The prime minister said there was “growing confidence” that current coronavirus vaccines would be effective against all variants of the virus, including the Indian variant.
“We reviewed the data this morning and I can tell the House that we are increasingly convinced that the vaccines are effective against all variants, including the Indian variant,” Boris Johnson told the Commons deputies.
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The spread of the Indian variant – with over 2,300 confirmed cases across the UK – raised fears that England’s roadmap COVID-19[female[feminine restrictions may be delayed.
Government science advisers have said that there is a “realistic possibility” that the Indian variant could be “50% more transmissible” than the one that emerged in Kent late last year that led to England’s third lockdown.
Surge tests have been rolled out to parts of the country in an attempt to stop its spread, while a series of measures have been taken to increase the use of the vaccine in sensitive areas.
Mr Johnson’s latest comments come after he said on Monday there was “nothing conclusive” at this point, say that the fourth stage of the roadmap – the lifting of all legal limits on social contact on June 21 – could be postponed.
Mr Johnson said “we will know a lot more in a few days” and promised to “keep people informed” and “continually updated”.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to address the issue at a press conference in Downing Street later.
Prior to that, Mr Johnson faced Sir Keir Starmer with questions from the Prime Minister.
The Labor leader …
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This notice was published: 2021-05-19 12:41:00