Sir Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, told MPs that the coronavirus is “spiraling out of control in many parts of the country”.
He told the Commons Public Accounts Committee: “In London, maybe one in 30 people has the coronavirus, in parts of London it may be twice as high.
“When you look at other regions of England the problem is that the coronavirus is on the rise again.
“In Merseyside, Covid hospital stays have increased by another 50% in the past week.
“So this is a very serious moment for the country and the National Health Service.
“It is worth remembering that this affects all age groups. A quarter of Covid hospital admissions are currently for those under the age of 55.”
Sir Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, said 2.5 million doses of vaccine had been given.
He told MPs there had been “another very significant acceleration in the number of vaccines administered last week”.
Around 1.1 million doses were administered in the first three weeks and “we doubled that in the past week”.
“The rate of vaccination has tripled in the last week and another 1.2 million shocks have been given. That means the total number of vaccinations for England has now reached 2.3 million.
“For the UK it’s over 2.5 million.”