THE Government is aiming to push through the vaccinations programme faster than ever as more than two-thirds of UK adults have had the first dose of a Covid vaccine.

It comes as the Indian mutation that is now dominant in some areas of the UK, is up to 50 per cent more transmissible than the Kent variant.

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Will the Indian variant cause another lockdown?

Earlier this week Boris Johnson hinted he could delay lockdown lifting to battle the spread of the highly infectious Indian Covid variant.

He said he was optimistic he could ease restrictions on Monday as planned, and hoped to be able to continue with the June 21 freedoms. 

But he also refused to close down speculation that local lockdowns could return in virus hotbeds such as Bolton.   

The PM said: "It is a variant of concern, we are anxious about it.

"At the moment there is a very wide range of scientific opinion about what could happen.

"We want to make sure we take all the prudential, cautious steps now that we could take, so there are meetings going on today to consider exactly what we need to do.

"There is a range of things we could do, we are ruling nothing out."

Does the Covid vaccine protect against the Indian variant?

Vaccinated Brits are protected against the Indian Covid variant, early findings have shown.

The vaccinations offer positive signs of resistance to the spreading mutant strain, it has emerged.

Officials in Whitehall who have seen the limited data available are said to be optimistic about combating the variant, an insider revealed.

The source said: “There’s confidence with the early data”, adding they were “optimistic” about the initial findings.

What areas of the country have the Indian variant?

Cases of theIndian variant B.1.617.2 have grown rapidly within just a few weeks.

The highest number of cases have been in hotspots Bolton and Blackburn where the majority of those infected haven't had the vaccine, Matt Hancock said.

Experts have warned the Covid strain could cause 1,000 deaths a day.

Bolton has turned into a "ghost town" as locals are ruled by "total fear," fighting a spike in infections almost ten times higher than the UK average.

The army has been deployed to the streets – and worries that the town may be plunged back into the toughest of restrictions are growing.

Bolton currently has the highest rate of coronavirus infections in the country, with 657 new cases in the seven days to May 10 – the equivalent of 228.5 cases per 100,000 people.

The majority of these new cases are the B16172 variant, which was first identified in India.

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