Matt Hancock gives update on June 21st plans
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The NHS has upped its efforts to get everyone fully vaccinated following recommendations by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). In May the JCVI said the interval between first and second doses should be reduced from 12 weeks to eight for all those aged 50 and over and for the clinically vulnerable.
Those who have been contacted to bring forward their second vaccine appointments are being urged to book as soon as possible.
The NHS said: “We’ll be contacting some people in high-risk groups directly to offer earlier appointments for their 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Please wait to be contacted if you think you’re in this group.
“If you’ve been contacted and you’d like to rebook, you’ll need to cancel your existing appointment before we can offer you new appointments.”
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To manage your vaccine appointments visit the NHS website HERE.
The move is aimed at combating the fast-spreading virus mutation first detected in India, now known as the Delta variant.
The strain has sparked concern as there has been a surge in cases across the UK.
The Delta variant has become the dominant mutation of the virus in the UK according to data from Public Health England.
Public Health England releases weekly statistics on the number of Covid cases in the UK, as of June 3 there were 12,431 cases of the delta variant recorded in the UK.
This is a worrying surge, as this figure shows a sharp rise in cases with just 6959 recorded cases a week earlier.
The variant is highly transmissible and the rise in cases has been attributed to the ease at which the variant can be passed on.
The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock told Sky News the delta variant was “around 40 percent more transmissible” than the Kent strain.
The spread of the delta variant could halt the reopening of the country on June 21.
Plans to lift all covid restrictions towards the end of the month could be stalled if cases of the variant continue to rise.
Mr Hancock said vaccines had “severed but not broken” the link between a rise in cases and an increase in the number of people being admitted to hospital.
He added: “Once we have got everybody having had their second dose, then you will get this protection that we are seeing at the moment among older people, you’ll get that protection throughout the whole adult population.
Mr Hancock said the government is “not saying no June 21”, but that it was “too early” to say that all restrictions could be lifted as planned.
Mr Hancock has repeatedly urged all those eligible to get vaccinated.
He said: “We are fighting this awful virus together – and it is vital everyone has their second dose as soon as they’re eligible to give themselves the fullest possible protection against variants so we can beat Covid-19.”
Despite the success of the vaccine rollout, as 75% of UK adults have had their first Covid-19 jab, the emergence of new variants is concerning.
Around 98 percent of Brits are being jabbed with their second dose of the vaccine within 12 weeks say the NHS, but the new texting campaign is encouraging people to become fully vaccinated as soon as possible, to give them the best protection against new variants.
More than half of people in England are now fully vaccinated as 23,077,511 have received two doses of the vaccine.
The message from the Government is to get jabbed as soon as possible as vaccines are the country’s route out of Covid restrictions.
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