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Covid-19 information: Pregnant ladies added to UK’s vaccine precedence record

A pregnant lady with a plaster on her arm

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Newest coronavirus information as of 11am on 17 December

UK vaccine committee urges pregnant ladies to ebook jabs

Pregnant women ought to be thought to be a medical threat group for covid-19 and be given vaccines rapidly, the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has stated. The knowledgeable workforce advising the federal government stated there was “rising proof displaying that girls who’re pregnant are at elevated threat of great penalties from covid-19”.

Based on new figures printed by the UK Well being and Safety Company (UKHSA), 34 ladies have died within the UK after buying covid-19 whereas pregnant. 4 new child infants have additionally died the place medics stated the rationale was covid-19.

Research recommend the dying charge for pregnant ladies is often about 9 per 100,000 reside births, which equates to roughly 60 pregnant ladies a 12 months dying from any trigger. As much as the top of October this 12 months, there have been 27 covid-19 deaths as well as – an virtually 50 per cent rise on what would usually be anticipated for the 12 months, in keeping with evaluation by the College of Oxford.

In a snapshot of instances, 1436 pregnant ladies have been admitted to hospital between 16 Might and the top of October this 12 months with signs of covid-19, of which 230 ended up in intensive care. Greater than 96 per cent of those ladies have been unvaccinated. Simply 16 ladies in hospital had had two vaccine doses.

The JCVI urged all those that are unvaccinated to ebook their vaccines now, whereas ladies who’ve had two doses can get their booster if they’d their second vaccine dose a minimum of three months earlier.

“The intense dangers posed to ladies who turn into contaminated with covid-19 throughout being pregnant have turn into more and more clear,” Gayatri Amirthalingam from the UKHSA stated in a press release. “We all know that the vaccines used within the UK covid-19 vaccination programme have been extremely efficient in stopping severe issues and people really useful for pregnant ladies have security report. I’d urge all pregnant ladies to return ahead and get their vaccine immediately. That is the easiest way to guard you and your child.”

Different coronavirus information

Wales will introduce tougher restrictions after Christmas to fight the surge in the omicron coronavirus variant within the UK. The primary minister, Mark Drakeford, introduced a “two-phase plan” together with recommendation for the Christmas interval along with new rules that come into drive on 27 December. From this date, nightclubs shall be closed, two-metre social distancing shall be necessary in places of work, and measures together with one-way programs and bodily limitations shall be launched in companies to guard prospects and workers. The rules can even embody a requirement to work at home wherever doable. The Welsh authorities has introduced a £60 million fund to help any companies affected by the restrictions. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that folks have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines rather than Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, due to rare but sometimes fatal blood clots. Thus far round 16 million folks within the US have had the J&J vaccine, out of 200 million who’re totally vaccinated. The CDC has recognized greater than 50 instances of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, which includes blood clots accompanied by a low stage of platelets, in individuals who had the J&J vaccine, a charge of three.83 instances per million doses administered. No less than 9 folks have died following these incidents.

Dashboard: Use our covid-19 dashboard to remain updated with deaths, instances and vaccination charges all over the world

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New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the newest developments within the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees knowledgeable journalists from the journal focus on the most important science tales to hit the headlines every week – from know-how and area, to well being and the atmosphere.

The Jump is a BBC Radio 4 collection exploring how viruses can cross from animals into people to trigger pandemics. The primary episode examines the origins of the covid-19 pandemic.

Why Is Covid Killing People of Colour? is a BBC documentary, which investigates what the excessive covid-19 dying charges in ethnic minority sufferers reveal about well being inequality within the UK.

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

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

The New York Times is assessing the progress in improvement of potential drug remedies for covid-19, and rating them for effectiveness and security.

Humans of COVID-19 is a venture highlighting the experiences of key staff on the frontline within the combat in opposition to coronavirus within the UK, by way of social media.

Belly Mujinga: Searching for the Truth is a BBC Panorama investigation of the dying of transport employee Stomach Mujinga from covid-19, following studies she had been coughed and spat on by a buyer at London’s Victoria Station.

Coronavirus, Explained on Netflix is a brief documentary collection inspecting the coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to combat it and methods to handle its psychological well being toll.

COVID-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened, and How to Stop the Next 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 Rules of Contagion is concerning the new science of contagion and the stunning methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The creator, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Medication, UK, and within the ebook he examines how ailments unfold and why they cease.

Earlier updates

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Britain's Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty addresses the nation during a Covid Update at Downing Street on December 15, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Chris Whitty at a briefing on 15 December

Tolga Akmen – WPA Pool/Getty Photos

16 December

England’s chief medical officer suggests folks ought to cut back social contacts

The chief medical officer for England, Chris Whitty, has urged folks to chop again on socialising in the run-up to Christmas, because the UK recorded a report excessive of 78,610 covid-19 infections in someday.

Talking at a Downing Road briefing yesterday, Whitty strongly inspired folks to prioritise social occasions that imply quite a bit to them and deprioritise others, take lateral circulate assessments earlier than assembly up and guarantee there’s good ventilation.

“I’m afraid we now have to be life like that information shall be damaged quite a bit over the following few weeks because the charges proceed to go up,” Whitty stated. He additionally warned that the brand new wave of infections, driven by the omicron variant, can have a severe influence on companies and the Nationwide Well being Service. “The fact is that this velocity of onset goes to result in numerous folks getting sick concurrently and we now have to be life like about that.”

The UK prime minister Boris Johnson didn’t announce any new measures to counter the surge of omicron, however urged folks to return ahead for booster vaccines.

Earlier, UK Well being Safety Company chief govt Jenny Harries warned that the omicron variant is “most likely essentially the most vital risk” because the begin of the pandemic as she stated instances could be “staggering” in comparison with what has gone earlier than.

Different coronavirus information

France is introducing tougher rules for travellers from the UK in an try and counter the unfold of the omicron variant of coronavirus. From midnight on Friday, folks arriving from the UK shall be required to indicate a damaging covid-19 take a look at taken inside 24 hours, to check once more upon arrival and self-isolate for seven days, though that may be decreased to 48 hours if the second take a look at is damaging.

Children aged 12 to 15 in England can ebook a second dose of covid-19 vaccine from Monday. The newest authorities figures present that 2.9 per cent of all pupils – almost 236,000 youngsters – weren’t at school for causes linked to the coronavirus on 9 December.

Individuals with long covid who have been admitted to hospital and continued to expertise signs 5 months afterwards confirmed a restricted restoration one 12 months on, new research suggests. The examine additionally confirmed earlier analysis that those that have been feminine, overweight or wanted mechanical air flow in hospital have been all much less more likely to make a full restoration from the situation. Researchers assessed 2230 adults who had been admitted to hospital with coronavirus. One 12 months after hospital discharge, lower than three in 10 sufferers within the examine reported they felt totally recovered, largely unchanged from 2.5 in 10 at 5 months. The most typical ongoing signs have been fatigue, muscle ache, bodily slowing down, poor sleep and breathlessness.

Pharmacist drawing up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccines

15 December

Enormous examine finds myocarditis is a minimum of 4 instances extra more likely to happen after a covid-19 an infection than after a vaccination

Coronary heart irritation is extra more likely to develop after a covid-19 an infection than following vaccination, a study of almost 39 million people in England has found

The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines have previously been linked with uncommon instances of coronary heart muscle irritation, often known as myocarditis. 

Signs embody breathlessness and chest ache. The situation is mostly gentle and handled with relaxation and ibuprofen, though all suspected instances require medical consideration.

Covid-19 an infection can also be recognized to trigger coronary heart issues, nonetheless, so Julia Hippisley-Cox on the College of Oxford and her colleagues adopted almost 39 million folks over the age of 16 in England who have been registered with an English vaccination database. Their information was linked to nationwide information on hospital admissions, deaths and covid-19 infections – both earlier than or after vaccination.

Inside 28 days of an preliminary dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the workforce recorded an additional two instances of myocarditis per million folks. A further one case per million was famous following a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and 6 additional instances per million adopted a primary dose of a Moderna jab. There have been additionally an additional ten instances per million after a second dose of Moderna.

