Covid UK news – live: Vaccine to be offered to 16 and 17-year-olds as UK sees highest deaths since mid-March

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Coronavirus in numbers

The coronavirus vaccination programme looks set to be rolled out to more than a million 16- and 17-year-olds.

It is expected ministers will on Wednesday approve advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which recommends healthy teenagers aged over 16, who have not yet been able to get their vaccine, be offered the chance to be immunised.

Under existing guidance, young people aged 16 to 17 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious Covid infection should have already been offered a jab.

According to The Times, appointments could be available within a fortnight due to the reserves of the vaccine available, while The Daily Telegraph said they would be given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, to match the guidance for other young adults.

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon hinted that a decision was imminent on Tuesday, when she told the Scottish parliament: “We are waiting on JCVI advice. When I say ‘we’, I am obviously referring to the Scottish government, but the UK, Welsh and Northern Irish governments are in the same position.”

The UK has recorded the highest daily Covid death toll since mid-March, with an additional 138 people reported to have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test – the highest number since 17 March – and 21,691 new people tested positive.

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Teenagers getting vaccinated ‘helpful’ for community transmission, says epidemiologist

Professor Paul Elliott, chair in epidemiology and public health medicine at Imperial College London, said younger age groups receiving coronavirus vaccinations would be “helpful” for reducing community transmission.

Prof Elliot, who is also director of the React programme, told the BBC’s Today programme: “What we saw in our most recent survey…were that the highest rates of infection were in the young people, particularly in the unvaccinated young people up to the age of 24 including the teenagers.

“They had much higher rates of infection and had a big increase in infections since May/June.

“So the big increase in the virus was being driven by these younger age groups, so anything we can do to reduce transmission in that group would be helpful.”

Asked if it was sensible for children themselves to get the jab, he continued: “Although it is true that most children will not be badly affected by the virus, there is a proportion that will go on to have longer-term illness.

“You’re also not just protecting yourself, you’re protecting those around you.”

Chiara Giordano4 August 2021 09:10

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Sixteen and 17-year-olds should get Covid jab if offered, says scientist researching infection rates

Sixteen and 17-year-olds should get a coronavirus jab if offered, a scientist who has been researching Covid-19 infection rates throughout the pandemic has said.

Professor Paul Elliott, director of the React programme, and chair in epidemiology and public health medicine at Imperial College London, said a surge in infections to mid-July was being “driven” by younger people.

The React study saw the highest rates of infection among unvaccinated people, he told Sky News, adding: “Clearly what’s important now is that as many people who get offered the opportunity to have the vaccination should take it.

“We also found that the viral load was lower in the double-vaccinated people compared to the unvaccinated people – so the chances of passing on (the virus) is actually lower if you had two jabs of the vaccine, so you’re not only protecting yourself but you’re protecting the people around you.”

Asked about the prospect of vaccinating 16- and 17-year-olds, he added: “The highest rates of infection were in the 13- to 24-year-old group, and the increase we saw going up to mid-July was being driven from these younger people.

He added: “There is a suggestion that maybe 16 and 17-year-olds will be offered the vaccine, in which case, I think it’s important that people should take that up if offered.”

Chiara Giordano4 August 2021 09:03

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UK sees highest daily death toll since mid-March

The UK has recorded the highest daily Covid death toll since mid-March,

The government said a further 138 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday, the highest reported daily figure since 17 March, bringing the UK total to 129,881.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 155,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

As of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 21,691 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK, the government said.

Chiara Giordano4 August 2021 08:56

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Vaccine to be offered to 16 and 17-year-olds

The coronavirus vaccination looks set to be rolled out to more than a million more teenagers with new advice expected for 16 and 17-year-olds.

It is expected ministers will today approve advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which recommends healthy teenagers aged over 16, who have not yet been able to get their vaccine, be offered the chance to be immunised.

Under existing guidance, young people aged 16 to 17 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious Covid infection should have already been offered a jab.

