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Covid-19 information: Europe’s third wave may hit UK, says prime minister

Covid third wave


Pedestrians cross Tower Bridge within the Metropolis of London, U.Okay., on Monday, March 22, 2021. Lockdown In The Metropolis Of London At The One-12 months Anniversary

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Newest coronavirus information as of 5pm on 22 March

The UK may quickly be hit by a 3rd wave of infections, says Boris Johnson

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has warned that the UK may quickly be hit by a 3rd wave of coronavirus infections much like that at present being skilled by different European nations, together with France, Italy and Germany. France reported greater than 35,000 new coronavirus circumstances on 18 March, in comparison with simply 6303 reported within the UK on the identical day. “Earlier expertise has taught us that when a wave hits our associates, it, I’m afraid, washes up on our shores as effectively and I anticipate that we’ll really feel these results in the end,” Johnson advised reporters on 22 March. The most up-to-date official estimate of the UK’s R quantity – the typical variety of folks every coronavirus case infects – places it between 0.6 and 0.9. An R quantity under 1.0 signifies the epidemic is shrinking. However evaluation of the newest outcomes from a random swab testing survey by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS) point out “there could also be early indicators of a rise [in infections] for the East Midlands” in England within the week ending 13 March, the ONS mentioned in its report.

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“An extra wave of [covid-19] within the UK is inevitable. Although whether or not that is within the subsequent few months or later in autumn will not be sure,” mentioned Paul Hunter on the College of East Anglia in a press release. “How the present surge in circumstances throughout a number of European nations will impression on the UK can be not sure at current,” mentioned Hunter. How a lot vaccines stop transmission of the virus is one key issue, he mentioned: “though none of the present vaccines can actually stop transmission, they definitely suppress transmission and can go a good distance in direction of decreasing the impression of any future wave.”

Different coronavirus information

Boris Johnson is assembly European Union leaders this week, urging them to veto a suggestion from the European Fee that may block Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine exports to the UK. EU leaders are getting ready to decide at a summit on 25 March on whether or not to maneuver ahead with a risk to cease exports of the vaccine to the UK from a manufacturing facility within the Netherlands. European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen warned final week that the fee might prohibit exports of covid-19 vaccines to the UK until the UK exhibits extra “reciprocity” in vaccine exports. She mentioned the EU remains to be ready for Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the UK, whereas 10 million vaccine doses, together with from Pfizer/BioNTech, had been delivered to the UK from EU manufacturing vegetation.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine was discovered to be 79 per cent efficient at stopping symptomatic covid-19 in a big trial carried out within the US, Chile and Peru, AstraZeneca introduced on 22 March. The vaccine was 100 per cent efficient at stopping extreme illness and hospitalisation. The trial concerned greater than 32,000 volunteers throughout all age teams. AstraZeneca mentioned an impartial security committee, which carried out a particular assessment of blood clots within the US trial, discovered “no elevated threat of thrombosis or occasions characterised by thrombosis among the many 21,583 contributors receiving not less than one dose of the vaccine” and located “no occasions” of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) – a uncommon sort of blood clot in a significant mind vessel. Information from the trial can be reviewed by the US Meals and Drug Administration, which is predicted to take a couple of weeks to resolve whether or not to offer emergency use authorisation to the vaccine.

Coronavirus circumstances are persevering with to surge in Brazil, with the nation’s well being techniques changing into more and more overwhelmed. CNN reported on 22 March that in almost each state in Brazil, occupancy charges in intensive care models are at or above 80 per cent. A couple of have exceeded 100 per cent, leading to sufferers being turned away. On 20 March, Felipe Augusto, mayor of the coastal city of Sao Sebastiao advised CNN affiliate CNN Brasil that provides of essential medication required for intubating sufferers have been on account of run out within the city after 22 March.

India recorded greater than 260,000 new coronavirus circumstances final week, one of many nation’s largest weekly will increase for the reason that pandemic started.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.71 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 123.3 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Hybrid viruses: Recombinant viruses made up of two coronavirus variants mashed collectively at the moment are circulating broadly amongst folks, though for now they don’t appear to hold mutations that make them extra harmful.

Important details about coronavirus

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What to learn, watch and take heed to about coronavirus

The New York Instances is monitoring hospital mattress occupancy in England in an interactive graphic.

Panorama: The Race for a Vaccine is a BBC documentary concerning the inside story of the event of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine towards covid-19.

Race In opposition to the Virus: Hunt for a Vaccine is a Channel 4 documentary which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic by means of the eyes of the scientists on the frontline.

The New York Instances is assessing the progress of various vaccine candidates and potential drug remedies for covid-19, and rating them for effectiveness and security.

People of COVID-19 is a undertaking highlighting the experiences of key employees on the frontline within the struggle towards coronavirus within the UK, by means of social media.

Stomach Mujinga: Trying to find the Fact is a BBC Panorama investigation of the dying of transport employee Stomach Mujinga from covid-19, following reviews she had been coughed and spat on by a buyer at London’s Victoria Station.

Coronavirus, Defined on Netflix is a brief documentary collection analyzing the on-going coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to struggle it and methods to handle its psychological well being toll.

New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the newest developments within the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees professional journalists from the journal talk about the most important science tales to hit the headlines every week – from expertise and house, to well being and the atmosphere.

COVID-19: The Pandemic that By no means Ought to Have Occurred, and Tips on how to Cease the Subsequent One by Debora Mackenzie is about how the pandemic occurred and why it can occur once more if we don’t do issues in another way in future.

The Guidelines of Contagion is concerning the new science of contagion and the shocking methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The writer, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Medication, UK, and within the e book he examines how ailments unfold and why they cease.

Intensive care unit

Physician Widad Abdi works within the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) the place sufferers affected by the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) are handled on the Clinique de l’Estree – ELSAN non-public hospital in Stains, close to Paris, France.

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

19 March

Germany, France and Italy are amongst European nations seeing rising infections

Coronavirus circumstances have been rising in a lot of Europe in a 3rd wave of infections, with 20 nations within the European Union reporting rising take a look at positivity and 15 nations reporting rising hospital or ICU admissions on account of covid-19 as of 14 March, in accordance with the European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management. “Now we have now seen 3 consecutive weeks of development in covid-19 circumstances with over 1.2 million new circumstances reported final week throughout Europe,” mentioned World Well being Group (WHO) Europe director, Hans Kluge, at a press convention on 18 March. Kluge mentioned the faster-spreading B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, which was first detected within the UK, is changing into predominant within the area, with circumstances reported in not less than 48 out of 53 European territories to this point. “The variety of folks dying from covid-19 in Europe is greater now than it was this time final 12 months, reflecting the widespread maintain this virus has,” Kluge added.

