Covid-19 news: Omicron partly evades vaccine protection

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By Michael Le Page, Clare Wilson, Jessica Hamzelou, Sam Wong, Graham Lawton, Adam Vaughan, Conrad Quilty-Harper, Jason Arunn Murugesu and Layal Liverpool

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Vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine.

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Latest coronavirus quality arsenic of 12pm connected 8 December

Small survey shows the omicron variant is little affected by Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine antibodies

Some of the archetypal tests of the omicron variant against humor samples amusement the microorganism has important quality to evade the immune effect – but that immoderate extortion remains, particularly successful radical who person had booster vaccines.

The survey of 12 radical successful South Africa recovered that antibodies triggered by the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines and anterior infections were connected mean 40 times little potent astatine blocking omicron than they were the archetypal coronavirus variant. This does not construe to the vaccine’s wide effectiveness, however, arsenic the immune strategy comprises aggregate different elements, specified as T-cells, which onslaught virus-infected cells directly.

The study, which was posted online yesterday, besides recovered stronger extortion from antibodies successful radical who had been infected earlier being vaccinated. Five retired of six radical who had been infected with the archetypal variant earlier they had their 2 vaccine doses had much potent antibodies against omicron. 

This suggests that radical who person had 3 vaccine doses could person likewise bully extortion against omicron, Danny Altmann astatine Imperial College London, who was not progressive successful the study, said successful a statement. “Those who’ve seen [the microorganism spike protein] 3 times, either by boosting oregon by corruption positive 2 doses, look mostly successful the information zone. Those who are unvaccinated, oregon adjacent two-dose vaccinated, are apt to beryllium highly susceptible to infection.”

“There is simply a precise ample driblet successful neutralisation of omicron by [Pfizer/BioNTech] immunity comparative to ancestral virus,” probe person Alex Sigal astatine Africa Health Research Institute successful Durban, South Africa, said connected Twitter yesterday. “The information that… flight is incomplete means it’s a tractable occupation with the tools we got. This was amended than I expected of omicron.”

Other coronavirus news

UK covid-19 cases caused by the omicron variant look to be doubling each 2 to 3 days, a subordinate of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) told the BBC’s Radio 4 today. Neil Ferguson, who was speaking successful a idiosyncratic capacity, said if the inclination continues, omicron is apt to go the ascendant UK variant earlier Christmas.

People who are 40 and implicit successful England tin present publication booster jabs against covid-19 if three months person passed since their 2nd vaccine dose. The interval has been reduced from six months.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has asked each firms to fto people work from location wherever possible. Sturgeon said the home-working should proceed until astatine slightest mid-January, erstwhile the proposal would beryllium reviewed. As of Monday, 99 cases of the omicron variant had been recovered successful Scotland.

Convalescent plasma, obtained from radical precocious infected with the coronavirus, is not an effectual attraction for covid-19, the World Health Organization has said.

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Previous updates

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A diligent rests successful furniture portion their pulse oximeter is checked.

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7 December

Some intelligence wellness conditions are associated with a higher hazard of decease from covid-19 

People who person been diagnosed with schizophrenia astatine immoderate constituent successful their beingness whitethorn beryllium 5 times much apt to dice from covid-19 than those who haven’t been diagnosed with a definite intelligence wellness condition. 

Researchers astatine the University of Manchester analysed information from much than 1900 people surviving successful the UK who person had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar upset oregon depression. They were each participants successful the UK Biobank, a database that holds the aesculapian and familial accusation of fractional a cardinal people.

The researchers compared information from these radical to that from much than 400,000 radical successful the UK Biobank who had nary recorded past of these conditions. 

They recovered that, compared with those with nary past of a intelligence wellness diagnosis, those with schizophrenia were 5 times as apt to person died from covid-19 by the extremity of February 2021. Those with a past of bipolar upset were 3.76 times much apt to person died, and those with a past of slump were doubly arsenic likely.

However, the UK Biobank is not typical of the UK population. Most of the participants are implicit the property of 65 and astir 95 per cent of the full illustration is white. 

Other coronavirus news

All planetary arrivals to the UK will, from today, person to amusement a antagonistic lateral travel oregon PCR test to participate the country. 

The caller rules came into unit astatine 4am contiguous and person been brought successful to tackle the dispersed of the omicron variant. The trial indispensable person been taken wrong 48 hours of departure time. 

All backstage employees who spell to enactment successful New York City volition request to person been vaccinated against covid-19 by  27 December. 

