People over 35 to be offered Covid vaccine in ‘coming week’ as fears grow over Indian variant Bedford News

Those over 35 will be able to book their jabs in the ‘coming week’ (Photo: Getty Images)

People over the age of 35 will be able to book their vaccination against Covid in the coming days, as the government accelerates its vaccination rollout.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed vaccines will be open to people in this age group from next week, and urged people to reserve their immunizations when called.

‘Go ahead and take a hit’

Mr Hancock urged those who are eligible for vaccination to, and have not yet made an appointment, to go and collect the vaccine as he warned of the possible impact of the Indian Covid variant.

There are fears that the strain is even more transmissible than the Kent variant, which caused the second deadly wave of infections in the UK over the winter, and is becoming dominant in parts of the country.

He warned that the Indian variant of Covid may “spread like wildfire” among those who have not been vaccinated, and said there was a “high degree of confidence” that current vaccines protect against the variant.

The majority of cases of the India Covid strain are concentrated in the north-west of England, mainly in Bolton, and in London.

The variant is also believed to be responsible for half of the coronavirus infections in Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen and South Northamptonshire, although these outbreaks are still low.

Outbreaks have also been identified in two areas of Tyneside and Newcastle, while there are around 30 cases in parts of Scotland, including Glasgow, with Public Health England claiming that nearly half of all cases are linked to travel or contact with a traveler.

The Health Secretary stressed the importance of getting the vaccine during the call, arguing that the “vast majority” of people in Bolton in hospital with the new variant were eligible for the vaccine but did not have it. not taken.

He said: “Due to the speed of transmission of it, it can really spread like wildfire among the unvaccinated groups – so we need to get as many people vaccinated as possible, especially those who are. the most vulnerable to end up in hospital.

People over the age of 35 will be able to book their jabs from next week, as authorities try to bring the Indian variant under control, which is spreading, especially in Covid hotspots like Bolton and Blackburn.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Hancock said: ‘Next week we are going to open up vaccination for 35 and over people across the country because it is not just about speeding up the vaccination program in Bolton. , this is as fast as possible across the country. “

Could AstraZeneca’s guidelines change?

Guidance could also change on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is currently not recommended for people under 40, to help get more people vaccinated.

Professor Adam Finn of the University of Bristol and member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) was asked if the JCVI would reconsider the recommendation that people under the age of 40 be offered alternatives to the AstraZeneca vaccine if that means it could speed up deployment.

He said, “Yes, absolutely, it’s on the agenda, and if necessary, it’s something that could be done.

“When we expressed a preference for the non-AstraZeneca vaccines for this age group, it was done on a very tentative basis on the basis of everything is perfectly fine.

“And if the evidence shows that the risk / benefit ratio for people in their 30s is to be offered this vaccine, then absolutely that recommendation will be changed.

“At the moment, we don’t think it’s necessary, but it may well become a recommendation in the future.”

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This notice was published: 2021-05-16 13:08:26