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

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

Jason Alden/Bloomberg through Getty Photographs

Newest coronavirus information as of 5pm on 22 March

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

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

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

Different coronavirus information

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

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

Coronavirus circumstances are persevering with to surge in Brazil, with the nation’s health systems becoming increasingly overwhelmed. CNN reported on 22 March that in almost each state in Brazil, occupancy charges in intensive care models are at or above 80 per cent. A number of have exceeded 100 per cent, leading to sufferers being turned away. On 20 March, Felipe Augusto, mayor of the coastal city of Sao Sebastiao instructed CNN affiliate CNN Brasil that provides of essential medication required for intubating sufferers have been as a result of run out within the city after 22 March.

India recorded more than 260,000 new coronavirus cases final week, one of many nation’s largest weekly will increase because the pandemic started.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.71 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 123.3 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

Important details about coronavirus

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What to learn, watch and hearken to about coronavirus

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

Panorama: The Race for a Vaccine is a BBC documentary concerning the inside story of the event of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine 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 the eyes of the scientists on the frontline.

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

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

Belly Mujinga: Searching for the Truth is a BBC Panorama investigation of the loss of life 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 analyzing the on-going coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to struggle it and methods to handle its psychological well being toll.

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

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’s going to occur once more if we don’t do issues in a different 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 College of Hygiene and Tropical Medication, UK, and within the e-book he examines how ailments unfold and why they cease.

Intensive care unit

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

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

19 March

Germany, France and Italy are amongst European international locations seeing rising infections

Coronavirus circumstances have been rising in a lot of Europe in a 3rd wave of infections, with 20 international locations within the European Union reporting rising check positivity and 15 international locations reporting rising hospital or ICU admissions as a result of covid-19 as of 14 March, based on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. “We have now now seen 3 consecutive weeks of progress in covid-19 circumstances with over 1.2 million new circumstances reported final week throughout Europe,” mentioned World Well being Group (WHO) Europe director, Hans Kluge, at a press conference on 18 March. Kluge mentioned the faster-spreading B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, which was first detected within the UK, is changing into predominant within the area, with circumstances reported in no less than 48 out of 53 European territories up to now. “The variety of individuals dying from covid-19 in Europe is larger now than it was this time final 12 months, reflecting the widespread maintain this virus has,” Kluge added.

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

Different coronavirus information

A number of European international locations, together with Germany, France, Italy and Spain, are resuming their rollouts of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine, after an investigation by the EU’s medicines regulator concluded its advantages outweigh its dangers. A separate investigation by the WHO international advisory committee on vaccine security came to the same conclusion. Greater than 20 international locations had suspended use of the vaccine following studies of blood clots in some individuals who had obtained it. However inside hours of the European Medication Company’s assertion on 18 March, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and no less than seven different international locations mentioned they’d resume vaccinations as early as 19 March. France, nevertheless, has mentioned that solely individuals aged 55 and over ought to obtain the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, whereas Norway, Sweden and Denmark have not yet lifted their suspensions of the shot. 

The UK’s R number – the typical variety of individuals every coronavirus case infects might have risen barely. The most recent official estimate places it between 0.6 and 0.9, in comparison with the earlier week when it was estimated to be between 0.6 and 0.8. Infections are nonetheless shrinking total at a fee of between 3 and 6 per cent per day, however the fee at which they’re falling has slowed from between 4 and seven per cent per day the earlier week. The findings are in keeping with the most recent outcomes from a random swab testing survey by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics, which discovered that circumstances are no longer falling in some parts of the UK and will even be rising in some areas.

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.69 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 121.9 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

AstraZeneca vaccine

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

Christophe Ena/AP/Shutterstock

18 March

European Medicines Company concludes AstraZeneca vaccine advantages outweigh dangers

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

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

Various European international locations, together with Germany, France, Italy and Sweden, suspended use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine earlier this week as a precautionary measure. It’s as much as particular person international locations to resolve whether or not to renew administering of the vaccine. “The pandemic is costing lives,” mentioned Emer Cooke, director of the EMA, throughout a press briefing on 18 March. “We have now vaccines which are secure and efficient, that may assist forestall loss of life and hospitalization. We have to use these vaccines,” she mentioned.

Different coronavirus information

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.68 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 121.3 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

Ursula von der Leyen

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen.

JOHN THYS/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

17 March

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

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

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

Different coronavirus information

UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s former adviser Dominic Cummings has called for an investigation into the federal government’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic. Talking to MPs, Cummings described the UK’s Division of Well being and Social Care as a “smoking damage” on the time the coronavirus disaster hit, highlighting points with the procurement of non-public protecting tools through the early phases of the UK’s epidemic in 2020. In response to rising requires an inquiry, UK enterprise minister Kwasi Kwarteng instructed Sky Information it would be “premature” to launch one “when the pandemic remains to be throughout us”.

