Additional vaccines offered in Blackburn but not available to all adults yet

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All adults are to be offered the coronavirus vaccine in Blackburn with Darwen amid rising cases of the Indian variant.

Additional coronavirus vaccine clinics are being set up in Blackburn amid a rise in cases but the jab will not be offered to all adults yet, the council has said.

Earlier on Thursday, Blackburn with Darwen Council said extra doses would be made available for all over-18s from next week following a surge in cases linked to the Indian variant.

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But in a later statement, the Lancashire authority said additional vaccines would not be widely available to all adults.

Blackburn has the third highest rate of coronavirus cases in EnglandBlackburn has the third highest rate of coronavirus cases in England
Blackburn has the third highest rate of coronavirus cases in England
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“They will be available within current Government guidance, which is currently anyone over the age of 38, anyone over 18 with an underlying health condition or who lives with someone who has lowered immunity, health and social care staff and carers.

“Blackburn with Darwen Council and NHS partners have responded immediately to provide doses of the Pfizer vaccine at the clinics following yesterday’s announcement on a rise in cases of Covid-19 linked to, in part, a new variant of concern, first identified in India, that may spread more easily.”

The area has the third highest rate of cases in England, with 161 new cases in the seven days to May.

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In a joint statement on Wednesday, council leader Mohammed Khan, chief executive Denise Park and director of public health Professor Dominic Harrison said: “Whilst the Prime Minister announced this week that we can progress to step three of the Government’s road map as planned next week, we need everyone in Blackburn with Darwen to be extra vigilant and proceed with caution.

“The variant first identified in India is more transmissible than other variants, which means it is easily passed on from one person to another.”

Downing Street said officials would not “rule anything out” when asked if the Government was considering surge vaccinations to accompany surge testing in areas with spikes of new variants, but said there were no plans to reintroduce the tiering system.

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