Over 15 million people across the UK have been given their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, hitting a government target.
The milestone, reached on Sunday, means ministers have achieved their aim of vaccinating everyone in the top four priority groups with a day to spare.
Boris Johnson described the achievement as an “extraordinary feat” that had taken “a truly national effort”.
He had pledged to offer a dose of the vaccine to everyone over 70 and everyone who was clinically extremely vulnerable by 15 February.
Front line health and social care workers, as well as care home residents and their staff have also been jabbed.
The NHS vaccine programme has been the fastest in Europe, with nearly half a million people a day getting jabbed over the last week.
In a video statement issued on Sunday, Mr Johnson said: “It has been a truly national, UK-wide effort. We have done it together.
“And in England, I can tell you we have now offered jabs to everyone in the first four priority groups, the people most likely to be severely ill from coronavirus, hitting the first target we set ourselves.”
But he added that “no-one is resting on their laurels”.
“We’ve still got a long way to go to. And there will undoubtedly be bumps in the road. But after all we’ve achieved, I know we can go forward with great confidence.”
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said in a tweet: “15 million! Amazing team. We will not rest [until] we offer the vaccine to the whole of phase one, the 1 to 9 categories of the most vulnerable and all over 50s by [the end of] April, and then all adults.”
Ministers now want to vaccinate all nine priotity groups before the beginning of May: all those over 50 and everyone in a clinically vulnerable group.
After that, vaccinations for the rest of the population will go ahead.
A strategy of prioritising first doses of the vaccine without an immediate follow-up second dose appears to be paying off, with mounting evidence that the approach offers strong protection.
But cases numbers are still high and the government hinted on Sunday that it could be months before significant changes are made to lockdown measures.
In a statement, health secretary Matt Hancock said: “I’m so proud of the team – we’ve hit this fantastic milestone in our battle against COVID-19. In less than 10 weeks we’ve jabbed over 15 million people across the UK.
“That’s one in every four adults now starting to receive protection from this dreadful disease.
“This accomplishment is thanks to the incredible efforts of frontline NHS workers, vaccine volunteers, the armed forces and all those working in local and central government. The vaccine rollout shows what our country can achieve working together.
“There is so much more to do and I urge anyone eligible to step forward and take up their appointment. The vaccine is our route to freedom – we will beat this virus jab by jab.”
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said the government needed to “lock-in the gains of vaccination”.
“Our NHS staff, armed forces and volunteers deserve huge congratulations on the ongoing successful roll-out of the vaccination programme. They are true heroes and make the whole country proud,” he said.
“It’s now crucial that, as we move towards second jabs for the most vulnerable and the first jabs for the next groups, Ministers lock-in the gains of vaccination. This means putting in place measures to further reduce the spread of Covid including decent financial self-isolation support, updated mask wearing guidance and help for workplaces to be Covid secure.
“We have already seen the virus mutate, it’s urgent more is done to reduce its spread while vaccination continues at pace.”