The plans were unveiled yesterday by the city’s politician Bill de Blasio. The rules volition use to astir 184,000 businesses. It follows the city’s vaccine mandate for municipal workers which came into unit successful November. 

The politician described it arsenic a pre-emptive onslaught against the omicron variant. “We cannot fto covid backmost successful the doorway again,” de Blasio said successful a property conference. There volition beryllium exemptions for radical with aesculapian oregon spiritual reasons.

Latest connected coronavirus from New Scientist

The omicron wave: It remains unclear whether the omicron coronavirus variant causes little terrible disease, but adjacent if this is true, hospitals could inactive beryllium overwhelmed by the sheer fig of cases

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A kid receives a covid-19 vaccine successful Canada.

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6 December

Children successful Australia aged betwixt 5 and 11 could beryllium vaccinated successful January 

Five to 11-year-olds successful Australia could get a coronavirus vaccine arsenic aboriginal arsenic 10 January, pursuing provisional support by the nation’s drugs regulator. 

A one-third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved arsenic harmless and effectual for this property radical by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. 

The rollout is taxable to support by the Australian Technical Advisory Group connected Immunisation. Like adults, the 2.3 cardinal eligible children volition person 2 doses of the vaccine astatine slightest 3 weeks apart. 

In the UK, covid-19 vaccinations are lone disposable for those aged 12 and over. But the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is currently adjudicating connected whether under-12s should besides get jabbed. The US and Israel began offering the vaccine to 5 to 11-year-olds past month.

Other coronavirus news

The omicron variant volition beryllium the ascendant strain of coronavirus successful the UK wrong the adjacent fewer weeks according to Paul Hunter astatine the University of East Anglia. He told the BBC that the variant is “spreading alternatively much rapidly than the delta variant”

“How it’s apt to dispersed successful the UK is inactive uncertain,” helium said. “But I deliberation the aboriginal signs are [that] it volition astir apt dispersed rather rapidly and astir apt commencement outcompeting delta, and go the ascendant variant astir apt wrong the adjacent weeks oregon a period oregon truthful astatine least.”

While it is excessively soon to beryllium definite however terrible infections caused by the omicron variant are, aboriginal signs are encouraging, according to Anthony Fauci, manager of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“Though it’s excessively aboriginal to truly marque immoderate definitive statements astir it, frankincense acold it does not look similar there’s a large grade of severity to it,” Fauci told CNN connected Sunday. “Thus far, the signals are a spot encouraging. But we person truly got to beryllium cautious earlier we marque immoderate determinations that it is little severe, oregon it truly doesn’t origin immoderate terrible illness, comparable to delta.”

Latest connected coronavirus from New Scientist

Ethnic disparities: People successful the UK of Bangladeshi oregon Pakistani practice are more apt to unrecorded successful multigenerational households, which mightiness explicate wherefore they were much apt to dice from covid-19 during the country’s 2nd wave.

 A caregiver  administers a vaccine booster connected  October 05, 2021 successful  Cwmbran, Wales. Patients who be  the vaccine centre are besides  being offered the enactment    of a flu vaccine. The Welsh Government has besides  announced that each  12 to 15-year-olds volition  beryllium  invited by missive  to person  the vaccine and the bulk  being administered astatine  wide    vaccination centres. In immoderate   areas, vaccination volition  beryllium  carried retired  astatine  schools. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)

A caregiver administers a booster vaccine successful Cwmbran, Wales

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3 December

Three antithetic vaccines pb to large increases successful antibody levels erstwhile utilized arsenic boosters

Three covid-19 vaccines fixed arsenic boosters successful a UK proceedings were harmless and provoked beardown immune responses, researchers person reported. The study progressive 2878 adults aged 30 oregon over, each of whom antecedently had 2 doses of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine oregon the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. They were fixed booster vaccines 10 to 12 weeks aft their 2nd dose.

The proceedings tested 7 vaccines arsenic boosters: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novavax, Janssen, Moderna, Valneva and Curevac. The researchers measured levels of antibodies and T cells successful the participants’ blood. The Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines each produced beardown antibody and T compartment responses, careless of which vaccine had been fixed for the archetypal 2 doses. The results suggest that people’s immunity from covid-19 increased, though the survey does not yet see information connected however good radical are protected against corruption oregon disease.

