More than 20 million people in Britain have had the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the Government has said.
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, hailed the milestone as a “magnificent achievement for the country”.
In a video on his Twitter, he said: “I’m absolutely delighted that over 20 million people have now been vaccinated across the UK – it’s absolutely fantastic.
“I want to thank every single person who’s come forward to get the jab because we know with increasing confidence that the jab protects you, it protects your community and it also is the route out of this for all of us.”
He added in a statement: “I’m absolutely delighted that over 20 million people have now been vaccinated.
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“Well over a third of all adults have now received their first dose of a Covid vaccine in every corner of the UK.
“Every jab in the arm is another life soon to be protected from this awful disease and means we are a step closer to returning to our normal lives.
“Thank you to everyone in the NHS, government, local authorities and volunteers who have been working tirelessly to make this happen.
“I urge everyone eligible for the vaccine to come forward as soon as possible to protect yourself and those around you. We can only beat this virus together.”
Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, tweeted: “BINGO! One Score over 20,000,000 people have had the vaccination (1s dose).
“What an achievement for February 2021. What a team! Proud to be with you on this journey.”
And he said in a statement: “Today’s incredible milestone is only possible thanks to the brilliant efforts of GPs, community pharmacists, frontline NHS workers and volunteers who have been doing everything they can to vaccinate those most at risk as quickly as possible.
“Thank you also to the government’s Vaccines Taskforce, which pulled out all the stops to purchase the most promising vaccines in advance on behalf of the entire UK, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories to give us the best possible start.
“Our vaccination programme has been a huge success and I want to pay tribute to everybody who has played their part.”
Official statistics show that 768,810 have received the second dose of a vaccine, as of yesterday.
The news comes as nearly two million more people aged over 60 in England are being invited to book a coronavirus jab – as the boss of NHS England promises the rollout will get even quicker in March.
The health body said letters will start landing on doormats from Monday of those aged 60-64 inviting the extra people for their vaccine.
They have been sent out after more than three in four people aged 65 to 70 took up the offer of a vaccination, it added.
Everyone over 50 is now line to get their first dose by April 15, modelling shows.
And buoyant NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens said vaccine supply will increase further in March allowing the rollout to accelerate even further.