However an additional 40 instances of myocarditis per million folks have been recorded inside 28 days of a constructive covid-19 take a look at consequence. “We estimated additional myocarditis occasions to be between 1 and 10 per million individuals within the month following vaccination, which was considerably decrease than the 40 additional occasions per million individuals following an infection,” the authors wrote of their paper.

“The take-home: when you don’t wish to get myocarditis or pericarditis, get vaccinated. Should you don’t get vaccinated, it is just a matter of time earlier than you get covid-19; and the dangers when you do massively outweigh the dangers of vaccination,” Peter English, previous chairperson of the British Medical Affiliation’s Public Well being Medication Committee, stated in a press release.

Different coronavirus information

Two antibody-based remedies for covid-19 lose most of their effectiveness when uncovered to the omicron variant in lab assessments, a study posted online yesterday has found

Ronapreve, made by Regeneron, seemed to be inefficient in inhibiting the virus, whereas Eli Lilly’s cocktail of bamlanivimab and etesevimab appeared to fail to stop the virus from getting into human cells. “The neutralizing exercise of a number of monoclonal antibodies is strongly affected in opposition to the omicron variant and can restrict therapy choices for omicron-induced covid-19,”  the researchers stated of their paper. 

Adults should now current a covid-19 move displaying they’ve had two vaccines or proof of a damaging take a look at with a view to entry nightclubs and large events in England. The assessments will be both PCR or the speedy lateral circulate varieties, however should have been carried out within the final 48 hours.  

Individuals in Scotland have been suggested that social occasions over Christmas ought to contain no more than three households. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon additionally requested folks to restrict their social contacts as a lot as doable over the approaching weeks.

Syringes filled with the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine are being prepared in a mobile vaccination center in Hemmingen near Ludwigsburg, southern German. (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP via Getty Images)

Syringes stuffed with the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine

THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP through Getty Photos

14 December

Two doses of the Pfizer jab are solely 33 per cent efficient in opposition to an infection with the omicron coronavirus variant

One of many first major analysis of real-world data involving the omicron variant means that two doses of a coronavirus vaccine are usually not significantly efficient at stopping an infection, however they do give cheap safety in opposition to hospitalisation. 

Researchers at South Africa’s largest non-public medical health insurance administrator, Discovery Well being, checked out over 200,000 constructive covid-19 instances from 15 November to 7 December within the nation. Round 37 per cent of their pattern was from this era and they also estimate that about 78,000 of the instances have been most likely as a result of omicron variant. 

The researchers discovered that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are solely 33 per cent efficient in opposition to an infection and are 70 per cent efficient in opposition to hospitalisation. 

Earlier analysis by the agency discovered that two Pfizer doses have been 80 per cent efficient in opposition to an infection earlier than the unfold of the omicron variant and 93 per cent efficient in opposition to hospitalisation.

Different coronavirus information

Norway has banned alcohol in restaurants and bars to curb the unfold of the omicron variant. The nation has additionally closed gyms and swimming swimming pools to most customers. “There isn’t any doubt – the brand new variant adjustments the foundations. That’s why we have to act quick and we have to act once more,” prime minister Gahr Stoere stated yesterday. 

The US Air Force has dismissed 27 members for refusing to get vaccinated for coronavirus. They’re believed to be the primary navy members within the US to be pressured out over the jabs.

Nearly 96 per cent of active-duty members have had a minimum of one dose of the vaccine. In the meantime not a single service member has so far been granted a non secular exemption for getting vaccinated.

Visitors queue for Covid-19 vaccinations at a National Health Service (NHS) walk-in vaccine center at Romford, U.K., on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the U.K. is facing a "tidal wave" of omicron infections and set an end-of-year deadline for the countrys booster vaccination program. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Guests queue for covid-19 vaccinations at a walk-in vaccine heart in Romford, UK

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg through Getty Photos

13 December

All adults in England shall be provided a booster dose of a covid-19 vaccine nevertheless it is probably not sufficient to cease the unfold of omicron, warn scientists

England’s vaccination programme shall be accelerated to supply all over-18s in the country a booster dose from this week, in gentle of hovering instances of the omicron variant. 

Prime minister Boris Johnson declared an “omicron emergency” yesterday in a televised briefing. The UK authorities plans to deliver one million booster jabs a day this month 156,000 more than the UK’s previous record of 844,000 per day in March.

However the booster programme will have to be accompanied by different measures to restrict the influence of the omicron variant, scientists have warned.

“This concept that youngsters can go to high school if somebody of their home has covid is simply silly,” Christina Pagel of College School London advised The Guardian. “We ought to be saying no events, no gatherings greater than 10 folks, say. We’d like to consider shifting again down the roadmap and proscribing contact.”

Different researchers are calling for kids aged between 5 and 11 to be vaccinated within the UK. 

“There’s been no dialogue of how we’re going to guard youngsters in January when faculties reopen,” Deepti Gurdasani at Queen Mary University of London told The Guardian. “The US has vaccinated 5 million youngsters. The EMA [European Medicines Agency] has permitted, FDA [US Food and Drug Administration] has permitted, [but] there’s no phrase from the MHRA [the UK regulator] which is kind of gorgeous.”

Different coronavirus information

Omicron induces a decrease antibody response in these with two doses of the coronavirus jab in comparison with the delta variant, a study suggests.

Researchers on the College of Oxford analysed blood samples of individuals who got two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines. 

The workforce discovered that omicron infections generated a decrease antibody response than the delta variant. This doesn’t essentially imply that omicron is more likely to trigger extra extreme illness, nevertheless it means that vaccinated people could also be extra more likely to turn into contaminated with the variant.

“These information are vital however are just one a part of the image,” examine co-author Matthew Snape at the University of Oxford stated in a press launch. Snape and his colleagues solely checked out neutralising antibodies after a second dose, however didn’t take a look at different types of immunity, corresponding to that conferred by T-cells.

“Importantly, we now have not but assessed the influence of a ‘third dose’ booster, which we all know considerably will increase antibody concentrations, and it’s doubtless that this can result in improved efficiency in opposition to the omicron variant,” Snape stated.

Thus far, UK data suggests {that a} third vaccine dose considerably raises safety in opposition to symptomatic an infection with the omicron variant.

Little or no is understood concerning the medical severity of the omicron variant, the World Health Organization has said.

However the general threat the variant poses is excessive, because of its excessive transmission charges and preliminary proof suggesting that the variant escapes some types of immunity, the organisation has warned.

The US recorded its 800,000th dying from coronavirus on Sunday, in keeping with a tally by the Reuters news agency. Over 450,000 folks within the US have died from covid-19 because the begin of this 12 months.

 

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Commuters make their manner throughout London Bridge on 9 December, 2021 in London, England

Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Photos

10 December

Omicron variant could also be spreading quicker in UK than in South Africa

The UK goes to see a big wave of omicron instances and deaths within the subsequent few months, a scientist advising the federal government has stated. John Edmunds of the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Medication, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), stated that sequencing urged omicron had been round since mid-October and the variant could also be spreading even quicker within the UK than it’s in South Africa, the place it was first detected.

“I feel over the following two months, we’re going to see a very reasonably giant wave of omicron,” he stated at a Royal Society of Medication briefing. “We’re getting giant numbers of instances and that may end in a lot of hospitalisations and, sadly, it can end in a lot of deaths, I’m fairly positive of that.”

The UK Well being Safety Company recognized an extra 249 omicron instances on Thursday, virtually twice the quantity introduced the day earlier than, bringing the UK whole to 817. At this charge of progress, the UK might have greater than 60,000 instances of omicron earlier than Christmas, Edmunds stated.

The general covid-19 numbers within the UK present instances rising 8 per cent week-on-week and hospital admissions rising 3.9 per cent, whereas deaths have risen by 0.7 per cent.

In South Africa, covid-19 instances have surged by 255 per cent up to now week. The nation’s largest non-public healthcare supplier stated it’s seeing sufferers with milder signs than these in earlier waves, with fewer requiring oxygen remedy.