Germany started easing some coronavirus restrictions on 8 March however might quickly must return to stricter guidelines on account of rising circumstances, the nation’s well being minister Jens Spahn advised a information convention on 19 March. “The rising case numbers might imply that we can’t take additional reopening steps within the weeks to return,” he mentioned. “Quite the opposite, we might even must take steps backwards.” France, which recorded 35,000 new circumstances on 18 March and reached report numbers of covid-19 sufferers in intensive care in Paris, is introducing a month-long lockdown in its capital and elements of the north of the nation. Italy has additionally seen rising circumstances just lately and because of this, Italian authorities reimposed restrictions throughout a lot of the nation on 15 March.

Different coronavirus information

A number of European nations, together with Germany, France, Italy and Spain, are resuming their rollouts of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine, after an investigation by the EU’s medicines regulator concluded its advantages outweigh its dangers. A separate investigation by the WHO world advisory committee on vaccine security got here to the identical conclusion. Greater than 20 nations had suspended use of the vaccine following reviews of blood clots in some individuals who had acquired it. However inside hours of the European Medication Company’s assertion on 18 March, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and not less than seven different nations mentioned they might resume vaccinations as early as 19 March. France, nevertheless, has mentioned that solely folks aged 55 and over ought to obtain the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, whereas Norway, Sweden and Denmark haven’t but lifted their suspensions of the shot. 

The UK’s R quantity – the typical variety of folks every coronavirus case infects might have risen barely. The most up-to-date official estimate places it between 0.6 and 0.9, in comparison with the earlier week when it was estimated to be between 0.6 and 0.8. Infections are nonetheless shrinking general at a price of between 3 and 6 per cent per day, however the price at which they’re falling has slowed from between 4 and seven per cent per day the earlier week. The findings are consistent with the newest outcomes from a random swab testing survey by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics, which discovered that circumstances are now not falling in some elements of the UK and will even be rising in some areas.

Faculty pupils within the US can now sit a couple of metre aside within the classroom so long as they put on face coverings, the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention mentioned on 19 March. Beneath the up to date steering, pupils are nonetheless suggested to maintain a distance of two metres aside from each other throughout lunch breaks and at sporting occasions or assemblies.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.69 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 121.9 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

AstraZeneca vaccine

Vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outdoors Paris.

Christophe Ena/AP/Shutterstock

18 March

European Medicines Company concludes AstraZeneca vaccine advantages outweigh dangers

The protection committee of the European Medicines Company (EMA), which regulates medication for the European Union, has concluded that the advantages of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine proceed to outweigh the danger of unintended effects. Following an investigation into reviews of blood clots in some individuals who acquired the vaccine, the committee has concluded that the shot will not be related to a rise within the general threat of blood clots in those that obtain it, and it’s a protected and efficient strategy to stop covid-19, which is itself related to an elevated threat of blood clots. However the committee remains to be investigating whether or not the vaccine could also be linked to very uncommon circumstances of blood clots related to low ranges of platelets within the blood, together with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) – a blood clot in a significant mind vessel. The EMA mentioned the general variety of blood clots reported after vaccination was decrease than that anticipated within the wider inhabitants.

The EMA mentioned about 20 million folks within the UK and Europe had acquired the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine as of 16 March, and its committee had reviewed 18 circumstances of CVST and 7 circumstances of disseminated intravascular coagulation – blood clots in a number of blood vessels. It isn’t but clear if the vaccine induced these uncommon occasions however the committee mentioned it is a chance, which will probably be investigating additional. Many of the uncommon occasions occurred in folks underneath the age of 55 and the bulk have been girls. The committee mentioned it’s investigating whether or not there might have been a hyperlink with the oral contraceptive tablet in these circumstances.

Plenty of European nations, together with Germany, France, Italy and Sweden, suspended use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine earlier this week as a precautionary measure. It’s as much as particular person nations to resolve whether or not to renew administering of the vaccine. “The pandemic is costing lives,” mentioned Emer Cooke, director of the EMA, throughout a press briefing on 18 March. “Now we have vaccines which can be protected and efficient, that may assist stop dying and hospitalization. We have to use these vaccines,” she mentioned.

Different coronavirus information

A delay in a supply of 5 million Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine doses to the UK from India may end in a discount within the UK’s covid-19 vaccine provide in April. The cargo, produced by the Serum Institute of India, has been delayed by 4 weeks, the BBC reported. The UK’s Division of Well being and Social Care has mentioned the UK stays on observe to supply a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine to all adults by the top of July. Greater than 25.2 million folks within the UK have acquired a first dose of covid-19 vaccine to this point and greater than 1.7 million have acquired a second shot. However Adam Finn on the College of Bristol, who’s a member of the UK Division of Well being Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, advised BBC Radio 4 that the supply difficulty was prone to end in a slight delay in vaccinations for folks of their 40s and youthful, which may end in an increase in infections. 

The UK has warned that there can be penalties if the EU breaks the legislation on covid-19 vaccine contracts. “We absolutely anticipate these contracts to be delivered on, as a result of there are very vital penalties to breaking contract legislation,” UK well being minister Matt Hancock advised parliament. On 17 March, European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen mentioned the fee might prohibit exports of covid-19 vaccines to the UK until the UK exhibits extra “reciprocity” in vaccine exports. She mentioned the EU remains to be ready for Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the UK, whereas 10 million vaccine doses, together with from Pfizer/BioNTech, had been delivered to the UK from EU vegetation.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.68 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 121.3 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Hybrid viruses: Recombinant viruses made up of two coronavirus variants mashed collectively at the moment are circulating broadly amongst folks, though for now they don’t appear to hold mutations that make them extra harmful.

Ursula von der Leyen

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen.

JOHN THYS/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

17 March

UK international minister says EU threats “reduce throughout earlier assurances”

The European Fee might prohibit exports of covid-19 vaccines to the UK to safe extra doses for its personal residents until the UK exhibits extra “reciprocity” in vaccine exports, the fee’s president Ursula von der Leyen mentioned on 17 March. “With the US reciprocity is given […] there’s a seamless stream forwards and backwards of pre-products and uncooked supplies and drug substance,” von der Leyen advised a press convention. However she mentioned the EU remains to be ready for Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the UK, although 10 million vaccine doses had been delivered to the UK from EU vegetation. “We’re nonetheless ready for doses to return from the UK, so that is an invite to indicate us that there are additionally doses from the UK coming to the European Union in order that we have now reciprocity,” she mentioned. UK international minister Dominic Raab advised Reuters the risk to ban exports “cuts throughout the direct assurances that we had from the fee”, including: “We anticipate these assurances and authorized contracted provide to be revered.”