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.67 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 120.9 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

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

Boris Johnson

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

WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/PA Photographs

16 March

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

There’s rising strain for UK prime minister Boris Johnson to launch an inquiry into the UK’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic, together with from authorities scientific advisers and well being leaders, the Guardian has reported. Andrew Hayward, a member of the federal government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, instructed the Guardian in a private capability that the federal government’s decision-making processes “should be scrutinised”, with an emphasis on “studying from the long run somewhat than culpability”. Others calling for an inquiry embrace Donna Kinnair, basic secretary of the Royal School of Nursing, and Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Affiliation council. A authorities spokesperson mentioned: “We’re targeted on defending the NHS and saving lives and now just isn’t the correct time to dedicate enormous quantities of official time to an inquiry.”

Different coronavirus information

The European Medicines Company (EMA) has reiterated that there is “no indication” that the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine has prompted blood clot incidents. “The variety of thromboembolic occasions total in vaccinated individuals appears to not be larger than that seen within the basic inhabitants,” EMA chief, Emer Cooke, told a virtual press conference on 16 March. Cooke added that there have been comparable studies about blood clots associated to different coronavirus vaccines accredited to be used in Europe, together with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. On 16 March, Sweden adopted Germany, France, Italy and different European international locations in suspending use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Each the EMA and the World Well being Group (WHO) are investigating reports of blood clots in a small quantity of people that had the vaccine. The EMA is anticipated to launch outcomes from its investigation on 18 March.

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.66 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 120.3 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

Piero Cruciatti/Anadolu Company through Getty Photographs

15 March

Germany, France and Italy amongst newest international locations to pause AstraZeneca vaccine

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

“It’s most regrettable that international locations have stopped vaccination,” mentioned Peter English, former chair of the British Medical Affiliation public well being medication committee, in a statement. “It dangers doing actual hurt to the objective of vaccinating sufficient individuals to sluggish the unfold of the virus, and to finish the pandemic,” mentioned English.

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

Thailand delayed its deliberate rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine final week however right now introduced that rollout of the shots will resume.

Different coronavirus information

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.65 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 120 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

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

Kemal Softic/AP/Shutterstock

12 March

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

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

Greater than 11 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine have been administered within the UK up to now, mentioned Phil Bryan, MHRA vaccines security lead, in an announcement, including: “Reviews of blood clots obtained up to now usually are not better than the quantity that may have occurred naturally in then inhabitants.” The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company (MHRA) mentioned individuals within the UK ought to still go and get their covid-19 vaccine when requested to take action. “There’s at the moment no indication that vaccination has prompted these circumstances,” the EMA mentioned.

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

Different coronavirus information

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

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

The UK’s R number – the typical variety of individuals every coronavirus case infects – has fallen to between 0.6 and 0.8, it’s lowest level since September, based on the latest official estimate.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.63 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 118.6 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

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

REUTERS/Matthew Childs/Alamy

11 March

GSK antibody remedy diminished hospitalisation or loss of life by 85 per cent in preliminary trial

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

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

Different coronavirus information

Denmark is pausing its rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine for no less than two weeks after studies of blood clots in an undisclosed quantity of people that had the vaccine, together with one one that has reportedly died. “It is a super-cautious method,” mentioned Stephen Evans on the London College of Hygiene and Tropical Medication in a statement. “The issue with spontaneous studies of suspected adversarial reactions to a vaccine are the large issue of distinguishing a causal impact from a coincidence,” he added. Individually, Austria suspended use of a batch of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on 7 March to analyze a loss of life from blood clotting problems and a case of pulmonary embolism. Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg have reportedly additionally halted use of the batch. The European Medicines Company mentioned there was no proof up to now linking the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to the 2 Austrian circumstances, including that the variety of individuals reporting blood clots after receiving the vaccine was no larger than among the many basic inhabitants, with simply 22 circumstances among the many 3 million individuals who had obtained it as of 9 March.

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

Folks experiencing homelessness, together with these sleeping tough, might be prioritised for covid-19 vaccines in England in accordance with recommendation from the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). “Folks experiencing homelessness are more likely to have well being circumstances that put them at larger threat of loss of life from covid-19,” Wei Shen Lim, covid-19 chair for the JCVI, mentioned in an announcement. “The recommendation will assist us to guard extra people who find themselves at better threat, guaranteeing that fewer individuals change into critically unwell or die from the virus.”

