70% of UK adults have now had vaccine as Boris Johnson ramps up jab efforts to combat Indian variant

A WHOPPING 70 per cent of UK adults have now had at least one jab, Boris Johnson has confirmed.

The majority of Brits now have antibodies against Covid – as the PM ramps up the vaccination programme in a bid to combat the super-infectious Indian mutation.

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During a combative Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Johnson said: "70 per cent of the adults in this country have been vaccinated.

"That is a fantastic achievement."

It comes as:

  • The travel traffic lights plan is in chaos as one minister says ALL foreign holidays are ‘dangerous’ – while another says they are ‘essential’
  • Wembley and Stamford Bridge could be used as mass Covid vaccination centres for over-18s in fight to beat India variant
  • Big events without masks and social distancing are as safe as restaurants or shopping centres, Covid trials suggest
  • Covid deaths have dropped by 98 per cent in over-60s since Brits began getting jabbed
  • A one-second coronavirus spit test could slash waiting times and help the world reopen

Despite the success of the roll-out, Mr Johnson is considering delaying the fourth and final step on his roadmap to freedom.

He is understood to be mulling over plans to relax the rules after the Indian variant was found in 40 per cent of local authorities in England.

Worryingly, it's also dominant in 23 areas.

The strain could be 50 per cent more transmissible than the Kent variant that swept the UK over the winter.

Meanwhile, around 1,000 people are flying from India to the UK every day.

Today, four direct flights from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru will land at Heathrow alone.

Each is a 787 Dreamliner with capacity for 248 passengers.

In addition, three indirect flights from India with layovers in Frankfurt and Paris will also arrive at Heathrow.

And there'll also be indirect flights from Delhi and Bengaluru arriving at Manchester and Gatwick.

Some seven per cent of passengers who arrived from India between April 22 and May 5 – or 4,258 people in total – were infectious, according to data from NHS England.

India was not added to the red list until April 23 – almost a month after a worrying new variant first seen in the country was detected in the UK. 

So far, the variant is now the dominant virus in hotspots such as Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen.

Both Sefton and Bedford have been labelled as areas of concern, and figures show the variant accounts for eight in ten cases of hospital admissions.

This is also the case in Bolton, Blackburn, Chelmsford and Croydon.

Mr Hancock warned at the weekend it is likely to become the dominant strain in the UK, although there are positive signs existing vaccinations protect well against it.

And today the PM said there is "increasing confidence" that vaccines are effective against all variants.

Opening PMQs, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer asked Mr Johnson if the single biggest threat to hitting the June 21 unlocking date is the risk of new variants entering the UK.

Mr Johnson replied in the Commons: "I certainly think that is one of the issues that we must face."

He added: "We've looked at the data again this morning and I can tell the House we have increasing confidence that vaccines are effective against all variants, including the Indian variant."

Elsewhere, the PM is facing confusion and anger over countries classed as 'amber' for travel.

Since Monday, travelling abroad on holiday is no longer illegal, with a green list of countries allowing families to return to the UK without having to quarantine.

However, some MPs have warned that Brits shouldn't be travelling to countries on the amber list – which includes most of Europe such as Spain, Greece and Italy – while others have said all foreign holidays should be illegal.

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