Covid-19 news: Pregnant women added to UKs vaccine priority list

A pregnant lady with a plaster on her arm

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Latest coronavirus information as of 11am on 17 December

UK vaccine committee urges pregnant women to e-book jabs

Pregnant women ought to be considered a scientific danger group for covid-19 and be given vaccines shortly, the UKs Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has mentioned. The knowledgeable crew advising the federal government mentioned there was rising proof displaying that women who’re pregnant are at elevated danger of great penalties from covid-19.

According to new figures revealed by the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA), 34 women have died within the UK after buying covid-19 whereas pregnant. Four new child infants have additionally died the place medics mentioned the explanation was covid-19.

Studies counsel the dying charge for pregnant women is often about 9 per 100,000 dwell births, which equates to roughly 60 pregnant women a 12 months dying from any trigger. Up to the tip 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 accordance to evaluation by the University of Oxford.

In a snapshot of instances, 1436 pregnant women had been admitted to hospital between 16 May and the tip of October this 12 months with signs of covid-19, of which 230 ended up in intensive care. More than 96 per cent of those women had been unvaccinated. Just 16 women in hospital had had two vaccine doses.

The JCVI urged all those that are unvaccinated to e-book their vaccines now, whereas women who’ve had two doses can get their booster if they’d their second vaccine dose no less than three months earlier.

The severe dangers posed to women who develop into contaminated with covid-19 throughout being pregnant have develop into more and more clear, Gayatri Amirthalingam from the UKHSA mentioned in a press release. We 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 women have security file. I’d urge all pregnant women to come ahead and get their vaccine at once. This is the easiest way to defend you and your child.

Other coronavirus information

Wales will introduce tougher restrictions after Christmas to fight the surge within the omicron coronavirus variant within the UK. The first minister, Mark Drakeford, introduced a two-phase plan together with recommendation for the Christmas interval as well as to new laws that come into pressure on 27 December. From this date, nightclubs might be closed, two-metre social distancing might be obligatory in places of work, and measures together with one-way techniques and bodily obstacles might be launched in companies to defend clients and workers. The laws may even embody a requirement to earn a living from 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 in desire to Johnson & Johnsons vaccine, due to uncommon however typically deadly blood clots. So far round 16 million individuals within the US have had the J&J vaccine, out of 200 million who’re absolutely 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. At least 9 individuals have died following these incidents.

Dashboard: Use our covid-19 dashboard to keep up to date with deaths, instances and vaccination charges around the globe

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New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the most recent 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 house, to well being and the surroundings.

The Jump is a BBC Radio 4 sequence exploring how viruses can cross from animals into people to trigger pandemics. The first 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 in regards to the inside story of the event of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine towards 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 growth of potential drug therapies for covid-19, and rating them for effectiveness and security.

Humans of COVID-19 is a undertaking highlighting the experiences of key staff on the frontline within the struggle towards 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 Belly Mujinga from covid-19, following experiences she had been coughed and spat on by a buyer at Londons Victoria Station.

Coronavirus, Explained on Netflix is a brief documentary sequence inspecting the coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to struggle 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’ll occur once more if we dont do issues in a different way in future.

The Rules of Contagion is in regards to the new science of contagion and the shocking methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The creator, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist on the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, and within the e-book he examines how illnesses unfold and why they cease.

Previous 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

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16 December

Englands chief medical officer suggests individuals ought to scale back social contacts

The chief medical officer for England, Chris Whitty, has urged individuals to reduce on socialising within the run-up to Christmas, because the UK recorded a file excessive of 78,610 covid-19 infections in in the future.

Speaking at a Downing Street briefing yesterday, Whitty strongly inspired individuals to prioritise social occasions that imply lots to them and deprioritise others, take lateral move exams earlier than assembly up and guarantee there may be good air flow.

Im afraid now we have to be real looking that data might be damaged lots over the following few weeks because the charges proceed to go up, Whitty mentioned. He additionally warned that the brand new wave of infections, pushed by the omicron variant, could have a severe impression on companies and the National Health Service. The actuality is that this velocity of onset goes to lead to a lot of individuals getting sick concurrently and now we have to be real looking about that.

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

Earlier, UK Health Security Agency chief government Jenny Harries warned that the omicron variant might be essentially the most important risk because the begin of the pandemic as she mentioned instances could be staggering in contrast to what has gone earlier than.

Other coronavirus information

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

Children aged 12 to 15 in England can e-book 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 in school for causes related to the coronavirus on 9 December.

People with lengthy covid who had 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 had been feminine, overweight or wanted mechanical air flow in hospital had been all much less probably 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 absolutely recovered, largely unchanged from 2.5 in 10 at 5 months. The commonest ongoing signs had 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

Huge examine finds myocarditis is no less than 4 occasions extra probably to happen after a covid-19 an infection than after a vaccination

Heart irritation is extra probably 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 beforehand been linked with uncommon instances of coronary heart muscle irritation, often known as myocarditis.

