Almost three-quarters of British adults have had at least one stroke of Covid, according to the government.
More than 60 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed, a major milestone that follows news that the current jabs are protecting against the Indian strain.
And real-world data shows more than 13,000 lives have now been saved thanks to the UK vaccine rollout, which has also prevented 39,000 people from leaving hospital.
In total, 72% of UK adults received their first dose, with 43% of those having both. Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed the deployment as a “great British achievement”.
However, Britons are now being urged to ensure they receive both jabs, after a study published on Saturday found one dose was only 33% effective against the rapidly spreading mutant strain.
Despite this, hopes are mounting that Britain could still be on track to see restrictions lifted on June 21, with ministers hailing the successful vaccination program.
“Our innovative vaccination program – the largest and most successful in the history of the NHS – is another great British achievement and a testament to what can be achieved when all corners of the country come together to defeat this virus,” Mr Hancock said.
“Our country has one of the highest participation rates in the world and I am delighted that so many have answered our call to arms. If you have not yet come forward and are eligible, I urge you to accept the offer – it could save your life and protect your loved ones. “
The government has achieved its goal of providing a vaccine to the most vulnerable by April 15 and remains on track to deliver a first dose to all adults by the end of July.
NHS England is sending text messages urging people aged 32 and 33 to book a vaccination, while appointments for second doses have been postponed from 12 to 8 weeks for those remaining in the first nine priority groups who do not have not yet received both doses.
“Today we have reached another phenomenal achievement, with 60 million gunshots and more than 4 in 10 people fully vaccinated with two doses,” said Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi.
“I want to pay tribute to the heroic work of the NHS workers, volunteers, local authorities and government officials across the country who have worked tirelessly to make it happen.
“The vaccine saves thousands of lives and offers invaluable protection against this virus, so when you receive the offer, please come forward for the vaccine.”
Despite data showing that the vaccines fight the Indian strain, concerns persist locally – and particularly in North Tyneside – after at least 19 cases of the variant have been discovered.
Additional injections and vaccines have been ordered for the region, with surge testing sites launched on Saturday in Wallsend and North Shields – with a third in Shiremoor opening on Monday.