Now, with several vaccines approved, Europe is ramping up inoculations against the disease.
But who is making the best progress? Here we pull together the latest figures to compare how European countries are getting on.
What percentage of the population is fully vaccinated?
While the UK is leading the rest of Europe on total vaccinations, other countries are ahead in terms of the percentage of their population fully vaccinated against the disease, which usually means two doses of the jab.
The UK, keen to get first jabs in as many people as possible, is waiting longer than other countries to administer the second one.
The United Kingdom leading the rest of Europe
In terms of the absolute number of vaccinations, the UK, which approved its first COVID-19 vaccine on December 2, nearly three weeks before the EU, is racing ahead with immunising its people.
Who has made the best progress, relatively speaking?
The UK has administered the most vaccines overall, but it also leads in terms of vaccinations per capita of population.
Malta, Serbia and Denmark are also strong on this measure.
Explore the map below to see how other countries in Europe are doing.
Level playing field?
The caveat with comparative European data like this is that not every country began vaccinations at the same time.
Here is a look at who got a headstart on the rest.
Which group was vaccinated first?
Another interesting indicator is which group of people each country chose to give the first COVID-19 vaccine to.
Countries in our study are split equally between healthcare professionals and the elderly.
There is also a handful of countries, like Turkey, Serbia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria that chose to give it to politicians first. In some instances, this could be a way of trying to allay the fears of a vaccine-sceptic population.
About this data
The data is pulled together from official government sources and media reports.