MATT Hancock today warned the Indian variant can “spread like wildfire” – but England will accelerate its jab rollout next week.
The health secretary said that, from tomorrow, over 35s will start to be invited for their first vaccine dose – but experts warn the easing of restrictions Monday may see the mutant strain spread further.
Mr Hancock also said there are now more than 1,300 cases of the Indian variant in the UK, warning it is now “the dominant strain” in areas including Bolton and Blackburn.
And he said the country faces a “race between the vaccination programme and the virus” amid fears it will spread elsewhere – with the Indian variant having “given the virus some extra legs in that race”.
Meanwhile, the government plans to vaccinate one million people a day as ‘Covid hit squads’ target India variant hotspots across the country.
By using a stockpile of 3.2 million vaccines, daily doses will be ramped up from 500,000 to 800,000 within a fortnight, according to the Telegraph.
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