Covid-19 news: Vaccinations of people under 70 begin in England

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A lady receives the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid19 vaccine at an NHS vaccination heart in Ealing, west London

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Newest coronavirus information as of 4.30pm on 12 February

Vaccinations of individuals beneath 70 start in England subsequent week

Vaccinators in England can now begin giving covid-19 vaccines to individuals aged between 65 and 69, so long as they’ve already supplied jabs to older and clinically weak individuals within the high precedence teams. “We’ve got been advised by NHS England that, in distinctive circumstances, the place now we have reached different teams, we are able to transfer on to cohort 5 [people aged 65 to 69],” an nameless physician advised the Guardian. Throughout the UK, 14 million individuals had obtained a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine as of 12 February – equal to about 20 per cent of the whole inhabitants.

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Infections fall throughout the UK

Coronavirus infections seem like falling throughout the UK. The Workplace for Nationwide Statistics estimates that about one in 80 individuals in England had covid-19 within the week as much as 6 February, down from one in 65 individuals the earlier week. In Wales, Northern Eire and Scotland the equal figures for the latest week are roughly one in 85, one in 75 and one in 150 individuals respectively, all down from the earlier week’s figures. The newest official estimate of the R quantity – the common variety of individuals every individual with coronavirus infects – places it between 0.7 and 0.9  for the UK as an entire, indicating the nation’s epidemic is shrinking. 

Neil Ferguson at Imperial Faculty London, who advises the UK authorities as a part of the New and Rising Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, stated lockdowns have helped drive down instances. “They’re principally halving about each 17 days for the time being,” he advised Politico’s Westminster Insider podcast. Ferguson stated it is likely to be doable to reopen at the very least major colleges in a month’s time. “And if we proceed to see then a continued decline with out massive outbreaks, then maybe beginning to chill out different features of society the next month,” he added. UK prime minister Boris Johnson has stated discussions on reopening colleges will occur within the week beginning 22 February, with colleges doubtlessly capable of reopen from Eight March.

Different coronavirus information

Germany is imposing strict new border controls attributable to concern over coronavirus variants, with a ban on journey into the nation from the Czech Republic and Austria the place the B.1351 and B.1.1.7 variants of the virus have been discovered to be prevalent. Returning residents and sure important employees will probably be exempt. 

French well being authority Haute Autorite de Sante beneficial that individuals who have already had covid-19 and recovered ought to solely be supplied a single shot of covid-19 vaccine. “The only dose of vaccine will act as a reminder,” it stated in an announcement.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

Matthew Rowett

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.37 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 107 million, in response to Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will probably be a lot increased.

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Important details about coronavirus

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You would be spreading the coronavirus with out realising you’ve obtained it

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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 in regards to the inside story of the event of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in opposition to covid-19.

Race Towards the Virus: Hunt for a Vaccine is a Channel Four documentary which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic by way 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 venture highlighting the experiences of key employees on the frontline within the combat in opposition to coronavirus within the UK, by way of social media.

Stomach Mujinga: Looking for the Fact is a BBC Panorama investigation of the loss of life of transport employee Stomach Mujinga from covid-19, following stories she had been coughed and spat on by a buyer at London’s Victoria Station.

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

New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the most recent developments within the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees skilled journalists from the journal focus on the largest 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 Methods to Cease the Subsequent One by Debora Mackenzie is about how the pandemic occurred and why it is going to occur once more if we don’t do issues in another way in future.

The Guidelines of Contagion is in regards to the new science of contagion and the stunning methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The writer, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist on the London College of Hygiene and Tropical Medication, UK, and within the e book he examines how illnesses unfold and why they cease.

