People over 50 and clinically at risk will be offered the second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine eight weeks after the first to help dampen the effects of the Indian variant of the coronavirus.
Boris Johnson said at a press conference on Downing Street that second doses – which will give people maximum protection against Covid-19 – will be brought forward from the planned 12-week interval to eight weeks.
He said there was no evidence that an increase in cases of the Indian variant would put unmanageable pressure on the NHS for hospital admissions.
As a result, he believed there was no need to postpone the road map reopening scheduled for Monday for people to socialize indoors.
“But I have to agree with you that this new variant could seriously disrupt our progress and make it harder to move on to step four in June,” he said.
“I have to stress that we will do everything we can to protect the public.”
Mr Johnson said that if the variant were found to be much more transferable than other variants, the country could face “tough choices”.