England’s coronavirus vaccine rollout has prevented millions of infections and up to 98,700 deaths, according to the latest figures from Public Health England (PHE).
Between 23.6 million and 24.4 million Covid infections have been avoided thanks to the programme which has so far administered almost 74 million jabs in England.
More than 82,100 hospitalisations have also been directly averted thanks to the drive.
Dr William Welfare, Covid incident director at PHE, said: “The pandemic is not over but vaccination is weakening the link between infection and serious illness.”
A total 73,982,159 vaccines have been given in England, government figures show.
This includes 39,771,795 first doses and 34,210,364 second doses received up until 4pm Wednesday.
The number of pregnant women getting a Covid-19 vaccination has risen by a fifth in recent weeks.
It follows a concerted effort by health officials to reassure expectant mothers about the safety of getting a jab.
A total of 62,311 pregnant women had come forward and received their first dose by the end of July, PHE said.
While 43,737 pregnant women had received their second dose.
The number is up by 10,587 from July 18, when data released for the first time suggested only around one in 10 pregnant women might have had a first dose.
Meanwhile, teenagers aged 16 and 17 are being invited to get a Covid-19 vaccine at walk-in centres across the country.
Letters are now being received, and follow-up text messages will be sent out on Friday in a bid to ensure as many older teens as possible are being jabbed ahead of their return to school.
More than 125,000 in that age group have had a first jab in the two weeks since the NHS got the go-ahead to extend the rollout, with many already having been invited by their GPs.
Dr Welfare added: “We encourage young people to take up this offer as soon as they are able.”
Calls are ongoing for some people to receive booster coronavirus jabs but more evidence is needed before any decision is made on a possible rollout of third doses, a government adviser has said.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is meeting on Thursday to discuss a potential booster campaign and people who might “really need” another jab.