Greater than 25 million folks within the UK have now acquired a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine, in accordance with the UK’s Division of Well being and Social Care. “This newest milestone is an unimaginable achievement,” UK prime minister Boris Johnson mentioned in a press release. “We’re forward of schedule to supply a primary dose to all in these teams by the 15 April and I urge everyone eligible to return ahead,” mentioned UK well being minister Matt Hancock.

Different coronavirus information

UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s former adviser Dominic Cummings has known as for an investigation into the federal government’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic. Chatting with MPs, Cummings described the UK’s Division of Well being and Social Care as a “smoking damage” on the time the coronavirus disaster hit, highlighting points with the procurement of private protecting gear throughout the early levels of the UK’s epidemic in 2020. In response to rising requires an inquiry, UK enterprise minister Kwasi Kwarteng advised Sky Information it can be “untimely” to launch one “when the pandemic remains to be throughout us”.

Poland is about to enter a brand new nationwide lockdown from 20 March, the nation’s well being minister mentioned. Poland reported 25,052 new coronavirus circumstances on 17 March in its highest day by day toll in 2021 to this point. A number of European nations are seeing rising circumstances, together with Germany, France and Italy.

China is resuming processing of visas for foreigners from a number of nations, however solely for many who have been vaccinated with a Chinese language-made covid-19 vaccine, the Guardian has reported.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.67 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 120.9 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccine hesitancy: The overwhelming majority of individuals surveyed in 10 low and center earnings nations mentioned they might take a covid-19 vaccine, within the first research to take a look at the query.

Dose delay: The UK’s technique of accelerating the time between covid-19 vaccine doses seems to be working. Canada and Germany have adopted an identical method, however the US has dominated out altering its coverage.

UK variant: Globally, since late February, coronavirus infections have began to rise once more, primarily linked to the B.1.1.7 variant. The massive query is what occurs subsequent.

Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Avenue for the Home of Commons.

WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/PA Photos

16 March

Rising strain for UK to launch inquiry into dealing with of pandemic

There may be rising strain for UK prime minister Boris Johnson to launch an inquiry into the UK’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic, together with from authorities scientific advisers and well being leaders, the Guardian has reported. Andrew Hayward, a member of the federal government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, advised the Guardian in a private capability that the federal government’s decision-making processes “have to be scrutinised”, with an emphasis on “studying from the longer term slightly than culpability”. Others calling for an inquiry embody Donna Kinnair, normal secretary of the Royal Faculty of Nursing, and Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Affiliation council. A authorities spokesperson mentioned: “We’re centered on defending the NHS and saving lives and now will not be the fitting time to dedicate enormous quantities of official time to an inquiry.”

Different coronavirus information

The European Medicines Company (EMA) has reiterated that there’s “no indication” that the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine has induced blood clot incidents. “The variety of thromboembolic occasions general in vaccinated folks appears to not be greater than that seen within the normal inhabitants,” EMA chief, Emer Cooke, advised a digital press convention on 16 March. Cooke added that there have been related reviews about blood clots associated to different coronavirus vaccines accepted to be used in Europe, together with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. On 16 March, Sweden adopted Germany, France, Italy and different European nations in suspending use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Each the EMA and the World Well being Group (WHO) are investigating reviews of blood clots in a small quantity of people that had the vaccine. The EMA is predicted to launch outcomes from its investigation on 18 March.

A member of the World Well being Group (WHO) staff investigating the origins of the covid-19 pandemic has mentioned wildlife farms in southern China are the probably supply. An earlier speculation proposed by the staff was that the virus was first transmitted through frozen meals. However Peter Daszak, a member of the investigative staff, advised NPR that the choice by China to close down wildlife farms in February 2020 is a powerful sign that the Chinese language authorities thought the farms have been essentially the most possible pathway for a coronavirus in bats in southern China to spillover into folks. The WHO is predicted to launch official findings from the staff’s investigation in two weeks. 

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon mentioned she would set out dates for the easing of restrictions in Scotland. She mentioned issues have been set to “get a good bit higher within the weeks and months forward”. Some measures have already been eased in Scotland, with folks allowed to fulfill in bigger teams outdoor and pupils in a position to return to highschool.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.66 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 120.3 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

AstraZeneca vaccine: The variety of blood clotting incidents in vaccinated folks “appears to not be greater than that seen within the normal inhabitants”, the European Medicines Company says. 

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A navy physician holds an Astrazeneca Vaccine vial at a mass coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination drive-through clinic.

Piero Cruciatti/Anadolu Company through Getty Photos

15 March

Germany, France and Italy amongst newest nations to pause AstraZeneca vaccine

Germany, France and Italy are among the many newest nations to pause their rollouts of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine, following reviews of blood clots in a small quantity of people that acquired the vaccine. The World Well being Group, the European Medicines Company and the UK’s medicines regulator have all mentioned there may be no indication that the vaccine causes blood clots. “We’re carefully reviewing reviews however given the big variety of doses administered, and the frequency at which blood clots can happen naturally, the proof accessible doesn’t recommend the vaccine is the trigger,” mentioned Phil Bryan, vaccines security lead on the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company in a assertion. “Individuals ought to nonetheless go and get their covid-19 vaccine when requested to take action,” he mentioned. Roughly 17 million folks within the EU and UK have acquired a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to this point, with simply 37 circumstances of blood clots reported as of final week, AstraZeneca mentioned.

“It’s most regrettable that nations have stopped vaccination,” mentioned Peter English, former chair of the British Medical Affiliation public well being drugs committee, in a assertion. “It dangers doing actual hurt to the purpose of vaccinating sufficient folks to sluggish the unfold of the virus, and to finish the pandemic,” mentioned English.

The UK will not observe different nations in suspending use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine, a spokesperson for UK prime minister Boris Johnson mentioned on 15 March. Johnson is assured that each the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines towards covid-19 are “protected and efficient”, mentioned the spokesperson, including: “There isn’t a proof of any causal hyperlink between blood clots, and the [Oxford/AstraZeneca] vaccine.”

