A Sheffield GP says vaccines are working against the Indian variant but urged more people to have their jabs.
Ollie Hart, GP at Heeley Plus Primary Care Network said: “We are well into our second doses. It can be quite tricky to get the exact number of people for the second dose each day, but we are working really hard with our volunteer crew which as always have made the centre run really smoothly in a fantastic team effort.
“It's really reassuring to see people coming in for their first vaccines realising that they are safe and what's really encouraging is that this new India strain we are seeing coming over seems to be well protected against by the vaccines that we have been giving and we are not seeing the rampant spread they are seeing in India even though it is now prevalent in our communities. That is really good news and another reason to come forward and have your vaccine if you haven't already.”
PM Boris Johnson has said that remaining second doses for the over-50s will be accelerated so they come eight weeks after the first.
The Prime Minister told the Downing Street press conference: “I believe we should trust in our vaccines to protect the public whilst monitoring the situation as it develops very closely because the race between our vaccination programme and the virus may be about to become a great deal tighter and it’s more important than ever therefore that people get the protection of a second dose.
He said easing restrictions will go ahead as planned on Monday, May 17, but the Indian coronavirus variant could “pose a serious disruption” to plans to ease restrictions and “could make it more difficult” to end them as hoped in June.
The PM said the army would be deployed on the streets of Blackburn and Bolton handing out tests to help the surge testing efforts.
There will also be an acceleration of the vaccine rollout there, including longer opening hours at vaccination centres.