Coronavirus deaths
The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.62 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 118.2 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

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

REUTERS/Hannah McKay

10 March

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

The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first recognized within the UK is between 32 and 104 per cent more deadly than previous dominant variants, based on a research published in the BMJ. The research in contrast loss of life charges amongst individuals within the UK contaminated with B.1.1.7 or different variants of the coronavirus. Earlier analysis has indicated the variant can be extra transmissible. “The exact mechanisms liable for elevated mortality related to the variant stay unsure however could possibly be associated to larger ranges of virus replication in addition to elevated transmissibility,” mentioned Lawrence Younger on the College of Warwick in a statement.

Different coronavirus information

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.61 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 117.7 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

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

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

Chris Whitty

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

Leon Neal/PA Wire/PA Photographs

9 March

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

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

Different coronavirus information

Greece’s tourism minister Harry Theocharis has mentioned people who find themselves vaccinated in opposition to covid-19, have antibodies or check unfavourable for the coronavirus can travel to Greece during the summer of 2021. “All vacationers might be topic to random testing,” Theocharis instructed the ITB Berlin commerce present on 9 March. It has been reported that the UK authorities is contemplating the potential for the NHS coronavirus app featuring a digital health passport, which might carry data on vaccinations and check outcomes. UK prime minister Boris Johnson mentioned on 8 March that vaccine passports for worldwide journey might be “a function of our life sooner or later”. 

Johnson & Johnson told the European Union it is facing supply issues that might disrupt plans to ship 55 million doses of its covid-19 vaccine to the bloc within the second quarter of 2021, Reuters studies. The EU has already confronted points associated to the availability of different covid-19 vaccines, together with these made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, which consists of a single shot, is anticipated to be accredited by the European Medicines Company on 11 March and the corporate has dedicated to ship 200 million doses to the EU in 2021.

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

Coronavirus deaths
The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.6 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 117.2 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

Children return to school

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

REUTERS/Toby Melville

8 March

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

Pupils in England started to return to school right now for the primary time since a nationwide lockdown started in January. Major faculties reopened absolutely however pupils can return to secondary faculties provided that they check unfavourable for coronavirus. Most secondary faculties are phasing reopening to permit this testing to be completed. Since January, most pupils in England have been doing classes on-line, with solely the youngsters of key staff allowed to bodily attend faculties. 

The testing of secondary college pupils is being completed with the fast assessments often known as lateral stream units. Their use is controversial as a result of they’re much less correct than customary PCR assessments, and there’s a larger threat of false positives and false negatives. Initially, authorities ministers mentioned pupils who examined optimistic with a lateral stream check wouldn’t be allowed to return to high school even when a subsequent PCR check got here again unfavourable. At present a spokesperson for the prime minister mentioned pupils may return if a PCR check got here again unfavourable. A modelling study released today means that using lateral stream assessments in faculties might be helpful if mixed with different measures reminiscent of isolating contacts.

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

Different coronavirus information

New Zealand has elevated its order of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to 10 million doses, sufficient to vaccine the whole inhabitants of almost 5 million individuals. Nevertheless, the total order won’t arrive till the second half of the 12 months. New Zealand has managed to get rid of the coronavirus however has had occasional outbreaks, together with a latest cluster brought on by the extra transmissible B.1.1.7 variant from the UK. No new circumstances have been reported since a week-long lockdown in Auckland ended. In February, the nation started vaccinating border and quarantine staff.

Folks within the US who’ve been vaccinated might be allowed to satisfy others indoors with out carrying masks, and also will not be required to isolate if they’re uncovered to identified covid-19 circumstances, based on new guidance issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We all know that individuals wish to get vaccinated to allow them to get again to doing the issues they take pleasure in with the individuals they love,” said CDC director Rochelle Walensky. The steering applies to people who find themselves two weeks previous the top of their vaccine routine – which implies two doses of the Pfizer/Biontech or Moderna vaccines, or one Johsnon & Johnson shot. Nevertheless, provided that we don’t but know the way a lot vaccines forestall individuals from catching and transmitting the virus, it’s nonetheless attainable that vaccinated individuals might infect others. Almost 10 per cent of the US inhabitants has now been vaccinated.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.59 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 116.9 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

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

FABRICE COFFRINI/EPA-EFE/Shutter

5 March

Covid-19 vaccine patents needs to be waived, says WHO chief

World Well being Group (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has mentioned he supports the temporary waiving of covid-19 vaccine patents to allow international locations to fabricate and promote vaccine copies at diminished value. “I don’t consider that globally we’re exercising our full manufacturing muscle at current. For instance, some producers haven’t been capable of produce profitable vaccine candidates, which is to be anticipated, however their manufacturing services could possibly be repurposed for these vaccines which were confirmed to work,” he wrote in the Guardian. “Waiving patents quickly gained’t imply innovators miss out. Like through the HIV disaster or in a struggle, corporations might be paid royalties for the merchandise they manufacture.” 

