Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received his first dose of the AstraZeneca jab at St Thomas' Hospital in London.
The vaccine was administered by nurse Lily Harrington shortly after 6.30pm on Friday evening (this morning NZ time).
Leaving hospital after the jab, he told reporters: "I literally did not feel a thing and so it was very good, very quick and I cannot recommend it too highly.
"Everybody, when you get your notification to go for a jab please go and get it. It is the best thing for you, best thing for your family and for everybody else."
It comes as countries including France, Germany and Italy began restarting their vaccine programmes with the AstraZeneca jab, reversing earlier decisions to suspend them over blood clot concerns.
Johnson confirmed he would be receiving the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at a press briefing the previous day in which he dismissed concerns it was linked to blood clots and told the nation it was "safe".
"The Oxford jab is safe and the Pfizer jab is safe. The thing that isn't safe is catching Covid, which is why it is so important that we all get our jabs as soon as our turn comes," he said in an address from Downing Street.
The Prime Minister's jab comes as new figures suggest half of adults in England are likely to have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, making it the first of the four UK nations to pass this symbolic milestone.
A total of 22,337,590 people had been given a first jab as of March 18, according to NHS England.
This is the equivalent of 50.5 per cent of the population of England aged 18 and over, based on the latest estimates by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) backed the AstraZeneca vaccine yesterday,
announcing it was "safe and effective" and its benefits in preventing Covid-19 hospital admission and death greatly outweighed potential risks.
The EMA has, however, been unable to say definitively that the jab is not linked to "extremely rare" blood clots on the brain, of which there have been 18 reports among millions of people vaccinated.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have said the jab is safe and have encouraged people to take up their vaccine appointments.
The WHO's advisory committee on vaccine safety issued a formal statement
today saying the vaccine "continues to have a positive benefit-risk profile, with tremendous potential to prevent infections and reduce deaths across the world".
Chancellor Angela Merkel said
she was ready to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca's coronavirus jab if she is offered it, in a bid to shore up confidence in the jab.
"Yes I would take the AstraZeneca vaccine," Merkel told a news conference, adding she "would like to wait until it's my turn but I would in any case".
Merkel's firm endorsement of the vaccine comes as a reversal to her previous announcement last month that she would not take the jab, as at that time it was not recommended for Germans in her age group.
About 17 million people in the EU and the UK have received a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.