Two-thirds of adults in the UK have now received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, the health secretary has announced.
Sajid Javid said on Twitter: “Two-thirds of adults across the UK have now had two jabs.
“We have beaten our target by almost a week – this is a huge achievement. Thank you to everyone who has come forward.
“The vaccine is our wall of defence against the virus.”
The figure is a key milestone ahead of a drastic easing of restrictions on Monday.
The government delayed lifting most rules until 19 July so two-thirds of adults could be double-jabbed, and every adult could be offered a first vaccine.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked people for “coming forward” and “helping others get jabbed” on Twitter.
He said: “Barely 8 months since the first vaccine, 2/3 of UK adults have had both doses.
“Thank you to everyone coming forward and to those helping others get jabbed. You are the reason we are able to cautiously ease restrictions next week.
“If you’re over 18, book both your jabs now.”
Latest data from the Department of Health shows 34,997,491 people are now fully vaccinated, making up 66.4% of the adult population.
A total of 45,978,017 people have had one vaccine dose – which is around 87.3% of all UK adults.
The figures come as England prepares to lift all coronavirus restrictions on Monday, including limits on social contacts and the legally mandated mask requirement for indoor spaces.
Some 1,200 scientists – including four SAGE members – have urged the government to push the brakes on the plans for 19 July, warning the decision to unlock the country is “unethical”.
Writing in The Lancet, they accused the government of pursuing an “unscientific” policy of “herd immunity by mass infection”.
Scotland is set to ease the majority of its remaining restrictions on 19 July, as it moves to level zero, but face masks will remain mandatory.
Earlier, First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, announced the nation would move to relax some restrictions from Saturday but face masks will still have to be worn on public transport and in most indoor public places.
He added that most rules will be eased further on 7 August, if cases remain low, but even after that, the requirement for wearing face masks will be retained for some settings.