A report from SPI-M-O, a modelling group advising the UK authorities, says if the traits of omicron estimated from South Africa apply within the UK, there’s the potential for a peak of infections a lot bigger than the one seen in January 2021. “If omicron within the UK combines elevated transmissibility and immune escape, regardless of severity, it’s extremely doubtless that very stringent measures could be required to manage progress and preserve R beneath 1,” the report stated.

Different coronavirus information

At a Christmas celebration in Oslo, Norway, 80 out of 111 individuals who attended have been subsequently identified with covid-19, according to a report by the Norwegian Institute of Public Well being. Genetic sequencing has confirmed 17 of these instances as being linked to the omicron variant, and the researchers suppose it’s doubtless that many of the others are additionally contaminated with omicron. The overwhelming majority of the individuals have been vaccinated with two doses of mRNA vaccine. 

Australia will start vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 in opposition to covid-19 in January, prime minister Scott Morrison has stated. The rollout will initially use two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, eight weeks aside. Regulators are additionally contemplating whether or not to approve the Moderna vaccine for this age group. 

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UK prime minister Boris Johnson, heart, chief medical officer for England Chris Whitty, left, and chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance.

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9 December

Masks-wearing guidelines prolonged beneath new coronavirus measures in England

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has introduced new measures in England to cut back the unfold of covid-19 with cases of the omicron variant growing rapidly. Necessary mask-wearing shall be prolonged to indoor public venues together with cinemas, theatres and locations of worship from Friday however won’t be required in pubs and eating places, whereas the steerage to work at home the place doable will return on Monday. The NHS covid pass, which will be obtained by having two vaccines or a damaging lateral circulate take a look at, shall be required for entry into nightclubs and different giant venues from 15 December.

Johnson warned it’s clear that the brand new variant is “rising a lot quicker” than the delta variant, and instances of omicron may very well be doubling each two or three days. He stated Christmas parties and nativities might go forward, however urged folks to “train due warning” and get their booster jabs.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) warned omicron is spreading “quickly” and it’s doable hospital admissions from the brand new variant in England might exceed 1000 per day – and nonetheless be growing – by the top of the 12 months. “The general scale of any wave of hospitalisations with out interventions is very unsure, however the peak might attain a number of instances this stage,” the minutes from a gathering held on Tuesday stated.

Different coronavirus information

Individuals who have three doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine have excessive sufficient antibody ranges to neutralise the omicron variant, according to laboratory tests carried out by the vaccine makers. In blood samples taken round a month after the third dose, antibodies neutralised the omicron variant about as successfully as two doses neutralised the unique SARS-CoV2 virus. Having solely two doses of the vaccine ends in decrease ranges of neutralising antibodies, however might nonetheless shield in opposition to extreme illness, the businesses stated.

The US medicines regulator has approved a new therapy to stop covid-19 infections in folks with weak immune programs or a historical past of extreme unwanted effects from coronavirus vaccines. Evushield, made by AstraZeneca, is made up of two lab-made antibodies that linger within the physique for months. A trial discovered that it cuts the danger of individuals growing covid-19 signs by 77 per cent.

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How doubtless is reinfection? Early proof from South Africa means that individuals who have had covid-19 earlier than usually tend to get reinfected by the omicron variant, however they nonetheless have a excessive stage of immunity. 

Maria Van Kerkhove interview: The World Well being Group’s technical lead on covid-19 spoke to New Scientist concerning the omicron variant, how she is approaching the festive season and the way 2022 would possibly pan out.

 

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Vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine.

Alberto Pezzali/AP/Shutterstock

8 December

Small examine exhibits the omicron variant is much less affected by Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine antibodies

A number of the first assessments of the omicron variant in opposition to blood samples present the virus has vital capability to evade the immune response – however that some safety stays, particularly in individuals who have had booster vaccines.

The examine of 12 folks in South Africa discovered that antibodies triggered by the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines and prior infections have been on common 40 instances much less potent at blocking omicron than they have been the unique coronavirus variant. This doesn’t translate to the vaccine’s general effectiveness, nonetheless, because the immune system includes a number of different parts, corresponding to T-cells, which attack virus-infected cells directly.

The study, which was posted on-line yesterday, additionally discovered stronger safety from antibodies in individuals who had been contaminated earlier than being vaccinated. 5 out of six individuals who had been contaminated with the unique variant earlier than they’d their two vaccine doses had stronger antibodies in opposition to omicron. 

This means that individuals who have had three vaccine doses might have equally good safety in opposition to omicron, Danny Altmann at Imperial School London, who was not concerned within the examine, stated in a press release. “Those that’ve seen [the virus spike protein] thrice, both by boosting or by an infection plus two doses, seem usually within the security zone. Those that are unvaccinated, and even two-dose vaccinated, are more likely to be extremely susceptible to an infection.”

“There’s a very giant drop in neutralisation of omicron by [Pfizer/BioNTech] immunity relative to ancestral virus,” analysis chief Alex Sigal at Africa Well being Analysis Institute in Durban, South Africa, said on Twitter yesterday. “The truth that… escape is incomplete means it’s a tractable downside with the instruments we obtained. This was higher than I anticipated of omicron.”

Different coronavirus information

UK covid-19 instances attributable to the omicron variant appear to be doubling every two to three days, a member of the federal government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) advised the BBC’s Radio 4 at the moment. Neil Ferguson, who was talking in a private capability, stated if the pattern continues, omicron is more likely to turn into the dominant UK variant earlier than Christmas.

People who find themselves 40 and over in England can now ebook booster jabs in opposition to covid-19 if three months have passed since their second vaccine dose. The interval has been decreased from six months.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has requested all companies to let folks work from home where possible. Sturgeon stated the home-working ought to proceed till a minimum of mid-January, when the recommendation could be reviewed. As of Monday, 99 instances of the omicron variant had been present in Scotland.

Convalescent plasma, obtained from folks lately contaminated with the coronavirus, is not an effective treatment for covid-19, the World Well being Group has stated.

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A affected person rests in mattress whereas their pulse oximeter is checked.

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7 December

Some psychological well being situations are related to the next threat of dying from covid-19 

Individuals who have been identified with schizophrenia in some unspecified time in the future of their life could also be 5 instances extra more likely to die from covid-19 than those that haven’t been identified with a sure psychological well being situation. 

Researchers at the University of Manchester analysed data from more than 1900 people residing within the UK who’ve had a analysis of schizophrenia, bipolar dysfunction or melancholy. They have been all individuals within the UK Biobank, a database that holds the medical and genetic info of half one million folks.

The researchers in contrast information from these folks to that from greater than 400,000 folks within the UK Biobank who had no recorded historical past of those situations. 

They discovered that, in contrast with these with no historical past of a psychological well being analysis, these with schizophrenia have been 5 instances as likely to have died from covid-19 by the end of February 2021. These with a historical past of bipolar dysfunction have been 3.76 instances extra more likely to have died, and people with a historical past of melancholy have been twice as doubtless.

Nonetheless, the UK Biobank shouldn’t be consultant of the UK inhabitants. Many of the individuals are over the age of 65 and about 95 per cent of the overall pattern is white. 

Different coronavirus information

All international arrivals to the UK will, from today, have to show a negative lateral flow or PCR test to enter the nation. 

The brand new guidelines got here into drive at 4am at the moment and have been introduced in to sort out the unfold of the omicron variant. The take a look at should have been taken inside 48 hours of departure time. 

All private employees who go to work in New York City might want to have been vaccinated in opposition to covid-19 by  27 December. 

The plans have been unveiled yesterday by the town’s mayor Invoice de Blasio. The foundations will apply to about 184,000 companies. It follows the city’s vaccine mandate for municipal workers which came into force in November. 

The mayor described it as a pre-emptive strike in opposition to the omicron variant. “We can not let covid again within the door once more,” de Blasio said in a press conference. There shall be exemptions for folks with medical or spiritual causes.

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A toddler receives a covid-19 vaccine in Canada.

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6 December

Kids in Australia aged between 5 and 11 may very well be vaccinated in January 

5 to 11-year-olds in Australia might get a coronavirus vaccine as early as 10 January, following provisional approval by the nation’s medicine regulator. 