Earlier updates

Photo of a person's hand holding a box of medication labelled tocilizumab

A pharmacist in France shows a field of tocilizumab, which is used within the remedy of rheumatoid arthritis

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11 February

Roche’s arthritis drug tocilizumab discovered to chop threat of loss of life amongst sufferers with extreme covid-19

The arthritis drug tocilizumab reduces the danger of loss of life amongst severely ailing covid-19 sufferers, in response to findings from the RECOVERY trial, which has been testing a spread of potential remedies for the illness since March final 12 months. The examine discovered that 29 per cent of covid-19 sufferers who obtained tocilizumab died inside 28 days, in comparison with 33 per cent of those that didn’t obtain the drug. Remedy with tocilizumab – offered beneath the model title Actemra by Swiss firm Roche – additionally shortened the time to restoration and decreased the requirement for mechanical air flow. The trial included 2022 covid-19 sufferers randomly allotted to obtain tocilizumab along with their commonplace care and 2094 sufferers allotted to straightforward care solely, which for 82 per cent of all sufferers within the examine included remedy with a steroid, resembling dexamethasone. Final 12 months, dexamethasone grew to become the first drug discovered to scale back loss of life charges in covid-19 sufferers. The newest outcomes point out that tocilizumab offers further advantages when used with steroids, like dexamethasone. “Utilized in mixture, the impression is substantial,” stated Martin Landray on the College of Oxford, one of many lead investigators on the trial. “After dexamethasone (steroids), that is probably the most important advance within the remedy of covid,” stated Athimalaipet Ramanan on the College of Bristol in a assertion.

Different coronavirus information

The US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) issued up to date steerage saying individuals who have been “absolutely vaccinated” in opposition to covid-19 are not suggested to quarantine if they’re uncovered to somebody who exams constructive for coronavirus. This is applicable to individuals who have had each doses of a covid-19 vaccine at the very least two weeks in the past. Nonetheless, the CDC stated this doesn’t imply that absolutely vaccinated people ought to cease taking precautions and added that individuals who had their photographs three months in the past or extra ought to nonetheless quarantine if they’re uncovered, because it isn’t recognized how lengthy safety in opposition to covid-19 lasts.

US well being officers are advising individuals within the nation to think about carrying two masks on high of one another to higher defend themselves in opposition to coronavirus an infection. A CDC report instructed carrying a material masks over a disposable surgical masks or bettering the match of a single surgical masks as methods to spice up safety.

It may take six to 9 months to supply and deploy covid-19 vaccines that work in opposition to new variants of the coronavirus, in response to AstraZeneca. The UK-Swedish firm made this assertion after its present vaccine was discovered to be much less efficient in opposition to the coronavirus variant first recognized in South Africa.

The Guardian reported that greater than 40 per cent of employees on the UK’s largest care residence supplier haven’t obtained any doses of covid-19 vaccine.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

Matthew Rowett

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.35 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 107 million, in response to Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will probably be a lot increased.

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New covid-19 vaccines: The world wants new vaccines to beat novel coronavirus variants, overcome delays and remedy world inequality over vaccine entry – right here’s what’s within the works for 2021 and past.

A woman is pictured sitting on a chair, holding a coronavirus test kit

A lady takes a coronavirus take a look at at a short lived testing facility in London, UK

Hollie Adams/Getty Photos

10 February

Chills, lack of urge for food, headache and muscle ache linked to covid-19 in new examine

New signs have been linked to covid-19 in sure age teams, together with chills, lack of urge for food, headache and muscle ache, in Imperial Faculty London’s REACT examine. The 4 new signs have been recognized by researchers by way of random swab testing and questioning of greater than 1,000,000 individuals in England, carried out between June 2020 and January 2021. The researchers discovered an affiliation between testing constructive for the coronavirus and reporting any of those new signs or different signs beforehand linked to covid-19, resembling a persistent cough, fever or a loss or change in sense of style or scent. 

The extra signs individuals had, the extra doubtless they have been to check constructive, though there was some variation in signs throughout totally different age teams. Chills have been linked with an infection throughout all age teams, whereas complications have been reported primarily in kids aged 5-17, urge for food loss in adults over 18 and muscle aches in these aged 18-54. Contaminated 5-17 12 months olds have been additionally much less more likely to report experiencing fever, persistent cough and urge for food loss, as compared with adults.

The REACT examine additionally checked out whether or not reported signs modified earlier than and after the B.1.1.7 variant grew to become the dominant variant within the UK. It discovered that signs have been largely comparable, regardless of the elevated prevalence of B.1.1.7. Nonetheless, loss or change of sense of scent was much less predictive of getting covid-19 in January when B.1.1.7 accounted for about 86 per cent of infections, in contrast with November to December when it was 16 per cent. “Because the epidemic progresses and new variants emerge, it’s important that we preserve monitoring how the virus impacts individuals in order that testing programmes meet altering wants,” stated Joshua Elliott, one of many researchers behind the examine at Imperial Faculty London, in an announcement.

