Two-thirds of adults in the UK have now received their first dose of the Covid-19 jab as the rollout of the vaccine continues at pace.
A total of 35m people have now been given their first dose while a further 16.7m Brits have received their second.
The government met its target of fully vaccinating the most vulnerable by 15 April and is on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July.
Data from a Public Health England study shows the vaccination programme has helped to significantly reduce hospitalisations and deaths.
In those over 70 both the Pfizer and Astrazeneca jabs reduce the risk of getting symptomatic disease by around 60 per cent after a single dose.
In those aged over 80, protection against hospitalisation is around 80 per cent and the Pfizer/ vaccine is 85 per cent effective at stopping people aged over 80 dying from Covid-19.
Data from the ONS and Oxford University shows that infections fell by 65 per cent after the first dose of the vaccines, rising further after the second dose.
The government this morning announced that people under the age of 40 will be offered an alternative to the Astrazeneca vaccine following concerns of rare blood clots.
It marks an extension of previous guidance, which stated under 30s should steer away from the Oxford vaccine.
However, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation insisted that no new safety concerns have emerged over the Astrazeneca vaccine and that the recommendation amounted to “precautionary” advice.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said reaching two-thirds of the adult population was an “incredible achievement”.
“It is now more important than ever to come forward for the second dose, so we can ensure everyone has the absolute strongest possible protection from this dreadful virus,” he said.
“I encourage everyone to book their jab as soon as they’re offered it, and to come back for their second dose. It’s never too late to come forward if you are eligible.”