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

Covid-19 an infection can be recognized to trigger coronary heart issues, nevertheless, so Julia Hippisley-Cox on the University of Oxford and her colleagues adopted almost 39 million individuals over the age of 16 in England who had 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.

Within 28 days of an preliminary dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the crew recorded an additional two instances of myocarditis per million individuals. An extra 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 had been additionally an additional ten instances per million after a second dose of Moderna.

But an additional 40 instances of myocarditis per million individuals had been recorded inside 28 days of a optimistic covid-19 check outcome. 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: in the event you dont need to get myocarditis or pericarditis, get vaccinated. If you dont get vaccinated, it’s only a matter of time earlier than you get covid-19; and the dangers in the event you do massively outweigh the dangers of vaccination, Peter English, previous chairperson of the British Medical Associations Public Health Medicine Committee, mentioned in an announcement.

Other coronavirus information

Two antibody-based therapies for covid-19 lose most of their effectiveness when uncovered to the omicron variant in lab exams, astudy posted online yesterday has found.

Ronapreve, made by Regeneron, appeared to be inefficient in inhibiting the virus, whereas Eli Lillys 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 towards the omicron variant and can restrict remedy choices for omicron-induced covid-19, the researchers mentioned of their paper.

Adults should now current a covid-19 cross displaying they’ve had two vaccines or proof of a adverse check so as to entry nightclubs and large events in England. The exams could be both PCR or the fast lateral move sorts, however should have been performed within the final 48 hours.

People in Scotland have been suggested that social occasions over Christmas ought to contain no more than three households. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon additionally requested individuals 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 Images

14 December

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

One of the first major analysis of real-world data involving the omicron variant means that two doses of a coronavirus vaccine aren’t notably efficient at stopping an infection, however they do give affordable safety towards hospitalisation.

Researchers at South Africa’s largest non-public medical health insurance administrator, Discovery Health, checked out over 200,000 optimistic covid-19 instances from 15 November to 7 December within the nation. Around 37 per cent of their pattern was from this era and they also estimate that about 78,000 of the instances had been in all probability due to the omicron variant.

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

Previous analysis by the agency discovered that two Pfizer doses had been 80 per cent efficient towards an infection earlier than the unfold of the omicron variant and 93 per cent efficient towards hospitalisation.

Other 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 is no doubt – the new variant changes the rules. That’s why we need to act fast and we need to act again,” prime minister Gahr Stoere mentioned yesterday.

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

Almost 96 per cent of active-duty members have had no less than one dose of the vaccine. Meanwhile not a single service member has to date 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

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

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg through Getty Images

13 December

All adults in England might be supplied a booster dose of a covid-19 vaccine but it surely will not be sufficient to cease the unfold of omicron, warn scientists

Englands vaccination programme might be accelerated to provide 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 UKs previous record of 844,000 per day in March.

But the booster programme will want to be accompanied by different measures to restrict the impression of the omicron variant, scientists have warned.

This concept that children can go to college if somebody of their home has covid is simply silly, Christina Pagel of University College London informed The Guardian. We ought to be saying no events, no gatherings greater than 10 individuals, say. We want to take into consideration transferring again down the roadmap and proscribing contact.

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

Theres been no dialogue of how had been going to defend 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] theres no phrase from the MHRA [the UK regulator] which is sort of beautiful.

Other coronavirus information

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

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

The crew discovered that omicron infections generated a decrease antibody response than the delta variant. This doesn’t essentially imply that omicron is probably going to trigger extra extreme illness, but it surely means that vaccinated people could also be extra probably to develop 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 mentioned in a press launch. Snape and his colleagues solely checked out neutralising antibodies after a second dose, however didnt have a look at different types of immunity, resembling that conferred by T-cells.

Importantly, now we have not but assessed the impression of a 3rd dose booster, which we all know considerably will increase antibody concentrations, and it’s probably that this may lead to improved efficiency towards the omicron variant, Snape mentioned.

So far, UK data suggests {that a} third vaccine dose considerably raises safety towards symptomatic an infection with the omicron variant.

Very little is thought in regards to the scientific severity of the omicron variant, the World Health Organization has said.

But the general danger the variant poses is excessive, due to 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 accordance to a tally by the Reuters news agency. Over 450,000 individuals within the US have died from covid-19 because the begin of this 12 months.


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

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10 December

Omicron variant could also be spreading sooner 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 mentioned. John Edmunds of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), mentioned that sequencing advised omicron had been round since mid-October and the variant could also be spreading even sooner within the UK than it’s in South Africa, the place it was first detected.

I believe over the following two months, had been going to see a very quite massive wave of omicron, he mentioned at a Royal Society of Medicine briefing. Were getting massive numbers of instances and that may end in a lot of hospitalisations and, sadly, it’ll end in a lot of deaths, Im fairly certain of that.

The UK Health Security Agency 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 development, the UK may have greater than 60,000 instances of omicron earlier than Christmas, Edmunds mentioned.