Different coronavirus information

Folks within the UK are going to should “get used to the concept of vaccinating and revaccinating within the autumn as we face these new variants”, UK prime minister Boris Johnson advised parliament on 10 February. A number of vaccine producers have confirmed that they’re already engaged on new variations of their covid-19 vaccines to verify they continue to be efficient. The UK authorities lately introduced a partnership with producer CureVac to quickly manufacture new vaccines in response to new coronavirus variants if wanted. “We consider that they might assist us to develop vaccines that may reply at scale to new variants of the virus,” stated Johnson.

England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam stated he doesn’t suppose the B.1351 coronavirus variant first recognized in South Africa “goes to be a dominant subject within the subsequent few months”. Talking on BBC Information, Van-Tam stated 90 per cent of instances within the UK for the time being are brought on by the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in Kent.

South Africa is contemplating promoting or exchanging its doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine, in response to the nation’s well being minister. Plans to start out administering the jabs have been placed on maintain this week after a small, preliminary examine indicated it could not defend in opposition to gentle or average covid-19 brought on by the B.1.351 variant.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

Matthew Rowett

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.34 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 107 million, in response to Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will probably be a lot increased.

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Looking for immunity: Not everybody could have unwanted side effects resembling a sore arm from a coronavirus vaccine, however that doesn’t imply it didn’t work. Antibody exams can affirm your immunity, however they have to be the correct.

Peter Ben Embarek, a member of the WHO-China joint study team, gestures with his hand as he answers a question during a press conference

Peter Ben Embarek solutions questions on the WHO-China joint examine press convention in Wuhan, China on 9 February

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9 February

WHO staff in China is investigating idea that coronavirus was unfold by way of frozen meals

The World Well being Group (WHO) mission in Wuhan, China has dominated out the chance that the coronavirus originated in a laboratory, however the staff is investigating whether or not the virus got here from frozen meals, presumably from exterior China. The investigation staff chief Peter Ben Embarek stated the virus appears to have originated in bats, as initially thought, however it was in all probability transmitted to people by way of an unknown intermediate species, presumably a useless or frozen animal meals product. Embarek stated it’s “extraordinarily unlikely” that the virus escaped from a lab. The WHO mission arrived in China in January and spent 4 weeks researching the origin of the coronavirus with website visits to the Huanan seafood market, initially suspected because the supply of the virus, in addition to the laboratories on the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was additionally being investigated as a possible supply. It introduced its preliminary findings at a press briefing in Wuhan on 9 February. 

Different coronavirus information

Folks arriving in England who’re required to quarantine in resorts will probably be charged a price of £1750 to cowl the price of their keep, transport and coronavirus exams, UK well being minister Matt Hancock introduced. Individuals who fail to quarantine face fines of as much as £10,000, whereas those that lie on their passenger locator kinds about visiting any of 33 “crimson listing” international locations withstand 10 years in jail. Hancock stated comparable measures are being checked out for the devolved nations. “Individuals who flout these guidelines are placing us all in danger,” he advised parliament on Tuesday. He additionally confirmed that an enhanced testing regime for all arrivals would begin on 15 February, from which level all arrivals will probably be required to get examined for the coronavirus on the second and eighth days of their 10-day quarantine interval.

Additional covid-19 testing will start in elements of Higher Manchester within the UK, following the invention of 4 individuals contaminated with a mutated model of the B.1.1.7 variant, first recognized in Kent. The 4 individuals, from two separate households in Higher Manchester, have been discovered to be contaminated with a virus carrying the E484Okay mutation. The mutation is regarding, as there may be proof that some covid-19 vaccines could also be much less efficient in opposition to the B.1.351 variant, also referred to as the “South Africa variant”, which has the identical mutation.  

The NHS covid-19 app has advised 1.7 million individuals in England and Wales to self-isolate since its launch in September. A preliminary evaluation by researchers on the College of Oxford and the Alan Turing Institute signifies 594,000 coronavirus instances have been prevented by the app. The app has had about 21.7 million downloads, though inside information suggests about 16.5 million individuals are presently actively utilizing its contact-tracing instrument, in response to the BBC.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

Matthew Rowett

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.32 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 106 million, in response to Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will probably be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

South Africa variant: South Africa paused its rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine because it may not be efficient in opposition to the South African B.1.351 coronavirus variant – however it’s nonetheless more likely to restrict the severity of covid-19.

