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This includes more than half a million who first had the virus at least a year ago. There were 1.27 million sufferers in early December and 945,000 at the beginning of July.
The Office for National Statistics used a sample of self-reporting sufferers in the month to January 2. Some 244,000 struggle to do day-to-day activities, it found.
The figures came as a fifth Covid vaccine was given the green light.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency approved the jab made by Novavax for use in over 18s based on trials with 50,000 participants.
The Government has access to 60 million of the new Nuvaxovid jabs.
A further 88,171 Covid cases and 303 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported yesterday.
Meanwhile, top World Health Organisation official Dr Hans Kluge said Europe was entering a “plausible endgame” to the pandemic.
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