The total 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 previously week. The countrys largest non-public healthcare supplier mentioned 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 may be 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 probably that very stringent measures could be required to management development and hold R under 1, the report mentioned.

Other coronavirus information

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

Australia will start vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 towards covid-19 in January, prime minister Scott Morrison has mentioned. 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

Mask-wearing guidelines prolonged below new coronavirus measures in England

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has introduced new measures in England to scale back the unfold of covid-19 with instances of the omicron variant rising quickly. Mandatory mask-wearing might be prolonged to indoor public venues together with cinemas, theatres and locations of worship from Friday however is not going to be required in pubs and eating places, whereas the steerage to earn a living from home the place doable will return on Monday. The NHS covid cross, which could be obtained by having two vaccines or a adverse lateral move check, might be required for entry into nightclubs and different massive venues from 15 December.

Johnson warned it’s clear that the brand new variant is rising a lot sooner than the delta variant, and instances of omicron could possibly be doubling each two or three days. He mentioned Christmas events and nativities may go forward, however urged individuals 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 may exceed 1000 per day and nonetheless be growing by the tip of the 12 months. The total scale of any wave of hospitalisations with out interventions is extremely unsure, however the peak may attain a number of occasions this stage, the minutes from a gathering held on Tuesday mentioned.

Other coronavirus information

People who’ve 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 leads to decrease ranges of neutralising antibodies, however may nonetheless defend towards extreme illness, the businesses mentioned.

The US medicines regulator has approved a new therapy to stop covid-19 infections in individuals with weak immune techniques 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 chance of individuals growing covid-19 signs by 77 per cent.

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

Maria Van Kerkhove interview: The World Health Organizations technical lead on covid-19 spoke to New Scientist in regards to 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.

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8 December

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

Some of the primary exams of the omicron variant towards blood samples present the virus has important capability to evade the immune response however that some safety stays, particularly in individuals who have had booster vaccines.

The examine of 12 individuals in South Africa discovered that antibodies triggered by the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines and prior infections had been on common 40 occasions much less potent at blocking omicron than they had been the unique coronavirus variant. This doesn’t translate to the vaccines total effectiveness, nevertheless, because the immune system contains a number of different parts, resembling T-cells, which assault virus-infected cells immediately.

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

This means that individuals who have had three vaccine doses may have equally good safety towards omicron, Danny Altmann at Imperial College London, who was not concerned within the examine, mentioned in an announcement. Those whove seen [the virus spike protein] thrice, both by boosting or by an infection plus two doses, seem usually within the security zone. Those who’re unvaccinated, and even two-dose vaccinated, are probably to be extremely susceptible to an infection.

There is a really massive drop in neutralisation of omicron by [Pfizer/BioNTech] immunity relative to ancestral virus, analysis chief Alex Sigal at Africa Health Research Institute in Durban, South Africa, said on Twitter yesterday. The incontrovertible fact that escape is incomplete means its a tractable drawback with the instruments we obtained. This was higher than I anticipated of omicron.

Other coronavirus information

UK covid-19 instances brought on by the omicron variant appear to be doubling every two to three days, a member of the governments Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) informed the BBCs Radio 4 as we speak. Neil Ferguson, who was talking in a private capability, mentioned if the development continues, omicron is probably going to develop into the dominant UK variant earlier than Christmas.

People who’re 40 and over in England can now e-book booster jabs towards covid-19 if three months have passed since their second vaccine dose. The interval has been lowered from six months.

Scotlands First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has requested all corporations to let individuals work from home where possible. Sturgeon mentioned the home-working ought to proceed till no less than 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 individuals lately contaminated with the coronavirus, is not an effective treatment for covid-19, the World Health Organization has mentioned.

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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 circumstances are related to the next danger of dying from covid-19

People who’ve been identified with schizophrenia sooner or later of their life could also be 5 occasions extra probably to die from covid-19 than those that havent 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 had been all individuals within the UK Biobank, a database that holds the medical and genetic info of half 1,000,000 individuals.

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

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

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

Other 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 new guidelines got here into pressure at 4am as we speak and have been introduced in to sort out the unfold of the omicron variant. The check should have been taken inside 48 hours of departure time.

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

The plans had been unveiled yesterday by the citys mayor Bill de Blasio. The guidelines will apply to about 184,000 companies. It follows the citys vaccine mandate for municipal workers which came into force in November.

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

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A toddler receives a covid-19 vaccine in Canada.

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6 December

Children in Australia aged between 5 and 11 could possibly be vaccinated in January

Five to 11-year-olds in Australia may get a coronavirus vaccine as early as 10 January, following provisional approval by the nations medication regulator.

A one-third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was permitted as protected and efficient for this age group by the Therapeutic Goods 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 no less than three weeks aside.

In the UK, covid-19 vaccinations are solely out there for these aged 12 and over. But the Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Agency is at present adjudicating on whether or not under-12s must also get jabbed. The US and Israel started providing the vaccine to 5 to 11-year-olds final month.