Thailand delayed its deliberate rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine final week however immediately introduced that rollout of the photographs will resume.

Different coronavirus information

The White Home is predicted to unveil a public relations marketing campaign aimed toward boosting covid-19 vaccine confidence and uptake throughout the US. Individually, US well being adviser Anthony Fauci has urged former US president Donald Trump to encourage his supporters to get vaccinated towards covid-19. “It will make all of the distinction on this planet,” Fauci advised Fox Information on 14 March.

Germany’s affiliation of intensive care medical doctors is looking for a return to stricter lockdown restrictions, following an increase in coronavirus circumstances. 

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.65 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 120 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccination effort: Even in nations the place vaccines can be found and uptake is excessive, rising points threaten the success of complete vaccination programmes. 

The story of a pandemic: A 12 months after the World Well being Group first declared the coronavirus a pandemic, we put collectively a video timeline of covid-19, from the primary circumstances in China in December 2019 to 300 million vaccine doses delivered (and counting).

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Medical employee prepares a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to a affected person within the capital Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Kemal Softic/AP/Shutterstock

12 March

Nations ought to proceed utilizing Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine, says WHO

The World Well being Group (WHO) has mentioned there may be no proof that the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine causes blood clots and is urging nations to proceed utilizing it. “It’s essential to know that, sure, we should always proceed to be utilizing the AstraZeneca vaccine,” mentioned Margaret Harris, a WHO spokesperson, at a briefing on 12 March. The WHO’s world advisory committee on vaccine security is reviewing reviews of blood clots in some individuals who acquired the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Plenty of nations, together with Denmark, Norway and Iceland, have suspended its use as a precautionary measure, whereas Thailand has delayed its rollout of the vaccine, initially scheduled to start on 12 March. There have been 30 circumstances of blood clots among the many 5 million folks within the European Union who’ve acquired the vaccine as of 11 March, in accordance with the European Medicines Company (EMA). 

Greater than 11 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine have been administered within the UK to this point, mentioned Phil Bryan, MHRA vaccines security lead, in a press release, including: “Reviews of blood clots acquired to this point are usually not better than the quantity that may have occurred naturally in then inhabitants.” The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company (MHRA) mentioned folks within the UK ought to nonetheless go and get their covid-19 vaccine when requested to take action. “There may be at present no indication that vaccination has induced these situations,” the EMA mentioned.

Harris mentioned WHO information exhibits that greater than 268 million doses of covid-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide and no deaths have been discovered to have been attributable to them. 

Different coronavirus information

Preliminary outcomes from a survey of people that had covid-19 within the UK discovered 93 per cent of respondents reported on-going signs, with fatigue being the most typical symptom, reported by 77 per cent of these folks. The subsequent mostly reported symptom was shortness of breath, skilled by 54 per cent of individuals with on-going signs. The survey additionally discovered that in folks underneath the age of fifty outcomes have been worse for ladies than males, with the ladies surveyed greater than 5 instances extra prone to report lingering signs in comparison with the boys. The preliminary outcomes are based mostly on 325 contributors who had been admitted to certainly one of 31 UK hospitals with covid-19 between 5 February and 4 October 2020. The research is being carried out by ISARIC4C, a UK-wide consortium of medical doctors and researchers learning covid-19.

A covid-19 vaccine developed by Novavax has been discovered to be 89 per cent efficient at stopping covid-19 circumstances in a trial involving greater than 15,000 contributors within the UK. The effectiveness of the vaccine was 96 per cent for prevention of circumstances attributable to the unique coronavirus variant and 86 per cent for circumstances attributable to the B.1.1.7 variant first recognized within the UK. In a smaller trial carried out in South Africa, the place the B.1.351 variant is very prevalent, the vaccine was discovered to be 60 per cent efficient among the many 94 per cent of trial contributors who have been HIV-negative, and 49 per cent efficient general.

The UK’s R quantity – the typical variety of folks every coronavirus case infects – has fallen to between 0.6 and 0.8, it’s lowest stage since September, in accordance with the newest official estimate.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.63 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 118.6 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

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Firm brand of pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline is seen at their Stevenage facility.

REUTERS/Matthew Childs/Alamy

11 March

GSK antibody remedy lowered hospitalisation or dying by 85 per cent in preliminary trial

An antibody remedy developed by UK agency GlaxoSmithKline and US-based Vir Biotechnology lowered hospitalisation or dying by 85 per cent in contrast with a placebo, in accordance with interim information from 583 trial contributors. The businesses mentioned they plan to use for emergency use authorisation from the US Meals and Drug Administration after an impartial monitoring committee beneficial shortening a trial of the experimental therapy early on account of proof of “profound efficacy”. The folks included within the trial will proceed to be adopted for an additional six months. GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnologies additionally mentioned {that a} new laboratory research indicated that the remedy, known as VIR-7831, was equally efficient towards coronavirus variants first recognized within the UK, South Africa and in travellers from Brazil. Different antibody therapies, together with these developed by Eli Lilly and Regeneron Prescription drugs, acquired suggestions from US and European medicines regulators earlier this 12 months. 

“This class of drug may very well be particularly vital for these people who find themselves much less protected by vaccines, for instance if their immune system is weakened,” mentioned Alexander Edwards on the College of Studying in a assertion. However Edwards mentioned will probably be vital to attend for an entire set of outcomes from the trial to know how effectively VIR-7831 works and unpick the findings. “For instance, who can it deal with, when should they be given the drug, how does it stop the worst outcomes?” 

Different coronavirus information

Denmark is pausing its rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine for not less than two weeks after reviews of blood clots in an undisclosed quantity of people that had the vaccine, together with one one who has reportedly died. “This can be a super-cautious method,” mentioned Stephen Evans on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Medication in a assertion. “The issue with spontaneous reviews of suspected hostile reactions to a vaccine are the large issue of distinguishing a causal impact from a coincidence,” he added. Individually, Austria suspended use of a batch of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on 7 March to research a dying from blood clotting issues and a case of pulmonary embolism. Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg have reportedly additionally halted use of the batch. The European Medicines Company mentioned there was no proof to this point linking the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to the 2 Austrian circumstances, including that the variety of folks reporting blood clots after receiving the vaccine was no greater than among the many normal inhabitants, with simply 22 circumstances among the many 3 million individuals who had acquired it as of 9 March.

