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Matt Hancock has revealed that vaccinated Brits will require booster shots later this year to maintain their protection against mutated versions of coronavirus.
More than 100 cases of the “double mutant” strain, called B.1.617, have been recorded across the UK.
It is currently designated as a "variant under investigation” as opposed to a “variant of concern”.
Mr Hancock told the House of Commons: "We are ramping up plans for a booster shot to make sure our vaccines keep ahead of the virus."
Owing to its two mutations, scientists fear it may be more adept at evading the body’s immune response.
The Government has stepped up surge testing in areas where new variants reidentified, including in the capital.
Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, earlier warned it does "pose a threat" and vulnerable people could be "caught out".
He told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I am concerned about all the variants. Don't get me wrong, I think our roadmap is going well and at the moment, in this country, we are doing rather well, enjoying unlocking.
"But out there, there is the Indian variant, the South African, Brazilian etc, and they do pose a threat."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier cancelled a trip to India, as the country grapples with rising coronavirus cases and the variant.
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The Prime Minister was originally due to meet with the Indian leader next week.
Officials in the country recently announced that New Delhi would be locked down from Monday, April 19.
India recently recorded a record high of 273,810 daily cases, with 25,500 in Delhi alone.
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Johnson had already postponed the trip once in January, when Covid-19 infections were high in Britain.
A joint statement from the British and Indian government, released by Johnson's office, read: "In the light of the current coronavirus situation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be able to travel to India next week.
"Instead, Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson will speak later this month to agree and launch their ambitious plans for the future partnership between the UK and India."
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