Other coronavirus information

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

How its probably to unfold within the UK continues to be unsure, he mentioned. But I believe the early indicators are [that] it’ll in all probability unfold fairly shortly and possibly begin outcompeting delta, and develop into the dominant variant in all probability inside the subsequent weeks or a month or so no less than.

While it’s too quickly to ensure how extreme infections brought on by the omicron variant are, early indicators are encouraging, in accordance to Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Though its too early to actually make any definitive statements about it, to date it doesn’t appear to be theres an amazing diploma of severity to it, Fauci told CNN on Sunday. Thus far, the alerts are a bit encouraging. But now we have actually obtained to watch out earlier than we make any determinations that it’s much less extreme, or it actually doesnt trigger any extreme sickness, comparable to delta.

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Ethnic disparities: People within the UK of Bangladeshi or Pakistani heritage are extra probably to dwell in multigenerational households, which could clarify why they had been extra probably to die from covid-19 throughout the countrys second wave.


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

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3 December

Three completely different vaccines lead to huge will increase in antibody ranges when used as boosters

Three covid-19 vaccines given as boosters in a UK trial had been protected and provoked sturdy 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 sturdy antibody and T cell responses, no matter which vaccine had been given for the primary two doses. The outcomes counsel that peoples immunity from covid-19 elevated, though the examine doesn’t but embody information on how nicely individuals are protected towards 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 University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, mentioned that though this trial can not present how efficient boosters are towards the omicron variant, the T cell responses could possibly be useful on this respect.

Even although we dont correctly perceive its relation to long-term immunity, the T cell information is displaying us that it does appear to be broader towards all of the variant strains, which supplies us hope {that a} variant pressure of the virus would possibly have the option to be dealt with, definitely for hospitalisation and dying if not prevention of an infection, by the present vaccines, Faust informed the Press Association.

Other coronavirus information

A higher proportion of Black and south Asian individuals are dying with covid-19 than white individuals 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 Cabinet Offices Race Disparity Unit, outlines the principle danger components in ethnic minority teams. These embody occupation, notably within the case of frontline staff, and family dimension, particularly for these containing schoolchildren and older relations. Living in densely populated areas with increased ranges of deprivation was additionally a danger issue. Raghib Ali, the UK governments unbiased adviser on covid-19 and ethnicity, mentioned the upper charges of hospitalisation and dying for south Asian and Black individuals virtually definitely displays variations in vaccination charges.

There could possibly be greater than 230,000 new instances of submit traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD) in England on account of the coronavirus pandemic, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has warned. The determine comes from modelling work by the NHS Strategy 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 thought to be notably prone to PTSD. Studies 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.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccines for youngsters: Compared with different high-income nations, the UK has been sluggish to approve and roll out covid-19 vaccines to youngsters, prompting considerations 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

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

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2 December

Omicron has develop 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 develop into the dominant variant within the nation, well being officers have mentioned.

Yesterday, South Africa reported 8561 new covid-19 instances, virtually double the depend from the day past. The proportion of exams with optimistic outcomes jumped to 16.5 per cent on Wednesday from 10.2 per cent a day earlier than, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) mentioned, a robust indication that the rise in instances shouldn’t be merely due to elevated testing.

The NICD mentioned omicron, which was first detected on 8 November, accounted for 74 per cent out of 249 virus genomes it sequenced final month. There is concern that omicron could get round immunity to some extent, however safety towards extreme illness and vaccines ought to be much less affected, the institutes newest surveillance report mentioned.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, World Health Organization scientist Maria Van Kerkhove mentioned its 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 mentioned.

At least 24 nations have now detected the omicron variant and lots of extra have tightened border controls as a precaution.

Other coronavirus information

The UK has approved a new antibody-based drug treatment for covid-19 made by GlaxoSmithKline. The firm says preliminary exams within the lab counsel that it really works towards the omicron variant. Clinical trial outcomes discovered that Xevudy (sotrovimab) cuts hospital admission and dying by 79 per cent in individuals at excessive danger. The Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Agency has authorised the remedy for individuals with delicate to reasonable covid-19 who’re at excessive danger of growing extreme illness. The UK authorities has ordered round 100,000 doses of the drug.

Scientists imagine they could have discovered the set off behind the extraordinarily uncommon blood clot issues linked to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. A study suggests the response could 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 assume this may increasingly spark a sequence response within the immune system which may culminate within the growth of blood clots a situation often known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

New vaccines for omicron: Vaccine-makers are already adapting vaccines to struggle the omicron coronavirus variant, however it’ll in all probability 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 supplied booster jab

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

The minimal hole between someone’s second vaccine dose and their booster can be to be halved from six months to three 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.

Other coronavirus information

Face coverings at the moment are mandatory again in shops and on public transport in England, as of 4am as we speak. The restrictions had been put in place following the detection of 14 cases of omicron in the UK. Face coverings havent been mandated by the UK authorities since 19 July 2021.