Moderna has begun trialling a coronavirus vaccine booster shot focused on the B.1.351 coronavirus variant first recognized in South Africa. Earlier findings indicated the corporate’s current two-dose routine generates a weaker antibody response towards the B.1.351 variant, in comparison with the unique virus. The primary contributors have now acquired the modified vaccine in an modification to an on-going medical trial, Moderna introduced on 10 March. The research includes 60 contributors beforehand vaccinated with the corporate’s authentic photographs, who will obtain a 3rd shot of both one other dose of the unique vaccine or the booster shot at a low or excessive dose.

Individuals experiencing homelessness, together with these sleeping tough, can be prioritised for covid-19 vaccines in England in accordance with recommendation from the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). “Individuals experiencing homelessness are prone to have well being situations that put them at greater threat of dying from covid-19,” Wei Shen Lim, covid-19 chair for the JCVI, mentioned in a press release. “The recommendation will assist us to guard extra people who find themselves at better threat, making certain that fewer folks grow to be critically in poor health or die from the virus.”

Coronavirus deaths
The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.62 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 118.2 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

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A person sporting a protecting go well with works at a cemetery in Chislehurst, because the unfold of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) continues

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10 March

Examine signifies B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant recognized within the UK is extra lethal

The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first recognized within the UK is between 32 and 104 per cent extra lethal than earlier dominant variants, in accordance with a research printed within the BMJ. The research in contrast dying charges amongst folks within the UK contaminated with B.1.1.7 or different variants of the coronavirus. Earlier analysis has indicated the variant can be extra transmissible. “The exact mechanisms answerable for elevated mortality related to the variant stay unsure however may very well be associated to greater ranges of virus replication in addition to elevated transmissibility,” mentioned Lawrence Younger on the College of Warwick in a assertion.

Different coronavirus information

The UK hasn’t imposed a ban on the export of covid-19 vaccines, UK prime minister Boris Johnson advised parliament on 10 March. Johnson’s feedback are available in response to claims made by European Council president Charles Michel a day earlier that the UK and US have imposed “an outright ban on the export of vaccines or vaccine parts produced on their territory”. Johnson advised MPs: “Let me be clear, we have now not blocked the export of a single covid-19 vaccine or vaccine parts.” Michel has since tweeted that there are “alternative ways of imposing bans or restrictions on vaccines/medicines”. European Fee spokesperson Eric Mamer declined to remark particularly on Michel’s statements throughout a press briefing in Brussels. The EU has confronted provide points with a number of covid-19 vaccines and in January launched a system of controls on exports of vaccines manufactured within the bloc.

Well being techniques in most of Brazil’s largest cities are approaching collapse on account of covid-19 circumstances, its main well being institute, Fiocruz, has warned. Greater than 80 per cent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds are occupied within the capitals of 25 of Brazil’s 27 states and 15 state capitals have ICUs which can be at greater than 90 per cent capability, Fiocruz has mentioned. The cities of Porto Alegre and Campo Grande have exceeded their ICU capability. Final week, Fiocruz mentioned that the P.1 coronavirus variant was certainly one of a number of “variants of concern” which have grow to be dominant in six of eight states it had studied.

Medical doctors and public well being researchers have warned that “the UK’s colour-blind vaccination mannequin disregards the unequal impression of the pandemic on minority ethnic teams”. In an article, printed within the Journal of the Royal Society of Medication, they argue “the invisibility of those susceptible teams from the precedence record and the worsening healthcare inequities and inequalities are placing ethnic minorities at a considerably greater threat of covid-19 sickness and dying”. A Division of Well being and Social Care spokesperson advised Sky Information: “The impartial JCVI’s [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] recommendation on covid-19 vaccine prioritisation was developed with the goal of stopping as many deaths as potential, with older age being the only biggest threat of dying. We’re following the JCVI suggestions in order that we save lives.”

UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak has defended his function within the UK’s covid-19 response after extracts from Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott’s new e book Failures of State have been printed within the Instances. The extracts embody point out of a authorities science adviser blaming Sunak for his “one-eyed method in placing the nation’s funds first”. When requested concerning the difficulty in parliament on 9 March, Sunak mentioned: “In any respect steps on this disaster we have now certainly taken the recommendation of our scientific advisers.” 

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.61 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 117.7 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Immunity monitoring: New “immunity tracker” exams that declare to measure your exact antibody ranges after an infection or a covid-19 vaccine are on the market, however the outcomes won’t be as helpful as they appear.

Evolving virus: The technique of vaccinating the eldest first might save essentially the most lives within the quick time period, but additionally has the best threat of making variants that escape vaccine immunity.

Face masks pioneer: The ten March Google doodle celebrates Wu-Lien teh, who helped to finish the Manchurian plague outbreak of 1910-11 with using cotton and gauze face masks he designed.

Vaccine dosing: Small research exhibits individuals who have beforehand been contaminated with the coronavirus make related ranges of antibodies after one dose of covid-19 vaccine as folks usually have after two photographs.

Chris Whitty

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty throughout a media briefing in Downing Avenue, London.

Leon Neal/PA Wire/PA Photos

9 March

UK science and medical advisers urge warning on easing of restrictions in England

England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty cautioned MPs towards lifting coronavirus restrictions in England sooner than deliberate, saying this might improve the scale and severity of future surges in infections. “It’s very straightforward to overlook fairly how rapidly issues can go dangerous in the event you don’t preserve a really shut eye on them,” mentioned Whitty. “What we don’t wish to do is to speed up into bother after which must reverse straight again out once more, open issues up and instantly shut them down,” he mentioned. “All of the modelling suggests there may be going to be an additional surge.” Whitty was giving proof to MPs on the commons science and expertise committee alongside the UK’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance. Requested why encouraging information couldn’t result in an accelerated easing of restrictions, Vallance mentioned that three to 4 weeks have been wanted to generate and analyse information, which exceeds the one-week discover that the federal government desires to offer of adjustments to guidelines. “I feel in the event you truncate that you’re basically flying blind,” Vallance advised the committee. 

Different coronavirus information

Greece’s tourism minister Harry Theocharis has mentioned people who find themselves vaccinated towards covid-19, have antibodies or take a look at damaging for the coronavirus can journey to Greece throughout the summer season of 2021. “All vacationers can be topic to random testing,” Theocharis advised the ITB Berlin commerce present on 9 March. It has been reported that the UK authorities is contemplating the opportunity of the NHS coronavirus app that includes a digital well being passport, which might carry info on vaccinations and take a look at outcomes. UK prime minister Boris Johnson mentioned on 8 March that vaccine passports for worldwide journey can be “a characteristic of our life sooner or later”. 

