Younger people will be able to book their jabs within days as fears mount over the spread of the Indian variant

People aged 35 and over will be invited to get their Covid jabs this week, the Health Secretary has said.
Matt Hancock announced that younger people would start being able to book their vaccinations within days as the inoculation programme ramps up.
The move comes amid mounting fears over the spread of the Indian Covid variant in places like Bolton, which have seen spikes in infections.
Mr Hancock said the Government was ratcheting up efforts to get people vaccinated, with extra vaccinators sent to Covid hotspots.
He told the BBC: “We want everyone in Bolton who is eligible to come forward.
“Also this coming week we are going to be opening up vaccinations to the 35s and over across the country because this isn’t just about accelerating the vaccination programme in Bolton.
Matt Hancock said the vaccination would being being rolled out to the over 35s within days (Image: Sky)
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“It’s about going as fast as we possibly can nationwide.”
Currently, only people over 38-years-old are able to get their vaccines.
Mr Hancock said there was a “high degree of confidence” that jabs work against the new Indian strain of the virus, which has been spreading in parts of the North West and London.
He pointed to early data from Oxford University giving confidence that existing vaccines work against the variant.
“That means that we can stay on course with our strategy of using the vaccine to deal with the pandemic and opening up carefully and cautiously but we do need to be really very vigilant to the spread of the disease,” he told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday.
“We have a high degree of confidence that the vaccine will overcome.”
But he warned that warned the new variant was highly transmissible and could “spread like wildfire among the unvaccinated groups”.
The “vast majority” of people ending up in hospital with Covid in Bolton had not taken up the jab, despite being eligible, he said.
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Five people who have had a single jab have been hospitalised with the Indian variant in Bolton, and one who had received both doses, he said.
Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said the vaccine experts would consider offering the AstraZeneca jab to under 40s again to speed up the rollout.
The committee had advised younger people to get Pfizer or Moderna jabs due to being at a higher risk of rare blood clots from the AstraZeneca jab.
He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “Yes absolutely, that’s on the agenda, and if necessary that’s something that could be done.
“When we expressed a preference for non-AstraZeneca vaccines for this age group it was done in a very provisional way on the basis of everything going absolutely right.
“And if the evidence shows that the risk benefit balance for people in their 30s is to be offered that vaccine then absolutely that recommendation will be changed.
“At the moment we don’t think that’s necessary, but it could well become a recommendation in the future.”
It comes as the Government was said to be hoping to jab a million Brits a day by the summer to beat the Indian variant.
Ministers have told MPs they safely expect to increase daily doses from 500,000 to 800,000 within the next two weeks, according to the Sunday Telegraph.