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

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


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 as we speak. Some of the people affected don’t have any latest historical past of journey, and the supply of their infections shouldn’t be clear.

Contact tracers try to discover 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 really excessive world danger of an infection, the World Health Organisation (WHO) mentioned on Sunday.

The company warned that there could possibly be future surges of covid-19, which may have extreme penalties. Member states have been urged to speed up vaccination programmes, notably for people who find themselves susceptible and those that aren’t but absolutely 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 overseas travellers getting into the nation from tomorrow in gentle of the emergence of the omicron variant. Israel has briefly restricted the entry of vacationers as of 28 November, and Morocco has carried out 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 towards 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 individuals within the US are at a 14 occasions higher danger of dying from covid-19 than those that are absolutely vaccinated towards coronavirus, in accordance to data from September published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Unvaccinated people are additionally virtually six occasions as probably to check optimistic for the virus. While 196.4 million individuals within the US are absolutely vaccinated, and over 36 million have obtained a booster dose, greater than 47 million adults and 12.4 million youngsters are but to be absolutely vaccinated, CDC director Rochelle Wallensky told journalists at a White House press briefing on Monday.

An identical image is rising within the UK, the place covid-19 is not a illness of the vaccinated, in accordance to Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group on the University of Oxford. The ongoing horror of individuals with covid-19 preventing for breath in intensive care items in hospitals throughout Britain is now largely restricted to unvaccinated individuals, Pollard writes in The Guardian.

Other coronavirus information

People in England who’re planning to head to crowded enclosed areas at the moment are being suggested by the UK authorities to first take lateral move exams. People who’re visiting people who’re at the next danger of turning into severely sick with covid-19 may additionally want to take a fast lateral move check, the governments website states.

It is the primary time official steerage has inspired members of the general public to take covid exams earlier than collaborating in sure actions.

The Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine is 100 per cent efficient in 12-to-15-year-olds no less than 4 months after a second dose, according to trial results described in a statement by the 2 corporations.

The section 3 trial included 2228 volunteers. While 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 considerations had been noticed throughout a six-month observe up interval, say the 2 corporations. 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 keep up to date with deaths, instances and vaccination charges around the globe

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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 as we speak – turning into the primary European nation to accomplish that in response to the most recent surge in covid-19 infections seen throughout the continent.

It is the countrys fourth nationwide lockdown because the pandemic started. People can solely depart residence for work, train and grocery purchasing. Non-essential retailers, eating places, bars and cinemas might be closed till 12 December – although officers say lockdown measures might be reassessed in 10 days time.

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

Other coronavirus information

Water cannons and tear fuel had been deployed towards individuals protesting covid restrictions in Brussels on Sunday.

Around 35,000 people gathered to protest new covid guidelines, which embody the obligatory carrying of face coverings in public areas and dealing from residence. Some protesters threw objects at police, who then used water cannons and tear fuel 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 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) mentioned yesterday.

Coronavirus instances within the US are rising once more, with new instances approaching 100,000 per day. Millions of individuals within the US have a tendency to journey to go to household throughout the Thanksgiving vacation, which this 12 months falls on 25 November. This may lead to 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 had been stepping into the vacation season, you need to be absolutely protected, he mentioned. Bottom line get boosted.

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A lady carrying a face masks walks previous a avenue mural in Hong Kong

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18 November

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

Mask carrying is likely one of the best public well being measures for stopping covid-19, and is related to a 53 per cent discount within the incidence of the illness, in accordance to a evaluate of revealed analysis.

Stella Talic at Monash University in Australia and her colleagues carried out a meta-analysis utilizing information from 72 research to assess the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions – measures that dont contain medication – at containing the virus.

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

It is probably going that additional management of the covid-19 pandemic relies upon not solely on excessive vaccination protection and its effectiveness but in addition 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 evaluate discovered associations between these measures and lowered covid-19 incidence.

Other coronavirus information

Children aged 12 to 17 who’ve had a covid-19 an infection mustn’t get a vaccine till 12 weeks later, in accordance to new guidance in the UK. This may assist to scale back the very, very small danger of coronary heart irritation after vaccination, specialists from the UK Health Security Agency mentioned. 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 delicate, officers mentioned. Research means that myocarditis is more likely to happen after a coronavirus an infection than after vaccination. For older individuals and for anybody who’s excessive danger 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 mentioned forward of a disaster assembly with regional leaders. Authorities are contemplating new measures to substitute nationwide guidelines that expire on the finish of the month. Lothar Wieler, the director of the Robert Koch Institute, a German authorities company, mentioned the nation is heading in the direction of a severe emergency, with hospitals already struggling to discover house for sufferers. We are going to have a very horrible Christmas if we dont take countermeasures now.

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

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


17 November

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

Hackers targeted labs this year that were crucial to the UKs pandemic response, in accordance to the National Cyber Security Centre.

The watchdog mentioned that it dealt with a file 777 cyberattack incidents between August 2020 and September 2021. A fifth of those focused corporations had been linked to vaccines and the well being sector.

