Johnson: Increasing confidence that vaccines work against coronavirus variants

There is “increasing confidence” that vaccines are effective against the Indian strain of coronavirus, Boris Johnson said in a boost for efforts to keep the June 21 date for the further easing of lockdown restrictions.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson said the latest data indicates the jabs are working against all variants of the virus.

The spread of the B1617.2 variant had cast doubt on next month’s plans to ease the remaining restrictions in England, but Mr Johnson has said there is no conclusive evidence to suggest a deviation from the road map.

In a further sign of optimism, the Prime Minister told MPs on Wednesday: “We’ve looked at the data again this morning and I can tell the House we have increasing confidence that vaccines are effective against all variants, including the Indian variant.”

Mr Johnson thanked people in Bolton and Blackburn – Indian variant hotspots – for “coming forward in record numbers” to receive a jab.