Ministers across the United Kingdom are receiving the pressure to deploy “surge vaccinations” in Covid-19 hotspots in order to prevent the spread of the B1.617.2 coronavirus variant. Some local authorities have also demanded to extend the vaccination to those above 18 years of age, says a report by The Guardian.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson informed that he was anxious about the spread of the variant first detected in India since, within a week, UK's Coronavirus cases more than doubled.
The Prime Minister said that he was “cautiously optimistic” that his roadmap out of lockdown would continue as planned, as long as the said variant did not “take off in the way some people fear”.
Jon Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, says that surge vaccination should be considered as an option to prevent the further spread of cases.
On Thursday, multiple sources suggested that the government intends to allow vaccination for those above the age of 16 in the worst affected wards in Bolton and Blackburn.
A statement from the Department of Health and Social Care on Thursday said that ministers are pondering on bringing second doses of the vaccine forward.
Prof Andy Pollard, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), advised the UK citizens to keep calm. He said that many variants will emerge in the near future and would spread, even in vaccinated populations. However, the key question is whether the infections were severe.
UK witnessed a jump in Covid-19 cases from 520 to 1,313 in a week, according to a Public Health England (PHE) report. The report informs that four deaths occurred as of 12 May within 28 days of a probable case of the variant. Also, there have been 13 potential reinfection cases.
However, the authors of the report expected this would happen. “This would be expected with any prevalent variant; comparative analyses have been initiated,” the document states.