Concerns are mounting over whether the emergence of the Delta variant threatens the government's provisional June 21 deadline for lifting virus restrictions.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus is estimated to be 40 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha variant that caused the last wave of infections in the UK, Britain's health minister said Sunday.
"But crucially, after two doses of vaccine, we are confident that you get the same protection that you did with the old variant".
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News' Trevor Phillips on Sunday programme the link between cases and serious illness had been weakened by the vaccine rollout - and urged people who have had their first jabs to book their second.
Public Health England said last month that research showed double vaccination was similarly effective against both the Alpha and Delta variants.
The minister also confirmed that vaccines would be opened up to the next age cohort of under-30s in the next few days by the National Health Service (NHS). We've said that we'll give people enough time ahead of the June 21 date. Hancock said the 40 percent figure came from the government body of scientific advisors, SAGE. One of the four critical tests set by the government for a reopening is that the assessment of the risk from the deadly virus is not fundamentally changed by new VOC.
"So the good news is that the vaccine still works just as effectively".
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