There have now been 2,323 confirmed UK cases of the coronavirus variant first identified in India, Matt Hancock has said.
The Health Secretary said that 483 cases had been identified in Bolton and Blackburn and in Darwen.
In Bolton, where 19 people are in hospital with it, the majority were eligible for the vaccine but had not taken it, he said.
He stressed that the new variant did not seem to be penetrating into older vaccinated groups.
People taking up their offer of a vaccine ‘will help us all get out of this pandemic’, he said.
‘It has been really heartening, I am sure the whole House will agree, to see the videos that have been published over the weekend of people queuing up to get the jab.
‘To anyone who feels hesitant, not just in Bolton or Blackburn, but to anyone who feels hesitant about getting the vaccine right across the country, just look at what is happening in Bolton Hospital where the majority of people in hospital with coronavirus were eligible for the jab but have chosen not yet to have the jab and have ended up in hospital – some of them in intensive care.
‘Vaccines save lives, they protect you, they protect your loved ones and they will help us all get out of this pandemic.’
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