It additionally mentioned that it helped the University of Oxfords AstraZeneca vaccine researchers defend themselves towards an tried ransomware assault that might have had main ramifications for the UKs pandemic response.

Other coronavirus information

Pfizer has allowed cheaper versions of its prospective antiviral covid-19 tablet to be made in poorer nations – granting entry to tons of of thousands and thousands of individuals.

The pharmaceutical big says it’ll enable generic copies of Paxlovid to be made in 95 low and middle-income nations, overlaying 53 per cent of the inhabitants.

Irelands bars, restaurants and nightclubs will have a midnight curfew from Thursday to curb coronavirus infections. Irelands prime minister, Micheal Martin, additionally mentioned that everybody ought to earn a living from home until it’s completely mandatory not to.

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

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The National Covid Memorial Wall on the South Bank of the River Thames, London.

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16 November

995 covid-related deaths had 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 Office for National Statistics reported 995 covid-related deaths in that week, representing 8.6 per cent of all deaths. It is the biggest 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 highest quantity on a single day was 1,484 on 19 January 2021.

Other coronavirus information

Antidepressant use is linked to a decrease danger 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 individuals identified with covid-19. The 3401 people who had been taking fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), appeared to be extra probably to survive the an infection.

We can’t inform if the medication are inflicting these results, however the statistical evaluation is displaying important affiliation, says Marina Sirota at the University of California, San Francisco.

Travel restrictions in India have been removed for absolutely vaccinated vacationers for the primary time because the pandemic started. Many travellers should additionally check adverse for the virus inside 72 hours of their flight, though this wont apply to these visiting from nations which have an settlement with India in place, resembling these from the US, UK and another European nations.

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 individuals in California, most of whom work within the companys mammoth warehouses. California state requires corporations to notify staff about new coronavirus instances amongst workers.

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

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15 November

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

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

It has additionally suggested 16 and 17-year-olds to come ahead for a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, which ought to be given no less than 12 weeks after the primary.

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

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

The announcement comes as a brand new examine from the UK Health Security Agency finds that booster vaccines scale back the chance of symptomatic covid-19 by at least 93 per cent in adults over 50. Protection towards extra extreme illness and dying is anticipated 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 enhance our safety towards covid-19 an infection and extreme illness, Wei Shen Lim, chair of covid-19 immunisation for the JCVI, mentioned in an announcement. These vaccinations may even assist lengthen our safety into 2022.

Other coronavirus information

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

A brand new covid-19 vaccine that works through T-cells quite than antibodies is about to enter human trials. Existing covid-19 vaccines primarily goal to generate immunity based mostly on antibodies, proteins that stick to 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 provide 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 perform an preliminary trial involving 26 individuals in Lausanne, Switzerland, The Guardian reports.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Covid-19 in wild animals: Recent research counsel 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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Treatment of covid-19 sufferers in Uzhhorod hospital, Ukraine


11 November

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

Coronavirus deaths in Europe jumped by 10 per cent within the week to 7 November, in accordance to the most recent epidemiological update from the World Health Organization (WHO). New instances of covid-19 elevated by 7 per cent in Europe, whereas different areas noticed case numbers stay secure or decline. The world 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, mentioned the area was “back at the epicentre of the pandemic” and will see one other 500,000 deaths by February if extra actions arent taken to restrict the unfold of the virus, Euronews experiences.

The nations with the best numbers of recent instances are the US, Russia, UK, Turkey and Germany. In Russia, over 1000 deaths have been reported day-after-day since late October. Some hospitals in Germany are reportedly unable to admit new sufferers due to the excessive numbers of individuals needing remedy for covid-19.

Other coronavirus information

Tens of hundreds of care residence workers in England who haven’t had two coronavirus vaccine doses might be unable to legally work in care properties from as we speak as a compulsory jab coverage comes into impact. Staff working in registered care properties in England should have had each jabs to proceed of their position until they’re medically exempt. Official figures due later as we speak are anticipated to present 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. Several thousand of those are understood to have self-certified as medically exempt or to have utilized for formal proof.

A examine displaying that some individuals 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 could possibly be developed. The analysis discovered that some healthcare staff within the UK who had been repeatedly examined encountered the covid-19 virus however by no means grew to become absolutely contaminated with it or developed covid-19 antibodies. These individuals are thought to have had an immune reminiscence of their T cells due to publicity to different coronaviruses that trigger seasonal colds. Read New Scientists story to discover out extra.

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 accordance to evaluation by the charity Antibiotic Research UK. Prescriptions within the winter had been solely 4 per cent increased than in the summertime, in contrast with a 21 per cent seasonal distinction earlier than the pandemic. The development could also be due partly 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 photographs a requirement for vaccine passes for the over-65s

French individuals aged over 65 could have to 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 adverse check. In France they’re wanted for a lot of frequent actions together with going to eating places and bars, libraries, the health club and for long-distance prepare and aircraft journeys.