The proceedings was carried retired successful aboriginal 2021, erstwhile alpha was the ascendant coronavirus variant successful the UK. Saul Faust, the proceedings pb astatine University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said that though this proceedings cannot amusement however effectual boosters are against the omicron variant, the T compartment responses could beryllium adjuvant successful this respect.

“Even though we don’t decently recognize its narration to semipermanent immunity, the T compartment information is showing america that it does look to beryllium broader against each the variant strains, which gives america anticipation that a variant strain of the microorganism mightiness beryllium capable to beryllium handled, surely for hospitalisation and decease if not prevention of infection, by the existent vaccines,” Faust told the Press Association.

Other coronavirus news

A greater proportionality of Black and southbound Asian radical are dying with covid-19 than achromatic radical successful the UK, contempt lawsuit numbers successful the second radical being higher, a survey has warned. The last study into covid-19 disparities, produced by the UK Cabinet Office’s Race Disparity Unit, outlines the main hazard factors successful taste number groups. These see occupation, peculiarly successful the lawsuit of frontline workers, and household size, particularly for those containing schoolchildren and older relatives. Living successful densely populated areas with higher levels of deprivation was besides a hazard factor. Raghib Ali, the UK government’s autarkic advisor connected covid-19 and ethnicity, said the higher rates of hospitalisation and decease for southbound Asian and Black radical astir surely reflects differences successful vaccination rates.

There could beryllium much than 230,000 caller cases of station traumatic accent upset (PTSD) successful England arsenic a effect of the coronavirus pandemic, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has warned. The fig comes from modelling enactment by the NHS Strategy Unit, forecasting caller referrals for PTSD betwixt 2020/21 and 2022/23. Some covid-19 patients who needed infirmary attraction and frontline healthcare unit are thought to beryllium peculiarly astatine hazard of PTSD. Studies person recovered that 35 per cent of covid-19 patients enactment connected a ventilator and 40 per cent of intensive attraction staff study symptoms of PTSD.

Latest connected coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccines for children: Compared with different high-income countries, the UK has been dilatory to o.k. and rotation retired covid-19 vaccines to teenagers, prompting concerns implicit agelong covid and the caller omicron variant.

 Photo by Shiraaz Mohamed/AP/Shutterstock (12626412b) Hospital idiosyncratic    ensures radical   signifier    societal  distancing arsenic  they hold   successful  enactment     to get   vaccinated against COVID-19 astatine  the Lenasia South Hospital, adjacent   Johannesburg, South Africa, . Despite the planetary  worry, doctors successful  South Africa are reporting patients with the omicron variant are suffering mostly   mild symptoms truthful  far. But they pass    that it is aboriginal  Virus outbreak , Lenasia, South Africa - 30 Nov 2021

People hold to get vaccinated astatine the Lenasia South Hospital adjacent Johannesburg, South Africa

Shiraaz Mohamed/AP/Shutterstock

2 December

Omicron has go the ascendant variant successful South Africa

The omicron variant of the coronavirus is driving a crisp emergence successful covid-19 infections successful South Africa and has rapidly go the ascendant variant successful the country, wellness officials person said.

Yesterday, South Africa reported 8561 caller covid-19 cases, astir treble the number from the erstwhile day. The proportionality of tests with affirmative results jumped to 16.5 per cent connected Wednesday from 10.2 per cent a time before, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said, a beardown denotation that the emergence successful cases is not simply owed to accrued testing.

The NICD said omicron, which was archetypal detected connected 8 November, accounted for 74 per cent retired of 249 microorganism genomes it sequenced past month. There is interest that omicron whitethorn get astir immunity to immoderate extent, but “protection against terrible illness and vaccines should beryllium little affected”, the institute’s latest surveillance study said.

At a property briefing connected Wednesday, World Health Organization idiosyncratic Maria Van Kerkhove said it’s excessively aboriginal to archer if the caller variant is much transmissible than delta. “We expect to person much accusation connected transmission wrong days, not needfully weeks, but successful days,” she said.

At slightest 24 countries person present detected the omicron variant and galore much person tightened borderline controls arsenic a precaution.

Other coronavirus news

The UK has approved a caller antibody-based cause attraction for covid-19 made by GlaxoSmithKline. The institution says archetypal tests successful the laboratory suggest that it works against the omicron variant. Clinical proceedings results recovered that Xevudy (sotrovimab) cuts infirmary admittance and decease by 79 per cent successful radical astatine precocious risk. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has authorised the therapy for radical with mild to mean covid-19 who are astatine precocious hazard of processing terrible disease. The UK authorities has ordered astir 100,000 doses of the drug.

