Ministers are believed to be considering altering the vaccine rollout to provide 'surge vaccinations' in areas with rising cases of coronavirus.

There have been calls for Covid vaccines to be offered to all over-18s in Bolton, after a surge in cases widely blamed on the variant first seen in India.

Currently, 38-year-olds are being offered a first dose.

Bolton has seen 553 new infections in the seven days to May 9, up from 137 in the week to April 24.

Government ministers are said to be considering the request, according to the Guardian, although the director of public health in neighbouring Blackburn with Darwen, Dominic Harrison, said his request to do the same was refused by NHS England.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Friday, mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: "The vaccination programme is clearly working, but it makes sense to get more vaccine into areas where the case rate is high.

"It is something that we have been arguing all year with regard to the vaccine programme.

"But we think now it is urgent because cases seem to be rising quite rapidly."

The Indian Covid 'double mutant' variant was first investigated by Public Health England in April, before one strain of it, known as B.1.617.2, was escalated to 'variant of concern' last week.

It is believed it is "at least" as transmissible as the Kent variant that saw large swathes of the south east go into Tier 4 conditions last December, before going across the country and forcing a national lockdown in January.

Mr Burnham says that increasing the vaccine rollout in areas with high case rates would be "good for everywhere" by stopping the Indian variant from sweeping across the country in a similar fashion to the Kent variant.

Currently, 38 and 39-year-olds are being invited to book their first dose, with the target to offer a first dose to every adult by July.

Pregnant women are also able to book doses, whilst vulnerable adults were offered their first doses in either group 4 or 6 of the JCVI's initial priority list.

It comes after Public Health England confirmed there was no suggestion that Basingstoke was a hotspot for the Indian Covid variant.