President Emmanuel Macron additionally mentioned yesterday that boosters could be out there for individuals between the ages of fifty and 65 from subsequent month, and that use of well being passes would enhance. Although an infection charges in France are decrease than in another European nations resembling Germany, they’re rising. Macron mentioned 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. Meanwhile in Wales, a requirement for covid passes displaying double vaccination or a latest adverse covid-19 check might be prolonged to theatres, concerts and museums from Monday.

Other coronavirus information

An antiviral medication that may be taken at residence and cuts hospitalisations and deaths from covid-19 by almost 90 per cent could possibly be out there by very early next year, the head of Pfizer UK has said. The tablets, known as Paxlovid, are taken twice each day for 5 days, by people who find themselves prone to growing extreme illness.

Unvaccinated individuals in Singapore may face a hefty hospital invoice in the event that they want remedy for covid-19 from subsequent 12 months. The authorities has mentioned it’ll not pay medical payments for individuals with covid-19 who’re unvaccinated by choice.


May 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 could have to have each doses of vaccine by spring

The UK authorities is anticipated to announce obligatory covid-19 vaccinations for frontline National Health Service (NHS) workers in England, with a deadline of subsequent spring for each doses. The Department of Health mentioned it was not commenting on hypothesis across the timing of the announcement, which the BBC mentioned could be afterward Tuesday. However, NHS officers mentioned they count on the transfer to occur. The measure is anticipated to have an effect on hundreds of unvaccinated workers working within the well being service.

Care residence staff in England have already been informed they should be absolutely vaccinated by this Thursday. According to NHS figures, tens of hundreds of care residence workers weren’t recorded as having been double jabbed but as of 31 October.

NHS Providers chief government Chris Hopson mentioned there are between 80,000 and 100,000 NHS staff in England who’re unvaccinated. If we get it proper, truly, it could possibly be fairly a helpful spur in some senses to drive the take-up up, however the bit that we simply want to watch out of is avoiding scapegoating individuals, he informed BBC Radio 4s Today programme.

Other coronavirus information

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

Frances public well being authority has really useful that folks below 30 ought to be given the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in desire to the Moderna vaccine, due to a uncommon aspect impact. The danger of myocarditis, a coronary heart situation, on this age group is round 5 occasions much less in individuals who obtain the Pfizer jab than Moderna, the Haute Autorit de Sant said.

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

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8 November

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

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

People over 50 and people most in danger from covid-19 are amongst these eligible for a covid vaccine booster shot. From as we speak, the NHS reserving system will enable individuals to e-book a booster appointment 5 months after their second dose.

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

On Sunday, the UK well being secretary Sajid Javid urged eligible individuals to get the vaccine, saying it might assist the nation keep away from a return to restrictions and revel 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 Government is reviewing the implications and necessities of boosters for worldwide journey certification and taking a look at whether or not and the way booster vaccinations could possibly be included within the NHS Covid Pass for journey.

Deaths from covid-19 are more and more occurring in vaccinated individuals, due to immunity waning over time, mentioned Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser on the UK Health Security Agency. It is especially the older age teams, so the over-70s specifically, but in addition those that are clinically susceptible, extraordinarily susceptible, and have underlying medical circumstances, she mentioned.

Other coronavirus information

The UK will begin rolling out the covid-19 antiviral drug molnupiravir in a scientific trial later this month, Susan Hopkins on the UK Health Security Agency has mentioned. Molnupiravir, developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, was permitted by the UK medicines regulator final week. Trials have proven that it halves the chance of unvaccinated individuals needing hospital remedy or dying, and additional trials are wanted to see the way it works within the vaccinated inhabitants, Hopkins mentioned.

Restrictions on travelling to the US from 33 nations have been lifted today. The ban, overlaying the UK, a lot of Europe, China and India, has been in place since early 2020. Proof of vaccination and a latest adverse covid-19 check 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 individuals at residence

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

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

In a placebo-controlled trial of 1219 individuals from all around the world, 0.8 per cent of people that obtained Paxlovid inside three days of a optimistic covid-19 check required hospital remedy, in contrast with 7 per cent of people that obtained a placebo. The equal figures had been 1 and 6.7 per cent for many who obtained remedy inside 5 days. The outcomes haven’t but been absolutely revealed, however had been introduced as we speak in a press release from Pfizer.

Meanwhile, one other antiviral known as molnupiravir was permitted yesterday within the UK. This medication can be given twice each day to people who find themselves prone to extreme sickness however haven’t been hospitalised. Trials confirmed it halves the chance of individuals needing hospital remedy or dying.

Molnupiravir ought to be taken as quickly as doable after a optimistic covid-19 check, or no less than inside 5 days. It works by inflicting mutations because the virus duplicates its genetic materials, stopping it from multiplying inside cells. The UK Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has authorised its use for individuals with at least one risk factor for severe infection, together with being 60 or older, having diabetes, coronary heart illness or weight problems.