Scientists judge they whitethorn person recovered the trigger down the highly uncommon humor clot complications linked to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. A study suggests the absorption tin beryllium traced to the mode adenoviruses, which are utilized by the vaccine to shuttle the coronavirus’ familial worldly into cells, hindrance with a macromolecule successful the humor known arsenic platelet origin 4 (PF4). Researchers deliberation this whitethorn spark a concatenation absorption successful the immune strategy which tin culminate successful the improvement of humor clots – a information known arsenic vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

Latest connected coronavirus from New Scientist

Booster vaccines: Emerging grounds connected vaccine booster programmes reveals that a 3rd dose tin instrumentality people’s coronavirus extortion to unexpectedly precocious levels.

New vaccines for omicron: Vaccine-makers are already adapting vaccines to combat the omicron coronavirus variant, but it volition astir apt already person swept the satellite by the clip these arrive.

A mobile NHS Health On The Move Vaccination work  was successful  Chesham municipality  centre contiguous    connected  marketplace  time  providing Covid-19 vaccinations and booster jabs. There were queues each  greeting  arsenic  radical   were keen to get   their Covid-19 booster jabs earlier  Christmas Covid-19 NHS Mobile Booster Jabs, Chesham, UK - 24 Nov 2021

A mobile NHS vaccination service

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29 November

All UK adults to beryllium offered booster jab

Covid-19 vaccine booster doses volition beryllium offered to everyone implicit the property of 18 successful the UK. The determination follows a proposal from the UK Joint Committee connected Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) yesterday, and is intended to bounds the interaction of the omicron coronavirus variant.

The minimum spread betwixt a person’s 2nd vaccine dose and their booster is besides to beryllium halved from six months to 3 months, based connected recommendations made by the JCVI.

The committee besides recommended that children aged betwixt 12 and 15 should beryllium invited for a 2nd jab.

Other coronavirus news

Face coverings are present mandatory again successful shops and connected nationalist transport successful England, arsenic of 4am today. The restrictions were enactment successful spot pursuing the detection of 14 cases of omicron successful the UK. Face coverings haven’t been mandated by the UK authorities since 19 July 2021

The omicron variant is simply a “cause for concern, not panic”, according to US president Joe Biden. No cases of the variant person been discovered successful the US truthful far, but Biden said it was “almost inevitable” that they would beryllium recovered soon. “We’re going to combat and bushed this caller variant,” he told journalists astatine the White House connected Monday.

The omicron variant was archetypal detected successful South Africa, and has prompted calls for precocious income countries to donate much vaccine doses to little income countries. China’s president Xi Jinping announced yesterday that the state volition give 1 cardinal doses of coronavirus vaccines to Africa. He said 600 cardinal doses would beryllium donated directly, portion the different 400 cardinal doses would beryllium provided done associated partnerships betwixt Chinese firms and African countries.

People successful  snowfall  successful  scotland, uk

Six cases of omicron person been identified successful Scotland.

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29 November

Six omicron cases identified successful Scotland

Six cases of the omicron coronavirus variant person been identified successful Scotland, it was announced today. Some of the individuals affected person nary caller past of travel, and the root of their infections is not clear.

Contact tracers are trying to find the root of the microorganism successful Scotland. All adjacent contacts of suspected omicron cases are advised to self-isolate for 10 days – careless of vaccination status. The quality follows the confirmation of 3 different UK cases of the variant implicit the play successful Essex, Nottingham and London.

The omicron variant poses a “very high” planetary hazard of infection, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said connected Sunday.

The bureau warned that “there could beryllium aboriginal surges of covid-19, which could person terrible consequences”. Member states person been urged to accelerate vaccination programmes, peculiarly for radical who are susceptible and those who are not yet afloat vaccinated.

No deaths person been linked to the variant truthful far. Omicron was archetypal detected connected 23 November successful South Africa, and caller cases person since been uncovered successful the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia.

Japan volition prohibition each overseas travellers entering the state from time successful airy of the emergence of the omicron variant. Israel has temporarily restricted the introduction of tourists arsenic of 28 November, and Morocco has implemented a two-week suspension of incoming rider flights arsenic of 29 November.