Johnson & Johnson advised the European Union it’s dealing with provide points that would disrupt plans to ship 55 million doses of its covid-19 vaccine to the bloc within the second quarter of 2021, Reuters reviews. The EU has already confronted points associated to the provision of different covid-19 vaccines, together with these made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, which consists of a single shot, is predicted to be accepted by the European Medicines Company on 11 March and the corporate has dedicated to ship 200 million doses to the EU in 2021.

Short-term Nightingale hospitals in-built England throughout the first wave of covid-19 can be closed in April, the NHS introduced. From April, the websites will transition again into places for native NHS companies, with some for use as testing centres or covid-19 vaccination websites.

Coronavirus deaths
The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.6 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 117.2 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Mixing indoors: Vaccination means freedom to combine in non-public properties with out social distancing or sporting masks, US authorities have mentioned, however the steering is deemed too dangerous for the UK.

Children return to school

12 months 9 college students put on protecting face masks as they participate in classes on the primary day again at college.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

8 March

Return of pupils is first step in England’s ‘roadmap’ for relieving lockdown

Pupils in England started to return to highschool immediately for the primary time since a nationwide lockdown started in January. Main colleges reopened absolutely however pupils can return to secondary colleges provided that they take a look at damaging for coronavirus. Most secondary colleges are phasing reopening to permit this testing to be finished. Since January, most pupils in England have been doing classes on-line, with solely the youngsters of key employees allowed to bodily attend colleges. 

The testing of secondary college pupils is being finished with the fast exams often known as lateral stream gadgets. Their use is controversial as a result of they’re much less correct than commonplace PCR exams, and there’s a greater threat of false positives and false negatives. Initially, authorities ministers mentioned pupils who examined constructive with a lateral stream take a look at wouldn’t be allowed to return to highschool even when a subsequent PCR take a look at got here again damaging. In the present day a spokesperson for the prime minister mentioned pupils may return if a PCR take a look at got here again damaging. A modelling research launched immediately means that using lateral stream exams in colleges can be useful if mixed with different measures resembling isolating contacts.

The reopening of colleges is step one within the “roadmap” for relieving the lockdown in England. On 29 March the federal government plans to ease restrictions on outside conferences and sports activities, with many companies being allowed to reopen from 12 April.

Different coronavirus information

New Zealand has elevated its order of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to 10 million doses, sufficient to vaccine your entire inhabitants of almost 5 million folks. Nevertheless, the complete order is not going to arrive till the second half of the 12 months. New Zealand has managed to remove the coronavirus however has had occasional outbreaks, together with a latest cluster attributable to the extra transmissible B.1.1.7 variant from the UK. No new circumstances have been reported since a week-long lockdown in Auckland ended. In February, the nation started vaccinating border and quarantine employees.

Individuals within the US who’ve been vaccinated can be allowed to fulfill others indoors with out sporting masks, and also will not be required to isolate if they’re uncovered to recognized covid-19 circumstances, in accordance with new steering issued by the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. “We all know that folks wish to get vaccinated to allow them to get again to doing the issues they get pleasure from with the folks they love,” mentioned CDC director Rochelle Walensky. The steering applies to people who find themselves two weeks previous the top of their vaccine routine – which implies two doses of the Pfizer/Biontech or Moderna vaccines, or one Johsnon & Johnson shot. Nevertheless, on condition that we don’t but know the way a lot vaccines stop folks from catching and transmitting the virus, it’s nonetheless potential that vaccinated folks might infect others. Almost 10 per cent of the US inhabitants has now been vaccinated.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.59 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 116.9 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

New Scientist Default Image

World Well being Group Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press convention

FABRICE COFFRINI/EPA-EFE/Shutter

5 March

Covid-19 vaccine patents must be waived, says WHO chief

World Well being Group (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has mentioned he helps the momentary waiving of covid-19 vaccine patents to allow nations to fabricate and promote vaccine copies at lowered value. “I don’t imagine that globally we’re exercising our full manufacturing muscle at current. For instance, some producers haven’t been in a position to produce profitable vaccine candidates, which is to be anticipated, however their manufacturing services may very well be repurposed for these vaccines which were confirmed to work,” he wrote within the Guardian. “Waiving patents quickly gained’t imply innovators miss out. Like throughout the HIV disaster or in a struggle, firms can be paid royalties for the merchandise they manufacture.” 

World Commerce Group member states are set to debate a proposal by India and South Africa subsequent week to waive guidelines on mental property for covid-19 medication and vaccines. Worldwide, 265 million doses of covid-19 vaccines have been administered, with 80 per cent in simply 10 nations, mentioned Mike Ryan, government director of the WHO’s Well being Emergencies Program, throughout a social media Q&A on 3 March.

Different coronavirus information

Australia has requested the European Fee to assessment its determination to approve Italy’s blocking of a cargo of covid-19 vaccine doses to the nation. In January, the European Fee launched a mechanism to permit monitoring the export of covid-19 vaccines produced within the European Union, and on 4 March Italy blocked a cargo of 250,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine being despatched to Australia. “Australia has raised the difficulty with the European Fee by means of a number of channels,” Greg Hunt, Australia’s well being minister, advised journalists on 5 March. Japan can be involved concerning the export ban. The nation’s vaccine minister advised Reuters: “We wish to work with the Ministry of Overseas Affairs to safe the vaccines certain for Japan.” Germany’s well being minister expressed concern concerning the export ban, saying it may disrupt world covid-19 vaccine provide chains.

Willingness to obtain a covid-19 vaccine has risen within the UK and globally in latest months, in accordance with a survey on attitudes in direction of vaccination in 15 nations, carried out by researchers at Imperial Faculty London. In February, 77 per cent of individuals surveyed within the UK mentioned they might settle for a covid-19 vaccine if one was accessible to them, up from 55 per cent in November. Different nations included within the ballot have been Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain and Sweden. Scepticism concerning the vaccine was highest in France, with solely 40 per cent of respondents in February saying they might settle for a covid-19 vaccine, though this nonetheless represents a rise from 25 per cent in November. 

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.57 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 115.7 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Lengthy covid vaccine: Individuals with lasting signs after a covid-19 an infection, often known as lengthy covid, usually tend to get well than worsen after receiving a vaccine, in accordance with a web-based survey

Zero-covid nations: As plans are made for worldwide journey to renew, covid-free nations might have to attain herd immunity by means of vaccination earlier than letting the remainder of the world in.

