Teenagers getting vaccinated ‘helpful’ for community transmission, says epidemiologist
Sixteen and 17-year-olds should get Covid jab if offered, says scientist researching infection rates
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
Indian state of Kerala reports highest cases in last 2 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'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
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:
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
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.
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.