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A motion astatine a depository requires visitors to beryllium vaccinated against covid-19, New York, US

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23 November

Unvaccinated individuals successful the US are overmuch much apt to dice from covid-19, CDC says

Unvaccinated radical successful the US are astatine a 14 times greater hazard of dying from covid-19 than those who are afloat vaccinated against coronavirus, according to data from September published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Unvaccinated individuals are besides astir six times arsenic apt to trial affirmative for the virus. While 196.4 cardinal radical successful the US are afloat vaccinated, and implicit 36 cardinal person received a booster dose, much than 47 cardinal adults and 12.4 cardinal teenagers are yet to beryllium afloat vaccinated, CDC manager Rochelle Wallensky told journalists astatine a White House property briefing connected Monday.

A akin representation is emerging successful the UK, wherever “covid-19 is nary longer a illness of the vaccinated”, according to Andrew Pollard, manager of the Oxford Vaccine Group astatine the University of Oxford. The “ongoing horror” of radical with covid-19 warring for enactment successful intensive attraction units successful hospitals crossed Britain “is present mostly restricted to unvaccinated people”, Pollard writes successful The Guardian

Other coronavirus news

People successful England who are readying to caput to crowded enclosed areas are present being advised by the UK authorities to archetypal instrumentality lateral travel tests. People who are visiting individuals who are astatine a higher hazard of becoming earnestly sick with covid-19 whitethorn besides “wish to instrumentality a accelerated lateral travel test”, the government’s website states

It is the archetypal clip authoritative guidance has encouraged members of the nationalist to instrumentality covid tests earlier taking portion successful definite activities. 

The Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine is 100 per cent effectual successful 12-to-15-year-olds astatine slightest 4 months aft a 2nd dose, according to proceedings results described successful a statement by the 2 companies.

The signifier 3 proceedings included 2228 volunteers. While 30 of the unvaccinated volunteers developed symptomatic cases of covid-19, nary specified cases developed among those who had been fixed 2 doses of the vaccine. 

No superior information concerns were observed during a six-month travel up period, accidental the 2 companies. All 12-to-15-year-olds successful the UK are presently being offered a azygous dose of the vaccine

Dashboard: Use our covid-19 dashboard to enactment up to day with deaths, cases and vaccination rates astir the world

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

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22 November

Austria enters its 4th lockdown arsenic coronavirus cases surge

Austria went backmost into lockdown contiguous – becoming the archetypal European state to bash truthful successful effect to the latest surge successful covid-19 infections seen crossed the continent.

It is the country’s 4th nationalist lockdown since the pandemic began. People tin lone permission location for work, workout and market shopping. Non-essential shops, restaurants, bars and cinemas volition beryllium closed until 12 December – though officials accidental lockdown measures volition beryllium reassessed successful 10 days’ time. 

Austria is presently reporting 173,500 progressive coronavirus infections. 1,102 coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents were recorded connected 20 November. The UK, by comparison, is presently reporting a fig of 418 cases per 100,000 radical successful the 7 days up to 16 November

Other coronavirus news

Water cannons and teardrop state were deployed against radical protesting covid restrictions successful Brussels connected Sunday.  

Around 35,000 individuals gathered to protestation caller covid rules, which see the mandatory wearing of look coverings successful nationalist spaces and moving from home. Some protesters threw objects astatine police, who past utilized h2o cannons and teardrop state to disperse the crowds. 

Restrictions protests person besides occured successful Austria, the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland.

Time is moving retired to forestall a “dangerous” surge of coronavirus infections successful the US, Anthony Fauci, manager of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said yesterday.

Coronavirus cases successful the US are rising again, with caller cases approaching 100,000 per day. Millions of radical successful the US thin to question to sojourn household during the Thanksgiving holiday, which this twelvemonth falls connected 25 November. This could pb to a further surge successful cases, Fauci warns.

All US adults that are eligible for a vaccine booster should get one, Fauci told CNN connected Sunday. “As we’re getting into the vacation season, you privation to beryllium afloat protected,” helium said. “Bottom line… get boosted.”

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A pistillate wearing a look disguise walks past a thoroughfare mural successful Hong Kong

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18 November

Review of studies reinforces the effectiveness of look coverings, handwashing and societal distancing

Mask wearing is 1 of the astir effectual nationalist wellness measures for preventing covid-19, and is associated with a 53 per cent simplification successful the incidence of the disease, according to a reappraisal of published research.

Stella Talic astatine Monash University successful Australia and her colleagues carried retired a meta-analysis utilizing information from 72 studies to measure the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions – measures that don’t impact drugs – astatine containing the virus.

