Door-to-door jab ‘hit squads’ to fight Indian Covid variant: Ministers hope targeted vaccine drive can halt rise of ‘more infectious strain’ by fighting vaccine hesitancy in hotspots Bolton and Blackburn

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by Glen Owen, Daily Mail:

  • Ministers plan to vaccinate entire households where Indian variant takes hold to stop Covid spreading
  • Ministers are sending in Army to help with drive to target multi-generational households in affected areas
  • More than 4,000 people were vaccinated by Covid ‘jab bus’ in Bolton, a worst affected areas, yesterday
  • Boris Johnson warned the Indian variant poses ‘risk of disruption’ to the end of social distancing on June 21

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Ministers are cautiously optimistic that targeted vaccinations can arrest a surge of the Indian variant and stop it from derailing Boris Johnson‘s roadmap out of lockdown.

Door-to-door Covid ‘hit squads’ are heading to Bolton and Blackburn, where the strain is at its most virulent, to focus on areas with the greatest ‘vaccine hesitancy’.

Entire multi-generational households will be offered inoculations.

A Government source said: ‘In jabs we trust.’

Mr Johnson will proceed as planned with tomorrow’s reopening of pubs and restaurants for indoor dining, but has warned that the Indian variant poses ‘a real risk of disruption’ to the end of social distancing on June 21.

Door-to-door Covid 'hit squads' are heading to Bolton and Blackburn, where the strain is at its most virulent, to focus on areas with the greatest 'vaccine hesitancy'. Pictured: A queue for the jabs at the pop up centre in Bolton

Door-to-door Covid ‘hit squads’ are heading to Bolton and Blackburn, where the strain is at its most virulent, to focus on areas with the greatest ‘vaccine hesitancy’. Pictured: A queue for the jabs at the pop up centre in Bolton

Boris Johnson (pictured) will proceed as planned with tomorrow's reopening of pubs and restaurants for indoor dining, but has warned that the Indian variant poses 'a real risk of disruption' to the end of social distancing on June 21

Boris Johnson (pictured) will proceed as planned with tomorrow’s reopening of pubs and restaurants for indoor dining, but has warned that the Indian variant poses ‘a real risk of disruption’ to the end of social distancing on June 21

Ministers are planning to blitz areas where the Indian variant has taken hold by vaccinating entire households to stop Covid spreading 'like wildfire'. Pictured: A man gets his Covid vaccination in Bolton

Ministers are planning to blitz areas where the Indian variant has taken hold by vaccinating entire households to stop Covid spreading ‘like wildfire’. Pictured: A man gets his Covid vaccination in Bolton

Figures released yesterday showed hospital admissions down 1.2 per cent in a week to 103, with deaths down 8.9 per cent to seven.

Positive tests were fractionally down on last Saturday’s figure, at just over 2,000.

A total of 36,320,867 first doses of the vaccine have now been administered – 69 per cent of all adults in Britain – while second doses have reached 19,698,121.

Offers of a vaccine will be extended to all over-35s within days.

The Government source added that there was ‘no evidence’ that vaccines were not effective against the Indian variant.

Ministers are planning to blitz areas where the Indian variant has taken hold by vaccinating entire households to stop Covid spreading ‘like wildfire’.

Figures show that in the two worst hotspots, Bolton and Blackburn, the virus is spreading three times faster in areas where the jab take-up is below 80 per cent.

More than 4,000 people were vaccinated by a Covid 'jab bus' (pictured) which drove into Bolton yesterday

More than 4,000 people were vaccinated by a Covid ‘jab bus’ (pictured) which drove into Bolton yesterday

Meanwhile, SAGE suggested the R rate for England had risen slightly to somewhere between 0.8 and 1.1, from a possible high of 1.0 last week. If the number is above one it will mean the outbreak is growing. The R rate - the number of people infected by each Covid case - is now almost redundant, however, because it is guaranteed to rise above one as lockdown is lifted and is particularly unreliable when case numbers are low

Meanwhile, SAGE suggested the R rate for England had risen slightly to somewhere between 0.8 and 1.1, from a possible high of 1.0 last week. If the number is above one it will mean the outbreak is growing. The R rate – the number of people infected by each Covid case – is now almost redundant, however, because it is guaranteed to rise above one as lockdown is lifted and is particularly unreliable when case numbers are low

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