As we move into a new phase with the lifting of more lockdown measures we’re also facing some uncertainty as we understand the impact of new variants. We know that the recent B1.167.2 Indian variant spreads rapidly, possibly quicker than the Kent variant which took hold at the end of last year.

We have seen this happen in some areas of the country including parts of London and Bolton where rates have increased rapidly.

Locally our rates are still low at 12 cases per 100,000, but with five confirmed new variant cases over the last few weeks we need to be on our guard.

There’s no indication that the vaccine is not effective against the new variant, but to make sure people are fully protected the vaccination programme is being turbo-charged, so that anyone who is over the age of 50 gets their second dose within 8 weeks rather than 12 weeks.

94% of people aged 50 or over in Solihull have had their first dose and 34% their second, so over the next few weeks, the NHS will be aiming to get everyone who has not had both doses fully vaccinated.

Read the full article here.

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