A person wearing a face mask leans out of a car window to get vaccinated

An individual receives a covid-19 vaccine at a drive-through vaccination centre in St Albans, UK

REUTERS/Paul Childs

Eight February

Researchers are investigating methods to switch covid-19 vaccines to sort out the South Africa variant and others that emerge

UK ministers say work is underway to tweak current covid-19 vaccines to sort out new variants of the coronavirus together with the B.1.351 coronavirus variant, generally known as the “South Africa variant”. On 6 February, a small, preliminary examine was reported to indicate that the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine might not defend in opposition to gentle or average covid-19 brought on by B.1.351. At the very least 147 instances of this variant have now been detected within the UK. “Our good scientists and medical advisers at the moment are engaged on the potential for brand new variations of current vaccines to supply additional protections in opposition to covid variants,” Nadhim Zahawi, minister for covid-19 vaccine deployment, wrote within the Telegraph. As a precaution, South Africa – the place the variant accounts for about 90 per cent of recent coronavirus instances – has put its rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on maintain. Nonetheless, the examine, which has not but been revealed or peer-reviewed, was comparatively small and didn’t have a look at the impression of the vaccine on extreme illness or loss of life.

Sarah Gilbert on the College of Oxford, one of many lead vaccine researchers on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, stated a modified model that’s efficient in opposition to the South Africa variant could possibly be able to deploy within the autumn. “What we’re seeing from different vaccine builders is that they’ve a discount in efficacy in opposition to a few of the variant viruses,” Gilbert advised the BBC’s Andrew Marr Present on 7 February, including that though vaccines could also be much less efficient at decreasing instances with new variants, they nonetheless seem like protecting in opposition to loss of life, hospitalisation and extreme illness. Different covid-19 vaccine producers are additionally engaged on new variations of their vaccines to verify they continue to be efficient. “We’re very assured in all of the vaccines that we’re utilizing, and I feel it’s necessary for individuals to keep in mind that each one of them, we predict, are efficient in delivering a excessive diploma of safety in opposition to severe sickness and loss of life, which is crucial factor,” stated UK prime minister Boris Johnson, in an interview with Sky Information on Eight February. “We will probably be persevering with to review the outcomes, the effectiveness, of the vaccine rollout.”

Different coronavirus information

All individuals residing within the UK will probably be eligible to obtain a covid-19 vaccine no matter whether or not they have the authorized proper to work and reside within the nation, the UK authorities stated on Eight February. “Coronavirus vaccines will probably be supplied to everybody residing within the UK freed from cost, no matter immigration standing,” a authorities spokesperson advised Reuters. The federal government stated getting the vaccine wouldn’t set off immigration checks.

Eire stated it is going to crack down on travellers returning to the UK from the Center East by way of Eire to keep away from lately launched quarantine guidelines. The variety of individuals travelling to Dublin from Dubai has risen because the UK added the United Arab Emirates to its journey ban listing in January.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

Matthew Rowett

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.31 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 106 million, in response to Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will probably be a lot increased.

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Three people wearing face coverings sit on chairs in a waiting area

Folks wait to obtain the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine at Copes pharmacy in Streatham, England

Dan Kitwood/Getty Photos

5 February

Early outcomes counsel the Oxford covid-19 vaccine works in opposition to B.1.1.7 virus variant

Preliminary outcomes point out that the covid-19 vaccine developed by the College of Oxford and AstraZeneca is efficient in opposition to the extremely transmissible coronavirus variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected within the UK. Researchers on the College of Oxford analysed swabs from vaccine trial contributors who had examined constructive for the coronavirus between 1 October 2020 and 14 January 2021, to find out the variant of the virus with which that they had been contaminated. They discovered comparable efficacy charges of the vaccine in opposition to the B.1.1.7 variant (74.6 per cent efficient) and the unique virus (84 per cent efficient). That is even supposing these contaminated with the B.1.1.7 variant produced fewer antibodies that would neutralise the virus. The outcomes have been launched on-line as a pre-print and haven’t been peer-reviewed.