Handwashing was besides estimated to beryllium associated with a 53 per cent simplification successful covid-19 incidence, but this effect was not statistically important due to the fact that lone a tiny fig of studies connected it were included. Physical distancing was associated with a 25 per cent simplification successful covid-19 incidence.

“It is apt that further power of the covid-19 pandemic depends not lone connected precocious vaccination sum and its effectiveness but besides connected ongoing adherence to effectual and sustainable nationalist wellness measures,” Talic and her colleagues constitute successful the British Medical Journal.

We updated the supra communicative connected 25 November to clarify that the reappraisal recovered associations betwixt these measures and reduced covid-19 incidence.

Other coronavirus news

Children aged 12 to 17 who person had a covid-19 corruption should not get a vaccine until 12 weeks later, according to new guidance successful the UK. This could assistance to trim the “very, precise small” hazard of bosom inflammation aft vaccination, experts from the UK Health Security Agency said. The existent lawsuit rates of myocarditis aft vaccination among under-18s are suspected to beryllium astir 9 per cardinal vaccinations, and cases person been “relatively mild”, officials said. Research suggests that myocarditis is overmuch much apt to occur aft a coronavirus corruption than aft vaccination. For older radical and for anyone who is precocious hazard and aged 12 oregon over, the existent proposal is that they should hold 4 weeks betwixt covid corruption and having a dose of vaccine. 

A 4th question of the pandemic is hitting Germany “with afloat force”, chancellor Angela Merkel has said up of a situation gathering with determination leaders. Authorities are considering caller measures to regenerate nationwide rules that expire astatine the extremity of the month. Lothar Wieler, the manager of the Robert Koch Institute, a German authorities agency, said the state is heading towards a superior emergency, with hospitals already struggling to find abstraction for patients. “We are going to person a truly unspeakable Christmas if we don’t instrumentality countermeasures now.”

AstraZeneca has reported that its preventative antibody cause AZD7442 offered 83 per cent protection against covid-19 implicit six months successful a objective trial. The injected therapy could supply an alternate enactment for preventing unwellness successful radical who bash not equine a bully immune effect to vaccines.

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

VICTORIA JONES/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

17 November

A 5th of cyberattacks successful UK targeted vaccine firms oregon wellness organisations 

Hackers targeted labs this twelvemonth that were crucial to the UK’s pandemic response, according to the National Cyber Security Centre. 

The watchdog said that it handled a grounds 777 cyberattack incidents betwixt August 2020 and September 2021. A 5th of these targeted firms were linked to vaccines and the wellness sector.

It besides said that it helped the University of Oxford’s AstraZeneca vaccine researchers support themselves against an attempted ransomware onslaught that could person had large ramifications for the UK’s pandemic response. 

Other coronavirus news

Pfizer has allowed cheaper versions of its prospective antiviral covid-19 pill to beryllium made successful poorer countries – granting entree to hundreds of millions of people.

The pharmaceutical elephantine says it volition let generic copies of Paxlovid to beryllium made successful 95 debased and middle-income countries, covering 53 per cent of the population. 

Ireland’s bars, restaurants and nightclubs volition person a midnight curfew from Thursday to curb coronavirus infections. Ireland’s premier minister, Micheal Martin, besides said that everyone should enactment from location unless it is “absolutely necessary” not to.

Strict covid rules came into unit successful Beijing, China, contiguous as the state gears up for the Winter Olympics adjacent year. Anyone visiting the metropolis indispensable amusement a antagonistic covid trial from the past 48 hours.

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

Maureen McLean / Alamy

16 November

995 covid-related deaths were recorded successful the week ending 5 November

The week ending 5 November saw the highest fig of covid-related deaths successful England and Wales since March. The UK Office for National Statistics reported 995 covid-related deaths successful that week, representing 8.6 per cent of each deaths. It is the largest fig since the week ending 12 March, and  a 16 per cent emergence connected the fig of covid-related deaths from the erstwhile week.

In total, 168,600 decease certificates person mentioned covid-19 successful the UK since the pandemic began. The highest fig connected a azygous time was 1,484 connected 19 January 2021.

Other coronavirus news

Antidepressant usage is linked to a little hazard of dying from covid-19, according to an investigation of aesculapian records successful the US. Researchers successful California assessed a database of astir 83,500 radical diagnosed with covid-19. The 3401 individuals who were taking fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), appeared to beryllium much apt to past the infection. 

