More than 20 million people in the UK have now been given their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the government has said.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said reaching the milestone is 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.”
Mr Hancock urged everyone eligible for the vaccine to come forward and added: “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.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “20 million people across the UK have now got the jab – a huge national achievement and a testament to the tireless work of NHS staff, volunteers, the Armed Forces & many more. I urge everyone to get the jab when called. Every jab makes a difference in our battle against COVID.”Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi 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.”
It comes as nearly two million people aged 60 to 63 in England are being invited to book a coronavirus jab, with the letters due to start arriving on Monday.
NHS England said the letters will explain how people can make an appointment through the national booking service.
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.
A further 149 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 83,123, NHS England said on Sunday.
Patients were aged between 23 and 103 and all except six, aged between 34 and 89, had known underlying health conditions.
The deaths were between January 8 and February 27.
The Duke of Cambridge has also urged people to keep on taking the Covid-19 vaccination so “younger generations” will feel “it’s really important for them to have it”.
William also warned against “rumours and misinformation” on social media about coronavirus jabs, as he and Kate talked by video call with two clinically vulnerable women who have been shielding since last March.
His comments came after the Queen encouraged those hesitant about vaccination to “think about other people rather than themselves”.
The Department of Health and Social Care also said that two rapid coronavirus tests will be sent out to all households with school-aged children every week under plans for schools to safely reopen in England from March 8.
Free tests will be provided to pupils’ households, as well as those in their childcare or support bubbles, regardless of whether anyone has symptoms, the department added.
The rapid tests will be ordered and collected from local sites or administered through workplace testing programmes.
Secondary and college pupils will be tested with lateral flow tests twice a week, receiving three initial tests at school before they start taking them at home.