Vaccine researchers are investigating methods to switch current covid-19 vaccines quickly to make sure continued safety in opposition to different new variants as effectively. “We’re working with AstraZeneca to optimise the pipeline required for a pressure change ought to one change into essential,” stated Sarah Gilbert on the College of Oxford in a assertion. “This is similar subject that’s confronted by the entire vaccine builders, and we’ll proceed to watch the emergence of recent variants that come up in readiness for a future pressure change,” she stated. “All viruses accumulate mutations over time, and for influenza vaccines there’s a well-known course of of worldwide viral surveillance, and choice of strains for an annual replace of the vaccines.”

Different coronavirus information

Coronavirus instances seem like falling in many of the UK. The newest outcomes from a random swab testing survey by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics point out constructive exams have been falling in England, Scotland and Northern Eire within the week as much as 30 January. New infections throughout the UK as an entire are estimated to be falling by between 2 and 5 per cent every day, and the most recent official estimate for the UK’s R quantity – the common variety of individuals every coronavirus case infects – places it between 0.7 and 1.0. That is most certainly to signify the state of affairs two to a few weeks in the past, attributable to a time lag within the information. The UK authorities stated it goals for all individuals aged 50 and above to have been supplied a covid-19 vaccine by Might, clarifying earlier feedback by a spokesperson for UK prime minister Boris Johnson who on Four February stated the federal government’s goal was “spring”.

Johnson & Johnson utilized for an emergency use authorisation from the US Meals and Drug Administration for its covid-19 vaccine. The corporate introduced final week that the single-dose vaccine had an efficacy of about 66 per cent in part III trials. If permitted, it might change into the third covid-19 vaccine authorised for emergency use within the US, after these developed by Pfizer and its accomplice BioNTech and by Moderna.

Israel introduced it will ease lockdown restrictions from 7 am native time on 7 February however will preserve its borders closed, after a slight discount in coronavirus instances. Nearly 80 per cent of individuals over 50 in Israel have obtained a covid-19 vaccine to date. The nation is vaccinating its 9 million residents at a better fee than some other nation.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

Matthew Rowett

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.28 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 105 million, in response to Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will probably be a lot increased.

A person wearing personal protective equipment holds a vaccine vial and syringe between their fingers

A physician prepares to manage the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, UK

NEIL HALL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Four February

UK plans to check impact of giving one dose every of the Pfizer and Astrazeneca covid-19 vaccines

A UK trial is aiming to analyze the impression of giving individuals two totally different covid-19 vaccines for his or her first and second doses. With the ability to use both vaccine will create extra flexibility within the supply of doses, and assist take care of disruption in provides, stated England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam. He stated combining two totally different vaccines on this method may additionally increase immune responses, doubtlessly main to higher safety in opposition to covid-19. The trial, which is being led by researchers on the College of Oxford and funded by the UK authorities’s vaccine taskforce, will recruit 820 volunteers over the age of 50 who haven’t but obtained a covid-19 vaccine. Individuals will then obtain a primary dose of both the vaccine developed by the College of Oxford and AstraZeneca or the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. A few of them will get the identical vaccine once more for his or her second dose 4 or 12 weeks later and others will get a second dose of the opposite vaccine, to check the impact of mixing the 2 photographs and of various time intervals between doses. 

UK vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi stated the nation is on monitor to fulfill its goal of vaccinating all individuals within the 4 precedence teams in opposition to covid-19 by 15 February. He advised parliament it has been “an unimaginable effort” that has “drawn on the exhausting work of so many”. Final month, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated the UK authorities goals to have given a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine to all these over 70, probably the most clinically weak individuals and frontline well being and social care employees by 15 February – equal to about 15 million individuals. Throughout the UK, greater than 10.Four million individuals had obtained a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine as of Four February.

Different coronavirus information

Worldwide journey was related to elevated loss of life charges within the worst-affected international locations through the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, in response to a examine revealed within the scientific journal BMJ Open. Tiberiu Pana on the College of Aberdeen, UK, and colleagues analysed the connection between country-level components – resembling worldwide arrivals, inhabitants density and well being indicators – and the common improve in day by day deaths recorded in early 2020 throughout the 37 international locations with the very best loss of life charges from covid-19. They discovered that the largest improve in loss of life charges was related to worldwide arrivals. A rise of 1,000,000 worldwide arrivals was related to a 3.Four per cent rise within the common day by day improve in covid-19 deaths.