A one-third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was permitted as protected and efficient for this age group by the Therapeutic Items Administration. 

The rollout is topic to approval by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. Like adults, the two.3 million eligible youngsters will obtain two doses of the vaccine a minimum of three weeks aside. 

Within the UK, covid-19 vaccinations are solely obtainable for these aged 12 and over. However the Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company is currently adjudicating on whether under-12s also needs to get jabbed. The US and Israel started providing the vaccine to five to 11-year-olds final month.

Different coronavirus information

The omicron variant would be the dominant pressure of coronavirus within the UK inside the subsequent few weeks in keeping with Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia. He advised the BBC that the variant is “spreading rather more quickly than the delta variant”

“The way it’s more likely to unfold within the UK remains to be unsure,” he stated. “However I feel the early indicators are [that] it can most likely unfold fairly rapidly and doubtless begin outcompeting delta, and turn into the dominant variant most likely inside the subsequent weeks or a month or so a minimum of.”

Whereas it’s too quickly to make sure how extreme infections attributable to the omicron variant are, early indicators are encouraging, in keeping with Anthony Fauci, director of the US Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses.

“Although it’s too early to actually make any definitive statements about it, so far it doesn’t seem like there’s an incredible diploma of severity to it,” Fauci told CNN on Sunday. “So far, the indicators are a bit encouraging. However we now have actually obtained to watch out earlier than we make any determinations that it’s much less extreme, or it actually doesn’t trigger any extreme sickness, similar to delta.”

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CWMBRAN, WALES - OCTOBER 05: A nurse administers a vaccine booster on October 05, 2021 in Cwmbran, Wales. Patients who attend the vaccine centre are also being offered the option of a flu vaccine. The Welsh Government has also announced that all 12 to 15-year-olds will be invited by letter to have the vaccine and the majority being administered at mass vaccination centres. In some areas, vaccination will be carried out at schools. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)

A nurse administers a booster vaccine in Cwmbran, Wales

Huw Fairclough/Getty Photos

3 December

Three totally different vaccines result in huge will increase in antibody ranges when used as boosters

Three covid-19 vaccines given as boosters in a UK trial have been protected and provoked robust immune responses, researchers have reported. The study concerned 2878 adults aged 30 or over, all of whom beforehand had two doses of both the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine or the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. They got booster vaccines 10 to 12 weeks after their second dose.

The trial examined seven vaccines as boosters: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novavax, Janssen, Moderna, Valneva and Curevac. The researchers measured ranges of antibodies and T cells within the individuals’ blood. The Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines all produced robust antibody and T cell responses, no matter which vaccine had been given for the primary two doses. The outcomes recommend that folks’s immunity from covid-19 elevated, though the examine doesn’t but embody information on how effectively persons are protected in opposition to an infection or illness.

The trial was carried out in early 2021, when alpha was the dominant coronavirus variant within the UK. Saul Faust, the trial lead at College Hospital Southampton NHS Basis Belief, stated that though this trial can not present how efficient boosters are in opposition to the omicron variant, the T cell responses may very well be useful on this respect.

“Despite the fact that we don’t correctly perceive its relation to long-term immunity, the T cell information is displaying us that it does appear to be broader in opposition to all of the variant strains, which supplies us hope {that a} variant pressure of the virus would possibly have the ability to be dealt with, actually for hospitalisation and dying if not prevention of an infection, by the present vaccines,” Faust advised the Press Affiliation.

Different coronavirus information

A better proportion of Black and south Asian persons are dying with covid-19 than white folks within the UK, regardless of case numbers within the latter group being increased, a examine has warned. The final report into covid-19 disparities, produced by the UK Cupboard Workplace’s Race Disparity Unit, outlines the primary threat components in ethnic minority teams. These embody occupation, significantly within the case of frontline staff, and family measurement, particularly for these containing schoolchildren and older relations. Residing in densely populated areas with increased ranges of deprivation was additionally a threat issue. Raghib Ali, the UK authorities’s impartial adviser on covid-19 and ethnicity, stated the upper charges of hospitalisation and dying for south Asian and Black folks virtually actually displays variations in vaccination charges.

There may very well be greater than 230,000 new instances of put up traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD) in England because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has warned. The determine comes from modelling work by the NHS Technique Unit, forecasting new referrals for PTSD between 2020/21 and 2022/23. Some covid-19 sufferers who wanted hospital care and frontline healthcare workers are regarded as significantly prone to PTSD. Research have discovered that 35 per cent of covid-19 patients put on a ventilator and 40 per cent of intensive care staff report signs of PTSD.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccines for kids: In contrast with different high-income international locations, the UK has been sluggish to approve and roll out covid-19 vaccines to teenagers, prompting issues over lengthy covid and the brand new omicron variant.

 

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shiraaz Mohamed/AP/Shutterstock (12626412b) Hospital worker ensures people practice social distancing as they wait in line to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Lenasia South Hospital, near Johannesburg, South Africa, . Despite the global worry, doctors in South Africa are reporting patients with the omicron variant are suffering mostly mild symptoms so far. But they warn that it is early Virus outbreak , Lenasia, South Africa - 30 Nov 2021

Individuals wait to get vaccinated on the Lenasia South Hospital close to Johannesburg, South Africa

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2 December

Omicron has turn into the dominant variant in South Africa

The omicron variant of the coronavirus is driving a pointy rise in covid-19 infections in South Africa and has quickly turn into the dominant variant within the nation, well being officers have stated.

Yesterday, South Africa reported 8561 new covid-19 instances, virtually double the rely from the day past. The proportion of assessments with constructive outcomes jumped to 16.5 per cent on Wednesday from 10.2 per cent a day earlier than, the Nationwide Institute for Communicable Illnesses (NICD) stated, a powerful indication that the rise in instances shouldn’t be merely because of elevated testing.

The NICD stated omicron, which was first detected on 8 November, accounted for 74 per cent out of 249 virus genomes it sequenced final month. There may be concern that omicron could get round immunity to some extent, however “safety in opposition to extreme illness and vaccines ought to be much less affected”, the institute’s newest surveillance report stated.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, World Well being Group scientist Maria Van Kerkhove stated it’s too early to inform if the brand new variant is extra transmissible than delta. “We count on to have extra info on transmission inside days, not essentially weeks, however in days,” she stated.

No less than 24 international locations have now detected the omicron variant and lots of extra have tightened border controls as a precaution.

Different coronavirus information

The UK has approved a new antibody-based drug treatment for covid-19 made by GlaxoSmithKline. The corporate says preliminary assessments within the lab recommend that it really works in opposition to the omicron variant. Medical trial outcomes discovered that Xevudy (sotrovimab) cuts hospital admission and dying by 79 per cent in folks at excessive threat. The Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company has authorised the remedy for folks with gentle to reasonable covid-19 who’re at excessive threat of growing extreme illness. The UK authorities has ordered round 100,000 doses of the drug.

Scientists imagine they might have discovered the set off behind the extraordinarily uncommon blood clot issues linked to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. A study suggests the response will be traced to the best way adenoviruses, that are utilized by the vaccine to shuttle the coronavirus’ genetic materials into cells, bind with a protein within the blood often known as platelet issue 4 (PF4). Researchers suppose this will spark a sequence response within the immune system which may culminate within the improvement of blood clots – a situation often known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Booster vaccines: Emerging evidence on vaccine booster programmes reveals {that a} third dose can take folks’s coronavirus safety to unexpectedly excessive ranges.

New vaccines for omicron: Vaccine-makers are already adapting vaccines to fight the omicron coronavirus variant, however it can most likely have already got swept the world by the point these arrive.

A mobile NHS Health On The Move Vaccination service was in Chesham town centre today on market day providing Covid-19 vaccinations and booster jabs. There were queues all morning as people were keen to get their Covid-19 booster jabs before Christmas Covid-19 NHS Mobile Booster Jabs, Chesham, UK - 24 Nov 2021

A cell NHS vaccination service

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29 November

All UK adults to be provided booster jab

Covid-19 vaccine booster doses shall be offered to everyone over the age of 18 in the UK. The transfer follows a advice from the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) yesterday, and is meant to restrict the influence of the omicron coronavirus variant.

