Hancock’s warning came as the U.K. reported it had vaccinated more than 5 million people, including three-quarters of those over 80. Hancock said the government is conducting a vaccine trial on the South African variant to study its response to the inoculation, and that he’s concerned about new variants developing elsewhere.
There are 77 known cases of the South African variant in Britain, and at least 9 cases of the Brazilian variant, Hancock said.
Meanwhile, one of England's leading medical officers on Sunday urged the public to continue to follow the strict lockdown rules because any vaccine-related immunity from Covid-19 takes at least three weeks to kick in.
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