This comes amid concerns about the Indian variant of the coronavirus, with the warning of Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a press conference “Serious disruption” of the roadmap outside of the lockdown if the strain has high transmissibility.
The number of cases of the strain has more than doubled for two consecutive weeks in the UK, from 202 to 520 to 1,313 in a fortnight.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said he expected the variant become the most dominant in UK.
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Some 36,115,955 people received a first dose of the vaccine, while 19,319,010 follow-up injections were administered.
Mr Johnson said: ‘Following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, we will speed up the remaining second doses to those over 50 and clinically vulnerable people across the country so that they are only eight weeks old. after the first dose, and if you are in that group, the NHS will be in contact with you. “
He added: “We will also prioritize first doses for anyone who is eligible who has not yet presented, including those over 40 – and I urge all members of these groups to move forward as soon as possible. “
The Department for Health and Social Affairs said in a statement: ‘This is to ensure that people across the UK are provided with the strongest possible protection against the virus at an earlier opportunity. “
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He added: “Those under the age of 50 will continue to receive their first dose, with their second dose at 12 weeks, as has been the rollout strategy so far. “
Papers from the Pandemic Influenza Panel on Modeling, Operational Subgroup suggest that the B.1.617.2 variant has a transmission advantage over the B.1.1.7 strain – also known as the Kent variant .
Other more targeted measures will be undertaken in areas experiencing a rise in the Indian variant.
This includes Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen.
Other vaccination centers are open and opening hours are increased.
Earlier today, the UK reported 17 other coronavirus deaths and 2,193 cases.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is vital that we do all we can and use all the resources we have to keep the nation safe. We have implemented measures at a record pace to master this new variant and control the spread.
“Everyone has a role to play in this effort – accept the invitation to get a kick when it happens, and if you live in one of the areas where we’ve introduced surge testing, get your free PCR test. together. ”