The minimal hole between an individual’s second vaccine dose and their booster can also be to be halved from six months to a few months, based mostly on suggestions made by the JCVI.

The committee additionally really useful that youngsters aged between 12 and 15 ought to be invited for a second jab.

Different coronavirus information

Face coverings at the moment are mandatory again in shops and on public transport in England, as of 4am at the moment. The restrictions have been put in place following the detection of 14 cases of omicron in the UK. Face coverings haven’t been mandated by the UK authorities since 19 July 2021

The omicron variant is a “cause for concern, not panic”, in keeping with US president Joe Biden. No instances of the variant have been found within the US to date, however Biden stated it was “virtually inevitable” that they’d be discovered quickly. “We’re going to combat and beat this new variant,” he told journalists on the White Home on Monday.

The omicron variant was first detected in South Africa, and has prompted calls for prime revenue international locations to donate extra vaccine doses to decrease revenue international locations. China’s president Xi Jinping introduced yesterday that the nation will give one billion doses of coronavirus vaccines to Africa. He stated 600 million doses could be donated immediately, whereas the opposite 400 million doses could be offered by way of joint partnerships between Chinese language companies and African international locations.

 

People in snow in scotland, uk

Six instances of omicron have been recognized in Scotland.

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29 November

Six omicron instances recognized in Scotland

Six instances of the omicron coronavirus variant have been recognized in Scotland, it was introduced at the moment. A number of the people affected don’t have any current historical past of journey, and the supply of their infections shouldn’t be clear.

Contact tracers are looking for the origin of the virus in Scotland. All shut contacts of suspected omicron instances are suggested to self-isolate for ten days – no matter vaccination standing. The information follows the affirmation of three different UK instances of the variant over the weekend in Essex, Nottingham and London.

The omicron variant poses a “very excessive” international threat of an infection, the World Well being Organisation (WHO) stated on Sunday.

The company warned that “there may very well be future surges of covid-19, which might have extreme penalties”. Member states have been urged to speed up vaccination programmes, significantly for people who find themselves susceptible and those that are usually not but totally vaccinated.

No deaths have been linked to the variant to date. Omicron was first detected on 23 November in South Africa, and new instances have since been uncovered within the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia.

Japan will ban all international travellers getting into the nation from tomorrow in gentle of the emergence of the omicron variant. Israel has quickly restricted the entry of vacationers as of 28 November, and Morocco has applied a two-week suspension of incoming passenger flights as of 29 November.

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An indication at a museum requires guests to be vaccinated in opposition to covid-19, New York, US

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23 November

Unvaccinated people within the US are more likely to die from covid-19, CDC says

Unvaccinated folks within the US are at a 14 instances better threat of dying from covid-19 than those that are totally vaccinated in opposition to coronavirus, in keeping with data from September published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Unvaccinated people are additionally virtually six instances as more likely to take a look at constructive for the virus. Whereas 196.4 million folks within the US are totally vaccinated, and over 36 million have obtained a booster dose, greater than 47 million adults and 12.4 million youngsters are but to be totally vaccinated, CDC director Rochelle Wallensky told journalists at a White House press briefing on Monday.

The same image is rising within the UK, the place “covid-19 is now not a illness of the vaccinated”, in keeping with Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group on the College of Oxford. The “ongoing horror” of individuals with covid-19 combating for breath in intensive care models in hospitals throughout Britain “is now largely restricted to unvaccinated folks”, Pollard writes in The Guardian

Different coronavirus information

Individuals in England who’re planning to go to crowded enclosed areas at the moment are being suggested by the UK authorities to first take lateral circulate assessments. People who find themselves visiting people who’re at the next threat of turning into severely sick with covid-19 may “want to take a speedy lateral circulate take a look at”, the government’s website states

It’s the first time official steerage has inspired members of the general public to take covid assessments earlier than collaborating in sure actions. 

The Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine is 100 per cent efficient in 12-to-15-year-olds a minimum of 4 months after a second dose, according to trial results described in a statement by the 2 firms.

The section 3 trial included 2228 volunteers. Whereas 30 of the unvaccinated volunteers developed symptomatic instances of covid-19, no such instances developed amongst those that had been given two doses of the vaccine. 

No severe security issues have been noticed throughout a six-month observe up interval, say the 2 firms. All 12-to-15-year-olds in the UK are currently being offered a single dose of the vaccine

Dashboard: Use our covid-19 dashboard to remain updated with deaths, instances and vaccination charges all over the world

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Closed Christmas stands within the metropolis centre, Vienna, Austria.

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22 November

Austria enters its fourth lockdown as coronavirus instances surge

Austria went again into lockdown at the moment – turning into the primary European nation to take action in response to the newest surge in covid-19 infections seen throughout the continent.

It’s the nation’s fourth nationwide lockdown because the pandemic started. Individuals can solely depart house for work, train and grocery procuring. Non-essential outlets, eating places, bars and cinemas shall be closed till 12 December – although officers say lockdown measures shall be reassessed in 10 days’ time. 

Austria is at the moment reporting 173,500 energetic coronavirus infections. 1,102 coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents have been recorded on 20 November. The UK, by comparability, is at the moment reporting a determine of 418 cases per 100,000 people in the 7 days up to 16 November

Different coronavirus information

Water cannons and tear gasoline have been deployed in opposition to folks protesting covid restrictions in Brussels on Sunday.  

Round 35,000 people gathered to protest new covid guidelines, which embody the necessary sporting of face coverings in public areas and dealing from house. Some protesters threw objects at police, who then used water cannons and tear gasoline to disperse the crowds. 

Restrictions protests have additionally occured in Austria, the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland.

Time is running out to prevent a “dangerous” surge of coronavirus infections within the US, Anthony Fauci, director of the US Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses (NIAID) stated yesterday.

Coronavirus instances within the US are rising once more, with new instances approaching 100,000 per day. Tens of millions of individuals within the US are likely to journey to go to household throughout the Thanksgiving vacation, which this 12 months falls on 25 November. This might result in an extra surge in instances, Fauci warns.

All US adults which might be eligible for a vaccine booster ought to get one, Fauci told CNN on Sunday. “As we’re entering into the vacation season, you wish to be totally protected,” he stated. “Backside line… get boosted.”

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A girl sporting a face masks walks previous a avenue mural in Hong Kong

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18 November

Evaluation of research reinforces the effectiveness of face coverings, handwashing and social distancing

Masks sporting is likely one of the simplest public well being measures for stopping covid-19, and is related to a 53 per cent discount within the incidence of the illness, in keeping with a overview of printed analysis.

Stella Talic at Monash College in Australia and her colleagues carried out a meta-analysis utilizing information from 72 research to evaluate the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions – measures that don’t contain medicine – at containing the virus.

Handwashing was additionally estimated to be related to a 53 per cent discount in covid-19 incidence, however this consequence was not statistically vital as a result of solely a small variety of research on it have been included. Bodily distancing was related to a 25 per cent discount in covid-19 incidence.

“It’s doubtless that additional management of the covid-19 pandemic relies upon not solely on excessive vaccination protection and its effectiveness but additionally on ongoing adherence to efficient and sustainable public well being measures,” Talic and her colleagues write within the British Medical Journal.

We up to date the above story on 25 November to make clear that the overview discovered associations between these measures and decreased covid-19 incidence.

Different coronavirus information

Kids aged 12 to 17 who’ve had a covid-19 an infection shouldn’t get a vaccine till 12 weeks later, in keeping with new guidance in the UK. This might assist to cut back the “very, very small” threat of coronary heart irritation after vaccination, consultants from the UK Well being Safety Company stated. The present case charges of myocarditis after vaccination amongst under-18s are suspected to be round 9 per million vaccinations, and instances have been “comparatively gentle”, officers stated. Research suggests that myocarditis is much more likely to occur after a coronavirus an infection than after vaccination. For older folks and for anybody who’s excessive threat and aged 12 or over, the present recommendation is that they need to wait 4 weeks between covid an infection and having a dose of vaccine. 