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

Different coronavirus information

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.57 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 115.7 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

Vaccine fast track

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

Christopher Furlong/Getty Photographs

4 March

Approval of covid-19 vaccines modified to work in opposition to virus variants could possibly be accelerated within the UK

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

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

Different coronavirus information

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

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

The speed of covid-19 Infections in England is shrinking less quickly than it was earlier in 2021, based on recent results from the REACT research by researchers at Imperial School London. The research signifies one in 204 individuals have been contaminated between 4 and 23 February, down solely barely from one in 196 through the interval between 4 and 13 February, suggesting the autumn in infections seen since January has slowed.

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.56 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 115.3 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

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

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

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

3 March

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

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

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

Different coronavirus information

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

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

UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak announced an additional £1.65 billion to help the UK’s covid-19 vaccine rollout within the newest price range.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.55 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 114.8 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

Vaccinations cut death rate in over 80s

An aged affected person receiving the COVID-19 vaccination

Andrew Aitchison / In Footage v

2 March

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

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

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

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

Different coronavirus information

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

Germany is anticipated to start easing some coronavirus restrictions from 8 March. Below new draft guidelines, a most of 5 individuals from two households could be allowed to satisfy. Presently, conferences are restricted to a most of two individuals. Some outlets and salons would even be allowed to reopen. The draft plans for alleviating measures might be mentioned by nationwide and state authorities leaders on 3 March.

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

Covid deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.54 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 114.5 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

Brazil coronavirus variant

BRISTOL, ENGLAND – MARCH 1: A employee takes a coronavirus check by the window of a automobile.

Matthew Horwood/Getty Photographs

1 March

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

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

UK prime minister Boris Johnson mentioned the federal government has no intention to reverse its plans to ease coronavirus restrictions in England. “Our complete technique is to go ahead in a manner that’s cautious however irreversible. And we don’t assume that there’s any motive on this foundation to alter that now,” he instructed journalists on 1 March. Below the federal government’s present plans, faculties in England are anticipated to reopen on 8 March. To help this deliberate reopening of faculties, the federal government has mentioned that households with kids in class will be capable to test themselves for coronavirus twice per week from residence, freed from cost.

Throughout the UK, more than 20 million people have obtained a primary dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

Different coronavirus information

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

The European Fee plans to current a proposal on creating an EU-wide digital covid-19 passport, which may permit EU residents to journey extra freely inside the bloc through the summer season. The “digital inexperienced cross” would offer proof that an individual has been vaccinated in opposition to covid-19 or coronavirus check outcomes for many who haven’t been vaccinated. “The purpose is to step by step allow them to maneuver safely within the European Union or overseas – for work or tourism,” mentioned European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen. 

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

Coronavirus deaths

Covid deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.53 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 114.2 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

Coronavirus vaccine

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

OLI SCARFF/AFP through Getty Photographs

26 February

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

There’s but extra excellent news on vaccine effectiveness. A research based mostly on almost 9000 coronavirus assessments completed on healthcare staff in Cambridge, UK, has discovered that asymptomatic infections fell by 75 per cent 12 days after they bought one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. There was an identical discount in symptomatic infections.

The discovering is important as a result of it exhibits the vaccine will tremendously cut back the unfold of the virus. It was already clear from scientific trials and former research that the Pfizer vaccine is extremely efficient at stopping symptomatic infections however we didn’t know how many vaccinated people might still get infected with out signs and doubtlessly cross the illness on to others.

“It will imply a considerable discount in transmission of the virus as an increasing number of individuals are vaccinated, which is admittedly nice information,” research chief Mike Weekes on the College of Cambridge, told the Guardian.

Different coronavirus information

Fifty million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been given to individuals within the US since President Joe Biden took workplace 37 days in the past, taking the entire to round 67 million. Biden had promised to ship 100 million doses in his first 100 days, so his administration is on the right track to comfortably beat this goal. However he warned that things will not return to normal soon. “This isn’t a victory lap. All the things just isn’t mounted. We have now an extended strategy to go. And that day when every thing is again to regular is dependent upon all of us,” Biden mentioned.

New Zealand has reported one more locally acquired case of coronavirus. The contaminated individual went to work at a quick meals restaurant on Monday despite being told to isolate at residence. However officers say the small cluster of circumstances in Auckland is beneath management, and haven’t imposed one other lockdown on town. “It is a state of affairs the place we all know the supply of the circumstances [and] we all know the place there might have been contact with others,” mentioned Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.5 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 113 million, based on Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances might be a lot larger.

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

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