The UK has “increasing confidence” that Covid-19 vaccines work against the Indian variant of the virus, the health secretary has said.
Scientists believe that the variant is more transmissible and cases of it nearly tripled to 1,313 in the past week in England.
But Matt Hancock said early lab data showed vaccines remained effective.
He said the majority of those in hospital in Bolton – a hotspot for the Indian variant – were unvaccinated.
More than 20 million people in the UK have now had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest government figures.
Mr Hancock welcomed the new milestone as “great news” and said the UK was making “extraordinary strides” as millions now have the fullest possible protection against the virus.