Everyone in the top four priority groups has been offered a coronavirus vaccine, the health secretary has confirmed.
Speaking to Sky News, Matt Hancock said the government had met its target for offering a COVID-19 jab to all over 70s by Monday’s deadline.
Uptake has been “much higher than we expected”, he said.
Mr Hancock said the milestone was a “little step towards freedom for us all”, but there was “no rest for the wicked”.
Letters are now being sent to those aged over 65 and the clinically vulnerable to invite them to receive the first dose of a vaccine.
The government is aiming to offer a vaccine to the 17 million in groups five to nine by the end of April, something that will be done alongside administering second doses for many in the first four groups.
“There is a huge programme under way rolling out to invite the next group of people to be vaccinated and, at the same time, from next month we have the second jabs of all the people who have come since January to make sure they happen on time, because they have to be within a specific 12-week time period,” the health secretary said.
“So there is still a huge amount of work to do but we have managed to vaccinate those who are most vulnerable.”