A fourth wave of the pandemic is hitting Germany “with full force”, chancellor Angela Merkel has stated forward of a disaster assembly with regional leaders. Authorities are contemplating new measures to exchange nationwide guidelines that expire on the finish of the month. Lothar Wieler, the director of the Robert Koch Institute, a German authorities company, stated the nation is heading in the direction of a severe emergency, with hospitals already struggling to seek out area for sufferers. “We’re going to have a very horrible Christmas if we don’t take countermeasures now.”

AstraZeneca has reported that its preventative antibody drug AZD7442 offered 83 per cent protection in opposition to covid-19 over six months in a medical trial. The injected remedy might present an alternate possibility for stopping sickness in individuals who don’t mount immune response to vaccines.

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A nurse prepares to manage the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine, London, UK

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17 November

A fifth of cyberattacks in UK focused vaccine companies or well being organisations 

Hackers targeted labs this year that were crucial to the UK’s pandemic response, in keeping with the Nationwide Cyber Safety Centre. 

The watchdog stated that it dealt with a report 777 cyberattack incidents between August 2020 and September 2021. A fifth of those focused companies have been linked to vaccines and the well being sector.

It additionally stated that it helped the College of Oxford’s AstraZeneca vaccine researchers shield themselves in opposition to an tried ransomware assault that would have had main ramifications for the UK’s pandemic response. 

Different coronavirus information

Pfizer has allowed cheaper versions of its prospective antiviral covid-19 capsule to be made in poorer international locations – granting entry to a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of individuals.

The pharmaceutical big says it can enable generic copies of Paxlovid to be made in 95 low and middle-income international locations, protecting 53 per cent of the inhabitants. 

Ireland’s bars, restaurants and nightclubs will have a midnight curfew from Thursday to curb coronavirus infections. Eire’s prime minister, Micheal Martin, additionally stated that everybody ought to work at home except it’s “completely mandatory” to not.

Strict covid rules came into force in Beijing, China, today because the nation gears up for the Winter Olympics subsequent 12 months. Anybody visiting the town should present a damaging covid take a look at from the previous 48 hours.

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The Nationwide Covid Memorial Wall on the South Financial institution of the River Thames, London.

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16 November

995 covid-related deaths have been recorded within the week ending 5 November

The week ending 5 November noticed the best quantity of covid-related deaths in England and Wales since March. The UK Workplace for Nationwide Statistics reported 995 covid-related deaths in that week, representing 8.6 per cent of all deaths. It’s the largest determine because the week ending 12 March, and  a 16 per cent rise on the variety of covid-related deaths from the earlier week.

In whole, 168,600 dying certificates have talked about covid-19 within the UK because the pandemic started. The very best quantity on a single day was 1,484 on 19 January 2021.

Different coronavirus information

Antidepressant use is linked to a decrease threat of dying from covid-19, according to an analysis of medical records in the US. Researchers in California assessed a database of round 83,500 folks identified with covid-19. The 3401 people who have been taking fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), seemed to be extra more likely to survive the an infection. 

“We will’t inform if the medicine are inflicting these results, however the statistical evaluation is displaying vital affiliation,” says Marina Sirota at the University of California, San Francisco.

Journey restrictions in India have been removed for totally vaccinated vacationers for the primary time because the pandemic started. Many travellers should additionally take a look at damaging for the virus inside 72 hours of their flight, though this received’t apply to these visiting from international locations which have an settlement with India in place, corresponding to these from the US, UK and another European international locations.

Amazon has been fined $500,000 by California officers for failing to “adequately notify” staff about new covid-19 instances within the office.

Amazon employs round 150,000 folks in California, most of whom work within the firm’s mammoth warehouses. California state requires firms to inform staff about new coronavirus instances amongst workers.

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A girl receives her covid-19 vaccination booster jab, London, UK

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15 November

16 and 17-year-olds set to be provided second doses of covid-19 vaccines

The UK’s covid-19 vaccine booster programme shall be prolonged to incorporate all 40 to 49-year-olds, following a recommendation from the government’s vaccination advisers. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has suggested that each one adults over the age of 40 ought to be provided a booster, six months after their second dose.

It has additionally suggested 16 and 17-year-olds to return ahead for a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, which ought to be given a minimum of 12 weeks after the primary.

Till now, boosters have been provided to folks over 50 and youthful people who find themselves clinically susceptible, and 12.6 million folks have had a 3rd covid-19 jab to date. The JCVI stated folks ought to be provided the Pfizer or Moderna jab as a booster, regardless of which vaccine they had initially.

Sajid Javid, the well being secretary, stated the recommendation has been accepted in England and NHS England has been instructed to implement it as quickly as doable. The Scottish authorities additionally stated it might prolong the booster programme.

The announcement comes as a brand new examine from the UK Well being Safety Company finds that booster vaccines cut back the danger of symptomatic covid-19 by at least 93 per cent in adults over 50. Safety in opposition to extra extreme illness and dying is predicted to be even increased.

“Booster vaccine doses in additional susceptible adults, and second vaccine doses in 16 to 17-year-olds are vital methods to extend our safety in opposition to covid-19 an infection and extreme illness,” Wei Shen Lim, chair of covid-19 immunisation for the JCVI, stated in a press release. “These vaccinations can even assist prolong our safety into 2022.”

Different coronavirus information

Austria has ordered a nationwide lockdown for anybody over 12 who shouldn’t be totally vaccinated in opposition to covid-19. This group – round 2 million folks – will solely be allowed to go away house for restricted causes, together with going to work or purchasing for necessities. Round 65 per cent of the inhabitants is totally vaccinated, one of many lowest charges in Europe. 

A brand new covid-19 vaccine that works through T-cells reasonably than antibodies is about to enter human trials. Current covid-19 vaccines primarily intention to generate immunity based mostly on antibodies, proteins that persist with the virus and cease it from infecting cells. T-cells are one other a part of the immune system that discover and destroy contaminated cells, and they’re thought to supply longer-lasting immunity. The experimental vaccine is run through a pores and skin patch. Emergex, the corporate that developed it, has been given a inexperienced gentle to hold out an preliminary trial involving 26 folks in Lausanne, Switzerland, The Guardian reports.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Covid-19 in wild animals: Current research recommend that SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes covid-19, is rife amongst white-tailed deer in North America. Animal reservoirs of the virus enhance the possibilities of probably harmful new variants rising and crossing again into people.

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Remedy of covid-19 sufferers in Uzhhorod hospital, Ukraine

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11 November

Covid-19 instances rising in Europe however steady or falling in remainder of the world

Coronavirus deaths in Europe jumped by 10 per cent within the week to 7 November, in keeping with the newest epidemiological update from the World Well being Group (WHO). New instances of covid-19 elevated by 7 per cent in Europe, whereas different areas noticed case numbers stay steady or decline. The worldwide variety of recorded covid-19 deaths within the week was 48,000, a 4 per cent lower from the earlier week.

Europe had the best incidence of confirmed instances, with 208.9 instances per 100,000 inhabitants, forward of the Americas which had 68.8 new instances per 100,000.

Hans Kluge, the WHO director for Europe, stated the area was “again on the epicentre of the pandemic” and will see one other 500,000 deaths by February if extra actions aren’t taken to restrict the unfold of the virus, Euronews studies.

The international locations with the best numbers of latest instances are the US, Russia, UK, Turkey and Germany. In Russia, over 1000 deaths have been reported each day since late October. Some hospitals in Germany are reportedly unable to confess new sufferers due to the excessive numbers of individuals needing therapy for covid-19.

Different coronavirus information

Tens of hundreds of care house workers in England who haven’t had two coronavirus vaccine doses shall be unable to legally work in care properties from at the moment as a compulsory jab coverage comes into impact. Employees working in registered care properties in England should have had each jabs to proceed of their position except they’re medically exempt. Official figures due  later at the moment are anticipated to indicate that greater than 50,000 present workers in care properties haven’t been recorded as having had each doses as of seven November, 4 days earlier than the deadline. A number of thousand of those are understood to have self-certified as medically exempt or to have utilized for formal proof. 

