COVID-19: Over 18s in some parts of Blackburn to be offered vaccine after rise in Indian variant cases

People aged 18 and over will be able to receive a coronavirus vaccine in some areas of Blackburn from next week, following a rise in cases of the Indian variant.

Sky News understands the areas seeing the extended vaccination rollout include Bastwell and Daisyfield; Billinge and Beardwood; and Shear Brow and Corporation Park.

Blackburn is one of a handful of areas that is experiencing a jump in cases, while large parts of England have seen significant drops.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council said it and its NHS partners had secured extra doses of the vaccine that will be made available to anyone in the local authority area aged over 18 from next week.

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Sky News analysis found that in the two weeks to 4 May, Blackburn had the 10th highest infection rate in the country, with 114.2 cases per 100,000 people.

On Wednesday, it was announced that people aged 38 and 39 in England would be offered a COVID-19 vaccine but concerns over the Indian variant has meant some parts are accelerating the rollout.

Meanwhile, people in Bolton are able to get a vaccine without an appointment at the city’s mobile vaccine bus.

Last week, the UK medicine safety regulation announced that adults under the age of 40 will be given an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to a link with rare blood clots.

The UK’s medicines safety regulator said there were 242 clotting cases and 49 deaths, with 28.5 million doses of the vaccine administered.

But the risk is slightly higher in younger age groups.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "anxious" about the Indian variant and that the government was "ruling nothing out" when it comes to tackling the spread.

"We want to make sure that we take all the prudential, all the cautious steps now that we could take," he said.

"So there are meetings going on today to consider exactly what we need to do."

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Asked if the government was considering surge vaccinations alongside surge testing in areas with spikes of new variants, Downing Street said officials would not "rule anything out".

The prime minister’s spokesman also said there were "no plans" to reintroduce the tiered system of virus restrictions used in England towards the end of last year.

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