The vaccine has been shown to trigger a robust immune response in healthy adults aged 56-69 and people over 70.

Phase two data, published in The Lancet, suggests one of the groups most vulnerable to serious illness and death from Covid-19 could build immunity, researchers say.

Doctor preparing the coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine

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  • Oxford coronavirus vaccine: How does it work and when will it be available in the UK?

According to the researchers, volunteers in the trial demonstrated similar immune responses across all three age groups (18-55, 56-69, and 70 and over).

The study of 560 healthy adults – including 240 over the age of 70 – found the vaccine is better tolerated in older people compared with younger adults.

The UK has 100 million doses of the Oxford jab on order, enough to vaccinate almost the entire population, pending regulatory approval.

The sooner that a majority of the population can be inoculated, the sooner that everyday life can return to something resembling normality.