Only three fully vaccinated people admitted to UK hospitals amid Indian variant surge

Health secretary insists vaccines are working against infectious new Covid strains

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has urged more people to have the coronavirus vaccine after figures showed it was highly effective against dangerous new variants.

He told Parliament only three fully vaccinated people were admitted to hospital with the so-called Indian variant out of 12,383 known cases in the country.

The strain – officially recognised by the World Health Organisation as the Delta variant – is believed to be responsible for most Covid-19 transmission in Britain in recent weeks.

Mr Hancock said data from June 3 showed 12,383 people with the Delta variant in the UK were found, 126 of whom were admitted to hospital.

Of those people, only three had received both doses of the vaccine, he said.

“Despite the rise in cases, hospitalisations have been broadly flat. The majority of people in hospital with Covid appear to be those who haven’t had the vaccine at all,” he said.

“The jabs are working. We have to keep coming forward to get them and that includes, vitally, that second jab, which we know gives better protection against the Delta variant.”

Mr Hancock announced people aged 25 to 29 in England would be invited to have their first vaccine dose from Tuesday, meaning about three million more people will become eligible to book their first dose.

“From this week, we will start offering vaccinations to people under 30, bringing us ever closer to the goal of offering a vaccine to all adults in the UK by the end of next month,” he said.

“From tomorrow morning, we will open up vaccination to people aged 25 to 29. Over the remainder of this week, the NHS will send texts to people in these age groups and, of course, GPs will be inviting people on their lists to come forward.”

NHS chiefs said the health service was in the “home straight” of its biggest vaccination campaign, which was launched only six months ago.

More than 40 million people in the UK have received at least one dose.

Britain on Monday reported 5,683 new cases of Covid-19 and a single death within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test.

Updated: June 7, 2021 11:44 PM

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