A World Well being Group scientist has stated society is unlikely to return to “regular” till 2022. “I feel we’re going to be effectively into subsequent 12 months earlier than we see a change – that change is more likely to be brought on by excessive protection of the vaccines,” stated Helen Rees, who sits on the WHO’s committee for covid-19. “I feel this new regular all of us speak about is with us for a really very long time,” Rees advised BBC Wales Reside.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

Matthew Rowett

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.27 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 104 million, in response to Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will probably be a lot increased.

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Royal Navy medics prepare syringes of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre

Royal Navy medics put together syringes of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Tub, UK

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP by way of Getty Photos

Three February

Covid-19 vaccine in opposition to new variants could possibly be deployed quickly, says Oxford vaccine researcher

A model of the covid-19 vaccine developed by the College of Oxford and AstraZeneca that may sort out the brand new, extremely transmissible coronavirus variants could possibly be able to deploy in about 7 months within the UK, in response to a researcher on the Oxford vaccine staff. “The precise work on designing a brand new vaccine may be very, very fast as a result of it’s basically simply switching out the genetic sequence for the spike protein,” Andrew Pollard on the College of Oxford advised the BBC. “After which there’s manufacturing to do after which a small scale examine. So all of that may be accomplished in a really brief time period, and the autumn is admittedly the timing for having new vaccines out there to be used,” he stated. Pollard stated work is already underway to replace the vaccine and improve its efficacy in opposition to lately recognized coronavirus mutations, resembling these within the variants first sequenced within the UK and South Africa.

Preliminary outcomes counsel that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine might scale back coronavirus transmission, along with decreasing symptomatic covid-19 and extreme sickness. UK well being minister Matt Hancock praised the findings of the examine led by researchers on the College of Oxford. The outcomes point out that two doses of the jab scale back coronavirus an infection with or with out signs by 67 per cent. In addition they counsel {that a} single dose of the vaccine is 76 per cent efficient at stopping symptomatic covid-19 for 3 months, with this determine growing to 82 per cent after two doses. Hancock described the outcomes as “completely excellent” and stated they present that “vaccines are the way in which out of this pandemic”.

Different coronavirus information

A cell coronavirus testing unit has been arrange within the city of Southport in England to check residents for the coronavirus and establish if they’ve the variant first recognized in South Africa. Firefighters and council employees are additionally delivering 10,000 residence testing kits to individuals residing within the space.

Denmark introduced plans to introduce a digital “Corona-Move”, which might permit Danish residents to show they’ve been vaccinated in opposition to covid-19 for the needs of enterprise and leisure journey, in response to the nation’s finance ministry.

Israel will begin increasing its covid-19 vaccination programme to everybody over the age of 16, in response to its well being ministry.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

Matthew Rowett

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.25 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 104 million, in response to Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will probably be a lot increased.

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Passengers push luggage on trolleys through a terminal at London's Heathrow airport

Travellers arrive at London’s Heathrow airport

Hollie Adams/Getty Photos

2 February

UK science advisers beneficial introduction of journey restrictions two weeks in the past

The UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) suggested the federal government to introduce obligatory resort quarantine for travellers arriving into the UK two weeks in the past, in response to minutes from a gathering on 21 January that have been leaked to the Instances. On Thursday 21 January, SAGE reportedly warned that “reactive, geographically focused” journey bans couldn’t be relied on to forestall faster-spreading coronavirus variants, resembling these recognized in South Africa and Brazil, from reaching the UK, including that: “no intervention, apart from a whole, pre-emptive closure of borders, or the obligatory quarantine of all guests upon arrival in designated services, regardless of testing historical past, can get shut to completely stopping the importation of recent instances or new variants.” 

A Downing Road spokesperson stated SAGE didn’t immediately advise UK prime minister Boris Johnson to shut borders. Universities minister Michelle Donelan advised Sky Information that the federal government “all the time primarily based our choices on the perfect medical and scientific recommendation” and stated “the SAGE recommendation really stated it might in all probability be ineffective, in actual fact, to shut the borders, which was the identical recommendation that we obtained on the time from the World Well being Group”. Johnson introduced geographically focused resort quarantine measures for travellers getting back from 30 international locations, together with Brazil and South Africa, final week.