We are working at tempo to deploy molnupiravir to sufferers by way of a nationwide examine as quickly as doable, Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid mentioned in an announcement. Penny Ward at Kings College London mentioned in an announcement that the federal government might want to assess its effectiveness in people who find themselves vaccinated, because the trials to date have been in unvaccinated individuals.

Other coronavirus information

Opening home windows for ten minutes each hour will assist scale back the chance of catching the coronavirus indoors, individuals in England are being informed in a public information campaign launching today. The key message of the marketing campaign, working on radio stations and within the press, is to Stop coronavirus hanging round, by enhancing air flow.

Europe is as soon as once more on the epicentre of the covid-19 pandemic, thanks to nations stress-free prevention measures and uneven vaccine protection, the World Health Organization has said. Hans Kluge, the WHOs Europe director, mentioned yesterday that each one European nations had been both dealing with an actual risk of covid-19 resurgence or already preventing it.

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A lady attracts purple hearts representing particular person coronavirus deaths onto the newly-unveiled National Covid Memorial Wall in London, England.

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4 November

The pandemic has led to the lack of no less than 28 million years of life

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

Researchers on the University of Oxford calculated what number of years of life had been misplaced due to coronavirus in 37 nations, 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 countrys common life expectancy.

They calculated that greater than 28 million years of life had been misplaced throughout 31 of the nations they analysed. Six nations, together with New Zealand, Denmark and South Korea, didn’t see a rise in lack of years of life on account of the pandemic. However globally, the full misplaced years of life due to the pandemic might be a lot increased, and the groups evaluation didn’t embody many Asian, African or South American nations due to a scarcity of information.

The researchers additionally checked out life expectancy declines in every nation for 2020. The largest falls had 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.

Other coronavirus information

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

Indias home-grown vaccine, Covaxin, has been approved for emergency use by the World Health Organisation. It is the seventh jab to be permitted by the intergovernmental physique. More than 105 million doses of the vaccine have been administered to individuals in India to date.

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

JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP through Getty Image

3 November

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

The US is gearing up to provide covid-19 vaccines to 5-to-11-year-olds this week, after the Pfizer/BioNTech jab handed its closing hurdle of approval by the countrys 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 child-sized doses might be packaged in bottles with orange lids to keep away from mix-ups.

Vaccines may begin being supplied this week, however it is going to be subsequent week earlier than roll-out could be absolutely up and working, 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 mentioned. In the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Agency continues to be reviewing the childrens vaccine. Yesterday Pfizer reported that its earnings and gross sales more than doubled in the past quarter, primarily thanks to its covid-19 vaccines.

Other coronavirus information

A member of the UK governments 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, resembling face masks carrying, to be introduced in due to the UKs present excessive stage of coronavirus infections, in accordance to Sky News. The excessive ranges of transmission seen within the UK stay regarding, he mentioned. “My focus now should 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 nations to accomplish that after measures had been relaxed over summer time. They will embody new necessities to put on face masks, asking individuals to earn a living from home half the week the place doable and lengthening the usage of covid passes to restaurant terraces and museums. According to information from Johns Hopkins University, 7727 new covid-19 instances had been reported within the Netherlands on 2 November, in contrast with 33,546 within the UK.

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A “You need to self-isolate screen” on the NHS covid-19 app.

Hollie Adams/Bloomberg through Getty Images

2 November

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

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

The figures are based mostly on a survey of 881 individuals in England carried out in late September and early October. The researchers discovered that solely 75 per cent of individuals remoted for ten days after a optimistic covid-19 check. It is a serious drop from the 86 per cent who reported full compliance in July.

The reverse development was seen in individuals aged between 18 and 34, with 82 per cent reporting full compliance within the newest survey as opposed to 75 per cent in July.

Other coronavirus information

Around 9000 New York City public workers had been placed on unpaid depart on Monday for not being vaccinated. The citys 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. Studies have proven that it’s about 90 per cent efficient towards symptomatic covid-19.

Disneyland Shanghai in China has been shut for at least two days due to a single customer testing optimistic 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 Images

1 November

Global 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.

Around 7000 individuals across the globe are dying from the virus every day, in accordance to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University within the US.

But the true determine is probably going to be greater than double that. Analysis by The Economist suggests the toll might be nearer to 16.7 million deaths – after considering those that died from the illness with out understanding they’d contracted the virus and those that couldn’t be handled for different diseases as a result of hospitals had been overwhelmed with covid-19 sufferers.

Other coronavirus information

Booster jabs are now available at walk-in sites in England for many who obtained their second dose no less than six months in the past and who meet sure eligibility standards, resembling 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 not have to e-book an appointment to get a booster shot. More than six million have had a booster jab or a 3rd dose to date, in accordance to NHS England.

Activists from growing nations have been excluded from COP26 due partly to world vaccine inequality, climate change activists have claimed.Lidy Nacpil, of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development, who relies within the Philippines, informed The Guardian: The challenges and issues associated to vaccines, visas and quarantine necessities that the UK failed to adequately deal with are the principle explanation why we is not going to be at COP26.

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

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