Vaccine fast track

LICHFIELD, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 26: A nurse attracts up a vaccine as members of the general public obtain their Covid-19 vaccinations.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Photos

4 March

Approval of covid-19 vaccines modified to work towards virus variants may very well be accelerated within the UK

Covid-19 vaccines which were modified to enhance their effectiveness towards new coronavirus variants may very well be fast-tracked for approval in an identical strategy to annual flu vaccines, in accordance with new steering from the UK’s medicines regulator. Vaccine producers would wish to offer strong proof that the modified vaccine produces a enough immune response, for instance launch of antibodies into the blood, however wouldn’t must conduct prolonged medical trials that don’t add to understanding of the vaccine’s security and effectiveness. “Our precedence is to get efficient vaccines to the general public in as quick a time as potential, with out compromising on security,” mentioned Christian Schneider, chief scientific officer on the UK company overseeing drugs, in a assertion. “The general public must be assured that no vaccine can be accepted until the anticipated excessive requirements of security, high quality and effectiveness are met,” he added. A number of producers of covid-19 vaccines are already engaged on tweaking them to deal with coronavirus variants.

The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first recognized within the UK is between 43 and 90 per cent extra transmissible than the unique virus, a research printed within the scientific journal Science has estimated. “With out stringent management measures, together with restricted closure of academic establishments and a significantly accelerated vaccine roll-out, covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths throughout England in 2021 will exceed these in 2020,” the authors of the research write of their paper, including that the unfold of the variant at related charges in different nations, together with Denmark, Switzerland and the US, is “regarding”.

Different coronavirus information

The European Medicines Company (EMA) has introduced a rolling assessment of the Sputnik V covid-19 vaccine developed in Russia. The Sputnik V vaccine prompted concern amongst immunologists final 12 months after it was accepted in Russia in August earlier than any detailed outcomes from superior medical trials have been launched. However in early February, interim outcomes from a part III trial indicated the vaccine is 91.6 per cent efficient at stopping symptomatic covid-19. World Well being Group Europe director Hans Kluge advised a press briefing on 4 March that the EMA’s announcement was a “welcome improvement”, including that: “[in Europe] we desperately must enlarge our portfolio of vaccines”. 

Italy has blocked a cargo of 250,000 Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine doses to Australia. In January, the European Fee launched a mechanism to allow monitoring of covid-19 vaccines produced in Europe and being exported out of the European Union. 

The speed of covid-19 Infections in England is shrinking much less rapidly than it was earlier in 2021, in accordance with latest outcomes from the REACT research by researchers at Imperial Faculty London. The research signifies one in 204 folks have been contaminated between 4 and 23 February, down solely barely from one in 196 throughout the interval between 4 and 13 February, suggesting the autumn in infections seen since January has slowed.

Germany is predicted to approve the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine to be used in folks over the age of 65.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.56 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 115.3 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Pandemic origins: From habitat degradation to squalid animal therapy, our half in permitting “zoonotic” ailments like covid-19 to leap into people is changing into ever clearer.

Naming variants: The names given to new coronavirus variants and micro organism might be tough to make use of or perceive. Utilizing a pre-generated record of names can be higher, says Mark Pallen.

Kids in lockdown: The covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions have impacted kids’s psychological well being – which has already been declining for years within the UK and US.

New Scientist Default Image

Susan Partitions of Martinsburg receives her enhance dose at a coronavirus illness (COVID-19) group vaccination occasion.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

3 March

US to have sufficient covid-19 vaccines for all adults by finish of Might

US president Joe Biden introduced the US is on observe to have sufficient covid-19 vaccine doses to vaccinate its total grownup inhabitants by the top of Might. “Nice information, however keep vigilant,” mentioned Biden. “It’s not over but,” he added. Greater than 76 million folks within the US have acquired a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine to this point equal to about 23 per cent of the inhabitants. Not all adults can be vaccinated by the top of Might, because the vaccines will take time to manage, however the nation is on observe to fulfill Biden’s goal of delivering 100 million doses in his first 100 days in workplace. 

The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, introduced that the state will raise its requirement for folks to put on face coverings and can enable companies to reopen at full capability subsequent week. That is in distinction to recommendation from the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, which on 1 March warned of a possible fourth surge of circumstances earlier than nearly all of folks within the nation are vaccinated.

Different coronavirus information

A preliminary research led by researchers on the College of Bristol, UK, signifies {that a} single dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine reduces the danger of hospitalisation with covid-19 by about 80 per cent amongst folks aged 80 and over. The outcomes add to earlier findings from an evaluation by Public Well being England, which discovered {that a} single dose of both vaccine is 80 per cent efficient at stopping hospitalisation amongst folks over 80. “This provides to rising proof displaying that the vaccines are working to scale back infections and save lives,” Mary Ramsay, Public Well being England’s head of immunisation, advised the BMJ

Austria will obtain an extra 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine to manage to all adults within the Schwaz district of the Tyrol province, the place there are at present 66 energetic circumstances of individuals contaminated with the B.1351 coronavirus variant first recognized in South Africa.

UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak introduced a further £1.65 billion to help the UK’s covid-19 vaccine rollout within the newest finances.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.55 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 114.8 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Combating Ebola alongside covid-19: Guinea has vaccinated over 1000 folks within the two weeks since its newest Ebola outbreak was declared, together with shut contacts of these contaminated.

Vaccinations cut death rate in over 80s

An aged affected person receiving the COVID-19 vaccination

Andrew Aitchison / In Footage v

2 March

Deaths from covid-19 in England and Wales are falling quickest amongst folks over 80

Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales are falling quickest amongst folks aged 80 and over, figures from the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS) recommend, indicating that the vaccination programme has had an impression on deaths from the illness. Individuals aged 80 and over have been included within the prime 4 precedence teams for covid-19 vaccination. Based on evaluation of ONS information by the Guardian, 1622 folks aged 80 and above have been reported to have died from covid-19 within the week as much as 19 February, down from 5300 4 weeks earlier and equal to a discount of 69 per cent. Amongst folks aged between 70 and 79, there was a discount in covid-19 deaths of 65 per cent over the identical interval, and the equal determine was 55 per cent for folks aged 0 to 69. 

