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More than 6,200 people were vaccinated in Bolton at the weekend amid concerns over the Indian Covid-19 variant.

The town has seen a sharp spike in infections since mid-April and the B.1.617.2 variant now makes up the majority of new cases.

Prior to the push, about 10,000 people in the highest priority groups were yet to be vaccinated.

Dr Helen Wall, who is leading the town's vaccine rollout, said it had been "emotional" to see.

She said many who had been eligible for some time came for a jab over the last two days and she now hoped the programme had "made a big dent" in the list of outstanding eligible residents.

Bolton recorded 733 new cases of Covid-19 in the seven days to 11 May - the highest anywhere in the UK, the latest data shows.


However, the rate of new cases among people in the town aged 60 and over is just 59.9, up from 35.3 a week earlier.

By contrast, the rate for those aged 10-19 in Bolton currently stands at 486.2 per 100,000, up sharply from 200.7 one week earlier, while for those aged 20-29 the rate has jumped from 147.9 to 310.

The efforts to get everyone eligible vaccinated saw long queues form at vaccination hubs.

BBC presenter and comedian Paddy McGuinness shared a video of the queues in his "strong" hometown on social media.


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Despite the concerns over the Indian variant, the easing of lockdown rules has gone ahead as planned in England.

The easing allows people to socialise indoors in limited numbers, hug loved ones and visit pubs and restaurants inside.

Alex McVey, who runs Odessa cafe in Bolton, said trade had been OK since reopening at 7:00 BST but, due to Covid measures, he had reduced the number of seats from 72 to 22.

"It has been a lot different this morning. It has taken ages and ages to get set up and everything in place," he said.

Mr McVey, who has been forced to make four members of staff redundant during the pandemic, said he was "a little bit nervous" about the reopening but remained hopeful.

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