As the easing of lockdown approaches this Monday, we are met yet again with another concern to the relaxation of restrictions. The new variant, originating in India: given the official name B.1.617.2, has raised worries due to the increased transmissibility that it is believed to have. This being said, there is no immediate reason to believe that it is able to evade the vaccine although it is advised that we should continue to act responsibly to avoid another catastrophic plunge. 


Putting into perspective the rate of increase of the Indian variant of concern, we can see that its relative proportion to the Kent variant, otherwise known as the most dominant of all experienced variants, we are able to see that it has a much smaller and less significant presence. The most concerning thing as of now is the speed with which it is spreading and is being closely monitored over fears that it could overtake the Kent variant. The implementation of this variant into the country occurred prior to the travel ban to India and was brought over by travellers, slowly spreading to domestic cases bringing us to where we are now.


Mr Johnson revealed plans to speed up the vaccination process for ‘the over 50s and those clinically vulnerable’ who will not have to wait 12 weeks after their first jab to receive their second. The waiting time has been reduced to 8 weeks in the hopes to vaccinate as many people as they can in a shorter amount of time.


The Prime Minister also said that the new variant ‘could pose a serious disruption to our progress’ however the country will still be following the prospect of easing restrictions this coming Monday. SAGE has expressed its concern that the imminent relaxation could "lead to a substantial resurgence of hospitalisations’’. The main advice for the citizens of the UK is to get vaccinated and act responsibly.