Plans to put back lockdown easing by two weeks after cases surge

England is back on track to fully reopen on the 21st June.

Vaccines prove “highly effective” against Indian variant. In a groundbreaking announcement yesterday evening scientists concluded the vaccines are “highly effective” against the Indian strain of COVID. In a turnaround scientists at Public Health England (PHE) said that two doses of AstraZenica or Pfizer/BioNTech are almost as effective against it as they were against the Kent variant.

In the study of over 1,000 people reports showed the news everyone had been waiting for. Matt Hancock described it as “groundbreaking” while vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said it was “astounding”.

People are now being urged more than ever to get their second doses to maximise protection against all existing and new variants. FIndings from the study showed that the Pfizer vaccine is 88% effective against the Indian strain compared with 93% against the Kent variant, while the AstraZenica is 60% effective compared with 66% against the Kent.

Data was taken from people over the same time period against both. After the announcement Saturday evening Downing Street said it was confident that the roadmap would continue as planned with full opening up still taking place on the 21st June. Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said “it is time the scientists were put back in their laboratories again and told ‘leave the Government to us’.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said after the announcement “We can now be confident that over 20 million people – more than one in three – have significant protection against this new variant, and that number is growing by the hundreds of thousands every single day as more and more people get that vital second dose.”

while Mr Zahawi added “Almost every day we get more and more encouraging evidence about the difference our Covid-19 vaccines are making to people’s lives.

Today’s data is astounding and a true reflection of just how important it is to get both jabs when offered.” In an interview with the Telegraph Sir Iain said “It is time for us to stop fearing all day and every day. We have to get on with our lives. It is time the scientists were put back in their laboratories again and told ‘leave the Government to us’.

It is time for the British people to get back to work and to feel safe. And they won’t feel safe if every day some scientist comes up on the television to say, ‘Oh My God, we don’t know enough about this, we should have stayed locked down”.

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