“We can’t archer if the drugs are causing these effects, but the statistical investigation is showing important association,” says Marina Sirota astatine the University of California, San Francisco.

Travel restrictions successful India person been removed for afloat vaccinated tourists for the archetypal clip since the pandemic began. Many travellers indispensable besides trial antagonistic for the microorganism wrong 72 hours of their flight, though this won’t use to those visiting from countries that person an statement with India successful place, specified arsenic those from the US, UK and immoderate different European countries.

Amazon has been fined $500,000 by California officials for failing to “adequately notify” workers astir caller covid-19 cases successful the workplace.

Amazon employs astir 150,000 radical successful California, astir of whom enactment successful the company’s mammoth warehouses. California authorities requires companies to notify workers astir caller coronavirus cases among employees.

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

Leon Neal/Getty Images

15 November

16 and 17-year-olds acceptable to beryllium offered 2nd doses of covid-19 vaccines

The UK’s covid-19 vaccine booster programme volition beryllium extended to see each 40 to 49-year-olds, pursuing a proposal from the government’s vaccination advisers. The Joint Committee connected Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that each adults implicit the property of 40 should beryllium offered a booster, six months aft their 2nd dose.

It has besides advised 16 and 17-year-olds to travel guardant for a 2nd dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, which should beryllium fixed astatine slightest 12 weeks aft the first.

Until now, boosters person been offered to radical implicit 50 and younger radical who are clinically vulnerable, and 12.6 cardinal radical person had a 3rd covid-19 jab truthful far. The JCVI said radical should beryllium offered the Pfizer oregon Moderna jab arsenic a booster, irrespective of which vaccine they had initially.

Sajid Javid, the wellness secretary, said the proposal has been accepted successful England and NHS England has been instructed to instrumentality it arsenic soon arsenic possible. The Scottish authorities besides said it would widen the booster programme.

The announcement comes arsenic a caller survey from the UK Health Security Agency finds that booster vaccines trim the hazard of symptomatic covid-19 by astatine slightest 93 per cent successful adults implicit 50. Protection against much terrible illness and decease is expected to beryllium adjacent higher.

“Booster vaccine doses successful much susceptible adults, and 2nd vaccine doses successful 16 to 17-year-olds are important ways to summation our extortion against covid-19 corruption and terrible disease,” Wei Shen Lim, seat of covid-19 immunisation for the JCVI, said successful a statement. “These vaccinations volition besides assistance widen our extortion into 2022.”

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Austria has ordered a nationwide lockdown for anyone implicit 12 who is not afloat vaccinated against covid-19. This radical – astir 2 cardinal radical – volition lone beryllium allowed to permission location for constricted reasons, including going to enactment oregon buying for essentials. Around 65 per cent of the colonisation is afloat vaccinated, 1 of the lowest rates successful Europe. 

A caller covid-19 vaccine that works via T-cells alternatively than antibodies is astir to participate quality trials. Existing covid-19 vaccines chiefly purpose to make immunity based connected antibodies, proteins that instrumentality to the microorganism and halt it from infecting cells. T-cells are different portion of the immune strategy that find and destruct infected cells, and they are thought to connection longer-lasting immunity. The experimental vaccine is administered via a tegument patch. Emergex, the institution that developed it, has been fixed a greenish airy to transportation retired an archetypal proceedings involving 26 radical successful Lausanne, Switzerland, The Guardian reports.

Latest connected coronavirus from New Scientist

Covid-19 successful chaotic animals: Recent studies suggest that SARS-CoV2, the microorganism that causes covid-19, is rife among white-tailed cervid successful North America. Animal reservoirs of the virus summation the chances of perchance unsafe caller variants emerging and crossing backmost into humans.

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Treatment of covid-19 patients successful Uzhhorod hospital, Ukraine

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11 November

Covid-19 cases rising successful Europe but unchangeable oregon falling successful remainder of the world

Coronavirus deaths successful Europe jumped by 10 per cent successful the week to 7 November, according to the latest epidemiological update from the World Health Organization (WHO). New cases of covid-19 accrued by 7 per cent successful Europe, portion different regions saw lawsuit numbers stay unchangeable oregon decline. The planetary fig of recorded covid-19 deaths successful the week was 48,000, a 4 per cent alteration from the erstwhile week.

Europe had the highest incidence of confirmed cases, with 208.9 cases per 100,000 population, up of the Americas which had 68.8 caller cases per 100,000.

