Scientists have warned the Prime Minister that the current vaccination surge may not be enough to stop the Indian variant from spreading across the UK.
The more infectious variant has been found in 127 areas leading up to 8 May, which was first identified in the week ending 3 April.
By mid April the Indian variant had spread to 26 local authorities and by the end of April it was then detected in 92 areas.
Cases of the Indian variant has more than doubled in Bolton and Boris Johnson has said they are keeping a close watch and they will know a lot more about the strain in “a few days time.”
The vaccine surge strategy is designed to “buy as much time” as possible, scientists told Sky News, but warned it may not be fast enough to stop the spread of the Indian variant across the UK which could bring other dangers.
A scientific advisor told Sky News, “It might take three to four weeks to immunise Bolton, but the epidemic has been doubling every week.
“So just using vaccination may not be enough to contain it, meaning you may actually have to put places into lockdown.”
There are grave concerns that the Indian variant known as B1617.2 could spread so fast it could overtake the vaccine roll-out and completely overwhelm hospitals.
Labour MP for Bedford, Mohammad Yasin said, “Vaccine take-up has on the whole been impressive, so I’m not comfortable at all that the government’s response to the Indian variant taking hold is to point the finger at the public when it’s quite obviously their failure to keep our borders safe from new variants that’s the real problem here.
“The government were warned about their lax approach to travel corridors and have still not given a reasonable explanation as to why they waited weeks to close down travel to India when infection rates were higher there than in corridors they did close down, like to Pakistan and Bangladesh.
“We are pleased that the government has increased surge testing but what we’ve asked for is surge vaccines for [those aged] 16 to 40 and they’re resisting that.”