UK well being minister Matt Hancock urged individuals residing in postcodes in England singled out for enhanced coronavirus testing for the so-called South Africa variant to keep at residence except “completely important”. Pressing door-to-door testing for the faster-spreading variant has been deployed after 11 instances with no hyperlink to overseas journey have been recognized in elements of England.

Different coronavirus information

Interim outcomes from part III trials counsel Russia’s covid-19 vaccine is 91.6 per cent efficient, and information on the vaccine is being submitted to the European Medicines Company, in response to Kirill Dmitriev, director of the Russian Direct Funding Fund. The outcomes, primarily based on a part III trial together with 21,977 adults, three-quarters of whom obtained the Sputnik V vaccine, are revealed in scientific journal the Lancet. Different contributors obtained a placebo. 

Sweden introduced it might not suggest the covid-19 vaccine developed by the College of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca for individuals aged over 65, hours after Poland stated it might not provide the vaccine to over 60s. Final week, medical specialists in Germany and Austria made comparable suggestions, citing a scarcity of information on this age group. The European Medicines Company authorised the vaccine to be used in all grownup age teams throughout the European Union and June Raine, chief government of the UK Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company, final week stated: “Present proof doesn’t counsel any lack of safety in opposition to covid-19 in individuals aged 65 or over. The information now we have exhibits that the vaccine produces a robust immune response within the over-65s.”

Coronavirus deaths

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Matthew Rowett

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.24 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 103 million, in response to Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will probably be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Sooner-spreading variants: The faster-spreading UK coronavirus variant has acquired a mutation that can assist it evade immune safety – the identical mutation already discovered within the South African variant.

Article amended on Four February 2021

We corrected June Raine’s title.

A health worker talks with a man taking a swab test in a park

A well being employee talks with a person taking a swab take a look at in Goldsworth Park, because the South African variant of the novel coronavirus is reported in elements of Surrey, in Woking, UK, 1 February 2021

REUTERS/Hannah McKay

1 February

All adults in elements of England to be examined for South Africa variant after 11 new instances recognized

Door-to-door testing for the so-called South Africa coronavirus variant will start in elements of England this week, after 11 instances with no recognized hyperlinks to journey or to earlier instances have been recognized in eight areas of the nation. Pressing testing of adults, no matter signs, will happen in some postcodes in Hertfordshire, Surrey, Kent, Walsall, Sefton and within the London boroughs of Merton, Haringey and Ealing. “We try to include this so it doesn’t unfold,” Susan Hopkins, senior medical adviser at Public Well being England advised the BBC. Any newly recognized infections will probably be analysed to see if they’re brought on by the extremely transmissible coronavirus variant first sequenced in South Africa. 

UK well being minister Matt Hancock “has ordered an try at eradication of the brand new variant if in any respect doable”, with public well being officers beginning to go door-to-door in affected areas this week, in response to a briefing seen by the Guardian. “This can be a precautionary measure,” stated Ruth Hutchinson, director of public well being for Surrey, in an announcement. “The extra instances of the variant we discover, the higher probability now we have at stopping it from spreading additional,” stated Hutchinson, including: “It’s actually necessary to say that there’s presently no proof that this variant causes extra extreme sickness, so that you don’t want to fret.”

Different coronavirus information

A covid-19 vaccine has now been supplied to older residents at each eligible care residence in England, the NHS introduced, however vaccination charges of care residence employees are lagging behind residents. Fiona Carragher, director of analysis and influencing at Alzheimer’s Society advised the BBC she remained involved that the vaccination rollout for care residence employees “has not been practically so efficient”. In January, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated the UK authorities goals to vaccinate all these over 70, probably the most clinically weak individuals and frontline well being and social care employees by 15 February – equal to about 15 million vaccinations. Throughout the UK, greater than 8.9 million individuals had obtained a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine as of 30 January.

The European Union stated AstraZeneca has agreed to produce it with 9 million further doses of its covid-19 vaccine, developed in partnership with the College of Oxford. This brings the whole variety of anticipated doses for the primary quarter of this 12 months to 40 million, which is about half of what the EU was initially anticipating. European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen tweeted saying the corporate would broaden its manufacturing capability in Europe, and begin delivering doses every week sooner than scheduled.