Appointments could be available within a fortnight due to the reserves of the vaccine available, according to The Times, while The Daily Telegraph has said they will be given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, to match the guidance for other young adults.

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday hinted that a decision was imminent, telling the Scottish parliament: “We are waiting on JCVI advice. When I say ‘we’, I am obviously referring to the Scottish government, but the UK, Welsh and Northern Irish governments are in the same position.”

Chiara Giordano4 August 2021 08:52

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New Yorkers to need Covid vaccine proof to entre restaurants, gyms

New York has become first US city to require customers and staff of restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses to have mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations proof.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said proof of at least one dose administered would be required starting from 13 September.

He said the policy will “turn the tide” on Covid as the country grappled with Delta variant-driven surge.

The authorities would provide “Key to NYC Pass” as proof of vaccination to workers and customers at gyms, restaurants and entertainment venues, the mayor said.

Shweta Sharma4 August 2021 07:38

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Indian state of Kerala reports highest cases in last 2 months

The southern Indian state of Kerala features at the centre of a Covid outbreak in India, reporting a record highest single-day surge from the last two months.

Kerala, which reported the first cases of coronavirus infections in India last year, reported 23,676 new infections on Tuesday.

It now accounts for more than half of the country’s new Covid-19 infections. The state with the country’s 3 per cent population last year became a success story for controlling the Covid-19 infections and deaths.

The test positivity rate in Kerala was more than 11 on Tuesday, suggesting a high level of infection.

India, Covid, China, Australia

(AP)

Shweta Sharma4 August 2021 07:22

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India's gender inequality in Covid vaccinations narrows

The gender disparity in India’s Covid vaccination has narrowed, the government said on Wednesday.

Women have received 47 per cent of the 481 million vaccine doses administered in India while men received 13 per cent more vaccines than women, the government data showed.

This came after pregnant and lactating women were allowed to get vaccine shots and work was done to dispel rumours about fertility

Shweta Sharma4 August 2021 06:46

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China to test Wuhan’s 11 million residents amid new Covid outbreak

China will undertake mass-scale testing for the entire 11 million population of Wuhan city, the first place in the world to report coronavirus infections.

The announcement came after three new cases were confirmed in Wuhan on Monday.

Read more here:

India, Covid, China, Australia

China to test Wuhan’s 11 million residents amid new Covid outbreak

Wuhan is the latest Chinese city to begin a programme to test its entire population to curb Covid

Shweta Sharma4 August 2021 06:33

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India govt’ says sero survey cannot be used to claim under-reporting

India’s central government pushed back against claims of under-reporting of Covid-19 deaths, saying it is “unscientific and irrational” to conclude from sero survey that infections and deaths were under-reported.

Dr VK Paul said 80 per cent of Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic and are not detected in tests. But they are detected during the national sero survey – studies to detect presence of antibodies against Covid-19 in the population.

“Sero surveys are carried out for the specific purpose of enunciating how many people have antibodies and previous exposure to Covid-19. Exposure does not mean that a serious disease happened or hospitalisation or there was a life-threatening situation,” Dr Paul said.

“Also, sero survey includes a huge number of asymptomatic patients. To predict mortality by extrapolating that data is irrational, misplaced and unscientific,” he added.

This came as the Indian government was accused of under-reporting cases and deaths during the second wave of pandemic.

Shweta Sharma4 August 2021 06:12

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India reports 40% higher single-day surge

India’s new Covid-19 infections surged again with 42,625 new cases on Tuesday, the health ministry said.

The increase of nearly 40 per cent cases is reported from yesterday as government raised alarm over the “still raging” pandemic while the researchers warned of looming third wave in August.

India also added 562 new deaths, adding to the total count of 425,195 Covid deaths across the country. The country’s Covid infection tally now stands at 31,769,132.

Southern state of Kerala reported highest-single day surge with 23,676 new cases while Maharashtra which was at the centre of raging pandemic in India saw 6,005 new infections.

Shweta Sharma4 August 2021 05:54

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