United Kingdom health chief: Indian strain 'around 40%' more infectious than British variant

Delta variant '40% more transmissible': UK health minister

"The vaccine is our single best defence in the fight against Coronavirus and we are delighted to be able to invite people aged 25 to 29 across the Midlands to come forward to receive their vaccines - as well as continuing to encourage those who have not yet received both doses to come forward".

In a nationwide address Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the federal government would take a larger role in obtaining vaccines for Indian states.

Downing Street said there was "nothing in the data" to suggest a delay would be needed.

The country has seen an uptick in cases in recent weeks, and officials say the current wave is impacting people 20 to 39 years of age.

The UK has so far given more than 27 million people two doses - more than 50 per cent of adults - while more than 40 million have had one dose.

"Then, 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 government figures show "jabs are working" and encouraged the public to get vaccinated - as he announced over-25s in England would be eligible to book one from Tuesday.

The news comes as people who have been contacted to bring forward their second coronavirus vaccine appointment are being urged to rebook as soon as possible.

Pandemic chaos and lies in United Kingdom government: Cummings key points
He said his real motivation in leaving London was his family's safety, because there had been threats to his London home. Cummings said there was had been no plan for the epidemic, and certainly no plan for a lockdown.

"The vaccine is saving lives and preventing hospitalisations".

As well as opening up invites for first doses, the NHS is continuing its efforts to ensure that people get their second dose of the vaccine which is vital to ensure maximum protection against the virus.

Of those admitted, 83 were unvaccinated, 28 had received one dose and three had received both doses of the vaccine, Mr Hancock said.

The rise in rates has yet to be mirrored by a steady increase in hospital cases.

Case rates are rising in more local areas of the United Kingdom than at any point since early January, with numbers increasing in nearly all parts of north-west England, London and Scotland.

An announcement on the data review is expected on June 14.

The UK recorded a further 6,238 coronavirus cases on Friday as England's R number, or the rate of infection, began to rise again, largely attributed to the Delta variant.

Three out of the four tests are now being met, with the risk assessment from the Delta VOC the only unknown factor ahead of June 14 when the government is expected to confirm whether the unlocking roadmap will stay on track for June 21.

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