Germany’s well being minister Jens Spahn hinted that covid-19 vaccines from China and Russia could possibly be utilized in Europe to compensate for the shortfall of doses provided by Pfizer and its accomplice BioNTech, and by Oxford/AstraZeneca. “Whatever the nation wherein a vaccine is manufactured, if they’re secure and efficient, they can assist deal with the pandemic,” Spahn advised German media on Sunday, including that any vaccine will first should be permitted by the European Medicines Company.

Coronavirus deaths

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Matthew Rowett

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.23 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 103 million, in response to Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will probably be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Can vaccines cease transmission?: A number of research counsel that coronavirus vaccines can considerably scale back transmission of the virus, however not halt it fully – so social distancing remains to be essential.

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A lab technician working at Janssen Pharmaceutical in Beerse, Belgium

Virginia Mayo/AP/Shutterstock

29 January

Vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and Novavax report constructive trial outcomes

A coronavirus vaccine developed by the US agency Novavax has been proven to be 89 per cent efficient in stopping covid-19 in medical trials. The trials included contributors within the UK and South Africa, and located the vaccine to be 86 per cent efficient in opposition to the UK variant of the virus, however solely 60 per cent efficient in opposition to the variant in South Africa. Novavax stated it is going to instantly start improvement on a vaccine particularly focused to the South African variant.

Janssen, a subsidiary of US agency Johnson & Johnson, introduced that its covid-19 vaccine confirmed 66 per cent efficacy in a global trial. These outcomes are primarily based on a single dose of the vaccine, which makes it simpler to manage than the two-shot vaccines which have already been permitted. The corporate has stated it is going to promote its vaccine on a not-for-profit foundation.

The UK has already ordered 30 million doses of the Janssen vaccine and the European Union has ordered 400 million. The UK has additionally ordered 60 million doses of the Novavax jab.

Different coronavirus information

The European Medicines Company has beneficial the approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for all adults, which is able to permit mass use of the vaccine within the European Union. Yesterday, a German committee beneficial in opposition to approving the vaccine for individuals over 65 due to inadequate information within the trials, however the EMA’s specialists stated safety could possibly be anticipated on this group and there may be dependable data on security. The vaccine is already the topic of a dispute between AstraZeneca and the EU over the agency’s choice to produce fewer doses to the EU this 12 months than initially agreed. Right this moment, the European Fee revealed elements of its contract with AstraZeneca, which it says obliges the corporate to produce the agreed volumes. The drug-maker says the contract solely obliges it to make its “greatest effort” to fulfill the EU demand, to not keep on with a particular timetable. The EU additionally introduced export restrictions on vaccines made inside the bloc in response to the deliberate reduce in deliveries. 

The coronavirus variant from South Africa – which is extra infectiousness  than the unique variant has been detected within the US for the primary time, with two instances confirmed in South Carolina

The New York state authorities has launched new figures exhibiting that it undercounted deaths from covid-19 in nursing residence residents by greater than 3800. The state’s general loss of life toll has not elevated, however the increased tally in nursing properties has fuelled criticism that governor Andrew Cuomo didn’t do sufficient to guard these residents.

Within the UK, covid-19 hospital admissions fell to 33.51 per 100,000 individuals from a fee of 35.64 within the week ending 24 January, figures from the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics present. One in 55 individuals in personal households in England examined constructive for covid-19 between 17 and 23 January, which is analogous to the earlier week. The an infection fee was roughly one in 70 in Wales, one in 50 in Northern Eire and one in 110 in Scotland. The R quantity for the UK is between 0.7 and 1.1, in response to the newest estimate by the federal government’s scientific advisory group. The R quantity is the variety of individuals every individual with covid-19 will go on to contaminate.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

World vaccine distribution: Whereas mass immunisation programmes are making fast progress in wealthy nations, many middle-income international locations have solely simply begun roll-outs and most low-income ones will take months to get began. These delays improve the danger of mutations resulting in variants which are extra transmissible,and will render vaccines much less efficient in future.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.19 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 101 million, in response to Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will probably be a lot increased.

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