A examine displaying that some folks could have had pre-existing immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus throughout the first wave of the pandemic has raised hopes {that a} common coronavirus vaccine may very well be developed. The analysis discovered that some healthcare staff within the UK who have been often examined encountered the covid-19 virus however by no means grew to become totally contaminated with it or developed covid-19 antibodies. These persons are thought to have had an immune reminiscence of their T cells due to publicity to other coronaviruses that trigger seasonal colds. Read New Scientist’s story to find out more.

The variety of antibiotic prescriptions in England throughout the first 12 months of the covid-19 pandemic dropped by 17 per cent in contrast with the earlier 12 months, in keeping with evaluation by the charity Antibiotic Research UK. Prescriptions within the winter have been solely 4 per cent increased than in the summertime, in contrast with a 21 per cent seasonal distinction earlier than the pandemic. The pattern could also be due partially to much less an infection transmission throughout lockdowns. 

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A vaccinator administers the Pfizer/BioNTech booster covid-19 vaccine

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10 November

France follows Israel in beginning to make booster pictures a requirement for vaccine passes for the over-65s

French folks aged over 65 must have a 3rd dose of the coronavirus vaccine to show they’ve been fully vaccinated on their health passes from mid-December. The passes present if an individual has been immunised, has lately recovered from an infection or has lately had a damaging take a look at. In France they’re wanted for a lot of frequent actions together with going to eating places and bars, libraries, the gymnasium and for long-distance prepare and airplane journeys. 

President Emmanuel Macron additionally stated yesterday that boosters could be obtainable for folks between the ages of fifty and 65 from subsequent month, and that use of well being passes would enhance. Though an infection charges in France are decrease than in another European international locations corresponding to Germany, they’re rising. Macron stated a “fifth wave” of covid-19 had arrived in Europe. “We aren’t but completed with the pandemic.” 

Israel has additionally made boosters six months after a second dose a situation for its digital vaccine certificates. In the meantime in Wales, a requirement for covid passes displaying double vaccination or a current damaging covid-19 take a look at shall be prolonged to theatres, concerts and museums from Monday

Different coronavirus information

An antiviral drugs that may be taken at house and cuts hospitalisations and deaths from covid-19 by almost 90 per cent may very well be obtainable by very early next year, the head of Pfizer UK has said. The tablets, referred to as Paxlovid, are taken twice every day for 5 days, by people who find themselves prone to growing extreme illness.

Unvaccinated folks in Singapore might face a hefty hospital invoice in the event that they want therapy for covid-19 from subsequent 12 months. The federal government has stated it can now not pay medical payments for folks with covid-19 who’re “unvaccinated by choice”.

May_parsons

Might Parsons, the nurse who administered the primary coronavirus vaccine dose in December final 12 months, receives her booster jab.

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9 November

Frontline NHS workers must have each doses of vaccine by spring

The UK authorities is predicted to announce necessary covid-19 vaccinations for frontline Nationwide Well being Service (NHS) workers in England, with a deadline of subsequent spring for each doses. The Division of Well being stated it was not commenting on hypothesis across the timing of the announcement, which the BBC stated could be in a while Tuesday. Nonetheless, NHS officers stated they count on the transfer to occur. The measure is predicted to have an effect on hundreds of unvaccinated workers working within the well being service. 

Care house staff in England have already been advised they have to be totally vaccinated by this Thursday. Based on NHS figures, tens of hundreds of care house workers weren’t recorded as having been double jabbed but as of 31 October.

NHS Suppliers chief govt Chris Hopson stated there are between 80,000 and 100,000 NHS staff in England who’re unvaccinated. “If we get it proper, truly, it may very well be fairly a helpful spur in some senses to drive the take-up up, however the bit that we simply have to be cautious of is avoiding scapegoating folks,” he advised BBC Radio 4’s As we speak programme.

Different coronavirus information

Greater than 11,000 individuals who died of covid-19 in England are thought to have caught the virus in a Nationwide Well being Service hospital, The Telegraph has reported. The determine was compiled from information collected by NHS trusts utilizing Freedom of Data legal guidelines. The trusts additionally reported over 40,000 possible or particular hospital-acquired covid-19 infections. Some trusts refused to reveal their information, suggesting the true numbers are even increased.

France’s public well being authority has really useful that folks beneath 30 ought to be given the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine rather than the Moderna vaccine, due to a uncommon aspect impact. The danger of myocarditis, a coronary heart situation, on this age group is round 5 instances much less in individuals who obtain the Pfizer jab than Moderna, the Haute Autorité de Santé said.

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The UK authorities and NHS leaders are urging folks to get their flu and covid-19 booster jabs.

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8 November

Eligible individuals who don’t take up boosters might face journey restrictions

Greater than 10 million folks have had covid-19 booster vaccines or third doses within the UK, as politicians urged others who’re eligible to get their jabs.

Individuals over 50 and people most in danger from covid-19 are amongst these eligible for a covid vaccine booster shot. From at the moment, the NHS reserving system will enable folks to ebook a booster appointment 5 months after their second dose.

The newest figures present that 10,062,704 folks within the UK have obtained a booster or third dose, with 409,663 receiving one on Saturday. However about 30 per cent of over-80s and 40 per cent of over-50s in England are but to obtain a booster, the Division of Well being and Social Care stated.

On Sunday, the UK well being secretary Sajid Javid urged eligible folks to get the vaccine, saying it might assist the nation “keep away from a return to restrictions and luxuriate in Christmas”.

According to media reports, ministers are contemplating altering journey guidelines in order that those that are eligible however refuse a 3rd dose face stricter quarantine and testing guidelines. Official steerage was up to date earlier this month to say the Authorities “is reviewing the implications and necessities of boosters for worldwide journey certification” and “ whether or not and the way booster vaccinations may very well be included within the NHS Covid Cross for journey”.

Deaths from covid-19 are more and more occurring in vaccinated folks, due to immunity waning over time, stated Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser on the UK Well being Safety Company. “It’s significantly the older age teams, so the over-70s particularly, but additionally those that are clinically susceptible, extraordinarily susceptible, and have underlying medical situations,” she stated.

Different coronavirus information

The UK will begin rolling out the covid-19 antiviral drug molnupiravir in a medical trial later this month, Susan Hopkins on the UK Well being Safety Company has stated. Molnupiravir, developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, was permitted by the UK medicines regulator final week. Trials have proven that it halves the danger of unvaccinated folks needing hospital therapy or dying, and additional trials are wanted to see the way it works within the vaccinated inhabitants, Hopkins stated.

Restrictions on travelling to the US from 33 international locations have been lifted today. The ban, protecting the UK, a lot of Europe, China and India, has been in place since early 2020. Proof of vaccination and a current damaging covid-19 take a look at at the moment are required to enter the US.

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The Pfizer constructing on forty second avenue, New York, US.

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5 November

First antiviral permitted to be used by susceptible folks at house

A brand new antiviral remedy cuts the danger of being hospitalised or dying from covid-19 by almost 90 per cent. The therapy, referred to as Paxlovid, is given twice every day for 5 days to folks outdoors of hospital who’re prone to extreme sickness.

Paxlovid, made by US agency Pfizer, is a mixture of two medicine; a compound at the moment referred to as PF-07321332, which blocks exercise of an enzyme that the coronavirus wants to copy. The second drug is known as ritonavir; developed as a therapy for HIV, it helps sluggish the breakdown of PF-07321332.

In a placebo-controlled trial of 1219 folks from everywhere in the world, 0.8 per cent of people that obtained Paxlovid inside three days of a constructive covid-19 take a look at required hospital therapy, in contrast with 7 per cent of people that obtained a placebo. The equal figures have been 1 and 6.7 per cent for many who obtained therapy inside 5 days. The outcomes haven’t but been totally printed, however have been introduced at the moment in a press release from Pfizer.

