Covid vaccine surge: Where is offering Covid vaccine for over 18s as Indian variant grows?

India variant: Expert discusses vaccines that are 'effective'

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India’s Covid variant has crushed health services at home, overwhelming the country’s hospitals with hundreds of thousands of daily cases. The variant, known as B.1.617, has two concerning mutations and recently entered the UK, and risks spiking infections as the vaccine rollout shows promising progress. English authorities have seen the programme as their answer and extended eligibility in high-risk areas.

Where can over 18s get the Covid vaccine?

The average infection rate in the UK is currently at its lowest since August 2020, but pockets of the country have seen a rise in cases.

The national rate sits at 40.1 percent per 100,000 people, but 28 local authorities have more than twice this.

Leaders have linked local surges to travel connections with India, especially in Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

The Indian variant has caused case spikes in three areas, which will get targeted help.

Blackburn with Darwen has a Covid rate of 99.5 per 100,000 people, with 149 new cases in the seven days up to May 8.

They recently announced extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine via NHS partners to roll out.

Bastwell and Daisyfield, Shear Brow and Corporation Park and Billinge and Beardwood will receive them.

Over 18s can receive the vaccine from next week.

The fired-up response to the virus reflects growing national anxiety, with both the Prime Minister and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) expressing concern.

Boris Johnson said the Government would “rule nothing out” in its bid to push back the variant.

Speaking from a primary school in Ferryhill, Aberdeen today, he said: “It is a variant of concern, we are anxious about it.”

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“At the moment, there is a very wide range of scientific opinion about what could happen.

“We want to make sure we take all the prudential, cautious steps now that we could take, so there are meetings going on today to consider exactly what we need to do.

“There is a range of things we could do, we are ruling nothing out.”

SAGE has called an emergency meeting to discuss the variant today after questioning how it could affect the current lockdown schedule.

They said it was “possible” the variant of concern could delay the proposed lockdown elimination date of June 21.

Scientists fear the variant’s two mutations could override success from the national vaccine programme.

Its L452R mutation makes B.1.617 more transmissible and has already presented in a Californian variant.

The second E484Q mutation exists in the South African and Brazilian variants and allows B.1.617 to evade immune protections.

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