Health secretary Matt Hancock speaks during an outdoor interview outside BBC Broadcasting House in London, Britain, May 16,2021. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson

Early indications are that vaccines are protecting the elderly against the variant of concern first found in India and most of the people hospitalised with Covid-19 after contracting it have not been vaccinated, health secretary said on Monday.

Matt Hancock said there were 2,323 confirmed cases of the B.1.617.2 variant, and in the north-west town of Bolton, the majority of the 19 who had been hospitalised had not been vaccinated even though they were eligible.

“This shows the new variant is not tending to penetrate into older vaccinated, groups, and it underlines again the importance of getting the jab,” Hancock told parliament.

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