In the meantime, one other antiviral referred to as molnupiravir was permitted yesterday within the UK. This drugs can also be given twice every day to people who find themselves prone to extreme sickness however haven’t been hospitalised. Trials confirmed it halves the danger of individuals needing hospital therapy or dying.

Molnupiravir ought to be taken as quickly as doable after a constructive covid-19 take a look at, or a minimum of inside 5 days. It really works by inflicting mutations because the virus duplicates its genetic materials, stopping it from multiplying inside cells. The UK Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company (MHRA) has authorised its use for folks with at least one risk factor for severe infection, together with being 60 or older, having diabetes, coronary heart illness or weight problems. 

“We’re working at tempo to deploy molnupiravir to sufferers by way of a nationwide examine as quickly as doable,” Well being and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid stated in a press release. Penny Ward at King’s School London stated in a press release that the federal government could wish to assess its effectiveness in people who find themselves vaccinated, because the trials to date have been in unvaccinated folks.

Different coronavirus information

Opening home windows for ten minutes each hour will assist cut back the danger of catching the coronavirus indoors, folks in England are being advised in a public information campaign launching today. The important thing message of the marketing campaign, operating on radio stations and within the press, is to “Cease coronavirus hanging round”, by enhancing air flow.

Europe is as soon as once more on the “epicentre” of the covid-19 pandemic, due to international locations enjoyable prevention measures and uneven vaccine protection, the World Health Organization has said. Hans Kluge, the WHO’s Europe director, stated yesterday that each one European  international locations have been both dealing with “an actual risk of covid-19 resurgence or already combating it”.

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A girl attracts pink hearts representing particular person coronavirus deaths onto the newly-unveiled Nationwide Covid Memorial Wall in London, England.

David Cliff/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

4 November

The pandemic has led to the lack of a minimum of 28 million years of life

The pandemic led to the loss of 28 million years of life globally in 2020 – although this determine is more likely to be a extreme underestimate because it solely checked out 37 international locations.

Researchers on the College of Oxford calculated what number of years of life had been misplaced because of coronavirus in 37 international locations, together with Russia, the US and Italy. They did this by analysing extra deaths in every nation, the ages of those that died, and every nation’s common life expectancy.

They calculated that greater than 28 million years of life had been misplaced throughout 31 of the international locations they analysed. Six international locations, together with New Zealand, Denmark and South Korea, didn’t see a rise in lack of years of life because of the pandemic. Nonetheless globally, the overall misplaced years of life as a result of pandemic shall be a lot increased, and the workforce’s evaluation didn’t embody many Asian, African or South American international locations because of a scarcity of knowledge. 

The researchers additionally checked out life expectancy declines in every nation for 2020. The largest falls have been seen in Russia, the US and Bulgaria. In England and Wales, male life expectancy dropped by 1.2 years, whereas feminine life expectancy dropped by 0.8-years. 

Different coronavirus information

Coronavirus infections nearly doubled in over-65s between September and October in England. Within the newest survey by Imperial School London, about 0.8 per cent of 65 to 74-year-olds examined constructive for coronavirus, whereas 0.67 per cent of over-75s had covid-19 in between 19 and 29 October. However school-children proceed to be most in danger from an infection with almost six per cent of five-to-17-year-olds testing constructive for the virus.

India’s home-grown vaccine, Covaxin, has been approved for emergency use by the World Well being Organisation. It’s the seventh jab to be permitted by the intergovernmental physique. Greater than 105 million doses of the vaccine have been administered to folks in India to date. 

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A boy receives the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine.

JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP through Getty Picture

3 November

Covid-19 jabs for elementary-school-aged youngsters given remaining sign-off

The US is gearing as much as provide covid-19 vaccines to 5-to-11-year-olds this week, after the Pfizer/BioNTech jab handed its remaining hurdle of approval by the nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday. The vaccine has been permitted for this age group at one third of the dose used for adults and youngsters. The kid-sized doses shall be packaged in bottles with orange lids to keep away from mix-ups.

Vaccines might begin being provided this week, however will probably be subsequent week earlier than roll-out could be “totally up and operating”,  Jeff Zients of the White House said on Monday. There could be “thousands and thousands extra doses packed, shipped and delivered and hundreds of extra websites coming on-line every day”, he stated. Within the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company remains to be reviewing the youngsters’s vaccine. Yesterday Pfizer reported that its earnings and gross sales more than doubled in the past quarter, primarily due to its covid-19 vaccines.

Different coronavirus information

A member of the UK authorities’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) stepped down on the finish of October. Sir Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome well being charity, had been advocating for extra restrictions, corresponding to face masks sporting, to be introduced in as a result of UK’s present excessive stage of coronavirus infections, in keeping with Sky News. “The excessive ranges of transmission seen within the UK stay regarding,” he stated. “My focus now have to be on our work at Wellcome. This consists of supporting the worldwide analysis effort to finish the pandemic.”

The Netherlands has reintroduced covid restrictions, one of many first western European international locations to take action after measures have been relaxed over summer season. They’ll embody new necessities to put on face masks, asking folks to work at home half the week the place doable and lengthening using covid passes to restaurant terraces and museums. Based on information from Johns Hopkins College, 7727 new covid-19 instances have been reported within the Netherlands on 2 November, in contrast with 33,546 within the UK. 

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A “It’s essential self-isolate display” on the NHS covid-19 app.

Hollie Adams/Bloomberg through Getty Photos

2 November

Self-isolation compliance falls in 35 to 54-year-olds

One in 4 folks between the ages of 35 and 54 are failing to self-isolate for a full ten days after testing constructive for coronavirus, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures are based mostly on a survey of 881 folks in England performed in late September and early October. The researchers discovered that solely 75 per cent of individuals remoted for ten days after a constructive covid-19 take a look at. It’s a main drop from the 86 per cent who reported full compliance in July. 

The alternative pattern was seen in folks aged between 18 and 34, with 82 per cent reporting full compliance within the newest survey versus 75 per cent in July. 

Different coronavirus information

Round 9000 New York City public workers have been placed on unpaid depart on Monday for not being vaccinated. Town’s vaccine mandate for public sector staff got here into impact yesterday. One in 4 firefighters within the metropolis are nonetheless not vaccinated, whereas one in six police workers are additionally unjabbed. 

Indonesia has become the first country in the world to give emergency authorisation for the Novavax vaccine. Research have proven that it’s about 90 per cent efficient in opposition to symptomatic covid-19.

Disneyland Shanghai in China has been shut for at least two days because of a single customer testing constructive for coronavirus. The transfer comes because the nation goals to hit zero coronavirus infections by the point it hosts the Winter Olympics early subsequent 12 months. 

gravedigger walking

A gravedigger in Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil.

MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP through Getty Photos

1 November

International recorded covid-19 dying toll hits 5 million

The variety of whole recorded deaths from covid-19 worldwide has hit 5 million, lower than two years because the pandemic begun.

Round 7000 folks across the globe are dying from the virus every day, in keeping with figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University within the US.

However the true determine is more likely to be greater than double that. Analysis by The Economist suggests the toll might be nearer to 16.7 million deaths – after making an allowance for those that died from the illness with out realizing they’d contracted the virus and those that couldn’t be handled for different diseases as a result of hospitals have been overwhelmed with covid-19 sufferers. 

Different coronavirus information

Booster jabs are now available at walk-in sites in England for many who obtained their second dose a minimum of six months in the past and who meet sure eligibility standards, corresponding to being aged 50 or over, or being a frontline well being or social employee. It means over 30 million individuals who meet these standards will now not should ebook an appointment to get a booster shot. Greater than six million have had a booster jab or a 3rd dose to date, in keeping with NHS England.

Activists from growing international locations have been excluded from COP26 due partially to international vaccine inequality, climate change activists have claimed.Lidy Nacpil, of the Asian Individuals’s Motion on Debt and Growth, who relies within the Philippines, advised The Guardian: “The challenges and issues associated to vaccines, visas and quarantine necessities that the UK did not adequately tackle are the primary the reason why we won’t be at COP26.”

See earlier updates from September to October 2021, July to September 2021, June to July 2021May 2021, April-March 2021, February 2021, January 2021, November/December 2020, and March to November 2020.

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