More than 10 million people across the UK - the equivalent of almost 1 in 5 adults - have now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, as the NHS continues its rapid national vaccination drive.
New figures released have shown the NHS has managed to vaccinate a total of 10,021,471 people between December 8, 2020 (when the first vaccine candidates were approved for general use by the MHRA) and February 2, 2021.
These figures include 9 in 10 people aged 75 and over in England.
Achieving such figures in just eight weeks has demonstrated the commitment and resiliency of all those working across the country in health and care, as well as taking an important step to protect the most vulnerable in society.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson had set an ambitious target to offer vaccines to everyone within four primary priority groups by the middle of February.
These top four priority groups accounted for 88% of Covid-19 deaths in the UK, emphasising the need for rapid vaccine rollout to these groups to help offer them greater protection and minimise the strain of heightened demand on the NHS.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This terrific achievement is testament to the monumental effort of NHS workers, volunteers and the armed forces who have been working tirelessly in every corner of the UK to deliver the largest vaccination programme in our history.
“Every jab makes us all a bit safer – I want to thank everyone for playing their part.
“Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic. The unprecedented national effort we have seen right across the United Kingdom means the majority of our most vulnerable people are now inoculated against this awful disease.
“The UK government has worked rapidly to secure and deliver doses to all of the UK, demonstrating the strength of our union and what we can achieve together.”
All vaccines currently being administered in the UK have undergone robust clinical trials and met strict MHRA standards for safety, effectiveness and quality
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi added: “The UK’s vaccination programme is in full swing and almost 1 in 6 people across the UK are already protected from serious illness.
“The NHS is doing everything it can to protect the most vulnerable and will continue to expand the vaccination programme ever further in the coming weeks to save as many lives as possible.”