“Along with the proof for discount of hospitalisations after each the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, the message is evident: vaccines work for these 80+ and 70+ and they’re saving lives,” mentioned Zania Stamataki on the College of Birmingham in a assertion

Greater than 20.2 million folks within the UK as an entire had acquired a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine as of 1 March.

Different coronavirus information

The seek for an individual who examined constructive for the P.1 variant of coronavirus in England has been narrowed right down to 379 households within the south-east of the nation, UK well being minister Matt Hancock advised parliament on 2 March. Six circumstances of the P.1 coronavirus variant, first detected in folks travelling from Brazil to Japan, have been recognized within the UK. “We’re grateful that quite a lot of potential circumstances have come ahead,” mentioned Hancock.

Germany is predicted to begin easing some coronavirus restrictions from 8 March. Beneath new draft guidelines, a most of 5 folks from two households can be allowed to fulfill. At present, conferences are restricted to a most of two folks. Some outlets and salons would even be allowed to reopen. The draft plans for relieving measures can be mentioned by nationwide and state authorities leaders on 3 March.

A World Well being Group (WHO) panel is advising towards the use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to deal with covid-19 sufferers. In a assertion, the panel mentioned hydroxychloroquine is “now not a analysis precedence” and that “sources must be used to guage different extra promising medication to stop covid-19”.

The WHO has mentioned it’s “unrealistic” to anticipate the coronavirus pandemic can be over by the top of 2021. “I feel will probably be very untimely, and I feel unrealistic, to assume that we’re going to complete with this virus by the top of the 12 months,” Michael Ryan, government director of the WHO’s Well being Emergencies Program, advised a press convention on 1 March.

Coronavirus deaths

Covid deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.54 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 114.5 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

Brazil coronavirus variant

BRISTOL, ENGLAND – MARCH 1: A employee takes a coronavirus take a look at by means of the window of a automobile.

Matthew Horwood/Getty Photos

1 March

Well being officers in England try to hint particular person contaminated with P.1 virus variant

Efforts are underway in England to hint an individual contaminated with the P.1 coronavirus variant, after they used a house testing package however didn’t full a registration kind. The P.1 variant was first recognized in individuals who have been travelling from Brazil to Japan on 10 January, and the contaminated particular person is certainly one of six circumstances of the P.1 variant detected within the UK in February. Three of the six circumstances have been detected in England and the remaining three in Scotland. Public well being officers are interesting for anybody who hasn’t but acquired a consequence from a take a look at on 12 or 13 February to return ahead by calling 119. Since 15 February, travellers arriving in England from 33 nations – together with Brazil – have been required to quarantine in a resort for 10 days. In Scotland, the resort quarantine rule applies to all worldwide arrivals.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson mentioned the federal government has no intention to reverse its plans to ease coronavirus restrictions in England. “Our complete technique is to go ahead in a method that’s cautious however irreversible. And we don’t assume that there’s any cause on this foundation to alter that now,” he advised journalists on 1 March. Beneath the federal government’s present plans, colleges in England are anticipated to reopen on 8 March. To help this deliberate reopening of colleges, the federal government has mentioned that households with kids in class will have the ability to take a look at themselves for coronavirus twice per week from dwelling, freed from cost.

Throughout the UK, greater than 20 million folks have acquired a primary dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

Different coronavirus information

The first covid-19 vaccinations by means of the World Well being Group’s COVAX scheme have been administered in Ghana and Ivory Coast on 1 March. “This can be a day many people have been dreaming of,” mentioned WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a press release. “I’m positive that by means of COVAX and worldwide solidarity we will attain essentially the most at-risk all over the place. World equitable entry to life-saving vaccines is the surest strategy to save lives and rebuild economies,” he mentioned. Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire acquired 600,000 and 504,000 doses respectively of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine licensed and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.

The European Fee plans to current a proposal on creating an EU-wide digital covid-19 passport, which may enable EU residents to journey extra freely inside the bloc throughout the summer season. The “digital inexperienced go” would offer proof that an individual has been vaccinated towards covid-19 or coronavirus take a look at outcomes for many who haven’t been vaccinated. “The goal is to regularly allow them to maneuver safely within the European Union or overseas – for work or tourism,” mentioned European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen. 

The US Meals and Drug Administration has authorised Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot covid-19 vaccine for emergency use. The primary doses of the vaccine can be transported to US states on 1 March.

Coronavirus deaths

Covid deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.53 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 114.2 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

Coronavirus vaccine

A healthcare skilled attracts up a dose of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

OLI SCARFF/AFP through Getty Photos

26 February

One dose of Pfizer vaccine exhibits 75 per cent discount in asymptomatic infections

There may be but extra excellent news on vaccine effectiveness. A research based mostly on almost 9000 coronavirus exams finished on healthcare employees in Cambridge, UK, has discovered that asymptomatic infections fell by 75 per cent 12 days after they obtained one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. There was an identical discount in symptomatic infections.

The discovering is important as a result of it exhibits the vaccine will significantly cut back the unfold of the virus. It was already clear from medical trials and former research that the Pfizer vaccine is very efficient at stopping symptomatic infections however we didn’t know what number of vaccinated folks would possibly nonetheless get contaminated with out signs and doubtlessly go the illness on to others.

“This can imply a considerable discount in transmission of the virus as increasingly persons are vaccinated, which is basically nice information,” research chief Mike Weekes on the College of Cambridge, advised the Guardian.

Different coronavirus information

Fifty million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been given to folks within the US since President Joe Biden took workplace 37 days in the past, taking the whole to round 67 million. Biden had promised to ship 100 million doses in his first 100 days, so his administration is on track to comfortably beat this goal. However he warned that issues is not going to return to regular quickly. “This isn’t a victory lap. All the things will not be mounted. Now we have an extended strategy to go. And that day when all the pieces is again to regular depends upon all of us,” Biden mentioned.

New Zealand has reported yet one more domestically acquired case of coronavirus. The contaminated particular person went to work at a quick meals restaurant on Monday regardless of being advised to isolate at dwelling. However officers say the small cluster of circumstances in Auckland is underneath management, and haven’t imposed one other lockdown on the town. “This can be a scenario the place we all know the supply of the circumstances [and] we all know the place there might have been contact with others,” mentioned Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.5 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 113 million, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot greater.

See earlier updates from February 2021, January 2021, November/December 2020, and March to November 2020.

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Why are the EU and UK engulfed in a row over vaccine supplies?

Why are the EU and UK engulfed in a row over vaccine provides?

Marina Tognetti

Marina Tognetti: Progressive Tech Entrepreneur