UK vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Friday that the government was gearing up to “flex2 its inoculation program in order to tackle the new coronavirus variant first detected in India.
Speaking to the BBC, he said that there would be a surge in vaccinations and testing in areas where that specific variant was spreading.
At the same time, the Department of Health and Social Care announced on Thursday that a new “surge rapid response”” team of 100 staff would be deployed to Bolton, where the B1.617.2 variant was already rapidly spreading.
“While there is no firm evidence yet to show this variant has any greater impact on severity of disease or evades the vaccine, the speed of growth is concerning and the government is considering additional action if deemed necessary, including how to best utilize the vaccine roll-out to best protect the most vulnerable in the context of the current epidemiology,” the Department said in the statement.
Currently, almost 70% of UK adults had been administered at least one shot of the Covid-19 vaccines.
Vaccines were currently available to anyone over the age of 38, but the government said that they could be made available to younger people living in multi-generational households.