Hans Kluge, the WHO manager for Europe, said the portion was “back astatine the epicentre of the pandemic” and could spot different 500,000 deaths by February if much actions aren’t taken to bounds the dispersed of the virus, Euronews reports.

The countries with the highest numbers of caller cases are the US, Russia, UK, Turkey and Germany. In Russia, implicit 1000 deaths person been reported each time since precocious October. Some hospitals successful Germany are reportedly incapable to admit caller patients due to the fact that of the precocious numbers of radical needing attraction for covid-19.

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Tens of thousands of attraction location unit successful England who person not had 2 coronavirus vaccine doses volition beryllium incapable to legally enactment successful attraction homes from contiguous arsenic a mandatory jab argumentation comes into effect. Staff moving successful registered attraction homes successful England indispensable person had some jabs to proceed successful their relation unless they are medically exempt. Official figures due  aboriginal contiguous are expected to amusement that much than 50,000 existent unit successful attraction homes person not been recorded arsenic having had some doses arsenic of 7 November, 4 days earlier the deadline. Several 1000 of these are understood to person self-certified arsenic medically exempt oregon to person applied for ceremonial proof. 

A survey showing that immoderate radical whitethorn person had pre-existing immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the archetypal question of the pandemic has raised hopes that a cosmopolitan coronavirus vaccine could beryllium developed. The probe recovered that immoderate healthcare workers successful the UK who were regularly tested encountered the covid-19 microorganism but ne'er became afloat infected with it oregon developed covid-19 antibodies. These radical are thought to person had an immune representation successful their T cells due to the fact that of vulnerability to other coronaviruses that origin seasonal colds. Read New Scientist’s communicative to find retired more.

The fig of antibiotic prescriptions successful England during the archetypal twelvemonth of the covid-19 pandemic dropped by 17 per cent compared with the erstwhile year, according to investigation by the foundation Antibiotic Research UK. Prescriptions successful the wintertime were lone 4 per cent higher than successful the summer, compared with a 21 per cent seasonal quality earlier the pandemic. The inclination whitethorn beryllium owed successful portion to little corruption transmission during lockdowns. 

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

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10 November

France follows Israel successful starting to marque booster shots a request for vaccine passes for the over-65s

French radical aged implicit 65 volition person to person a 3rd dose of the coronavirus vaccine to beryllium they person been fully vaccinated connected their wellness passes from mid-December. The passes amusement if a idiosyncratic has been immunised, has precocious recovered from corruption oregon has precocious had a antagonistic test. In France they are needed for galore communal activities including going to restaurants and bars, libraries, the gym and for long-distance bid and level journeys. 

President Emmanuel Macron besides said yesterday that boosters would beryllium disposable for radical betwixt the ages of 50 and 65 from adjacent month, and that usage of wellness passes would increase. Although corruption rates successful France are little than successful immoderate different European countries specified arsenic Germany, they are rising. Macron said a “fifth wave” of covid-19 had arrived successful Europe. “We are not yet finished with the pandemic.” 

Israel has besides made boosters six months aft a 2nd dose a information for its digital vaccine certificates. Meanwhile successful Wales, a request for covid passes showing treble vaccination oregon a caller antagonistic covid-19 trial volition beryllium extended to theatres, concerts and museums from Monday

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An antiviral medicine that tin beryllium taken astatine location and cuts hospitalisations and deaths from covid-19 by astir 90 per cent could beryllium disposable by very aboriginal adjacent year, the caput of Pfizer UK has said. The pills, called Paxlovid, are taken doubly regular for 5 days, by radical who are astatine hazard of processing terrible disease.

Unvaccinated radical successful Singapore could look a hefty infirmary measure if they request attraction for covid-19 from adjacent year. The authorities has said it volition nary longer wage aesculapian bills for radical with covid-19 who are “unvaccinated by choice”.

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May Parsons, the caregiver who administered the archetypal coronavirus vaccine dose successful December past year, receives her booster jab.

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9 November

Frontline NHS unit volition person to person some doses of vaccine by spring

The UK authorities is expected to denote mandatory covid-19 vaccinations for frontline National Health Service (NHS) unit successful England, with a deadline of adjacent outpouring for some doses. The Department of Health said it was not commenting connected speculation astir the timing of the announcement, which the BBC said would beryllium aboriginal connected Tuesday. However, NHS officials said they expect the determination to happen. The measurement is expected to impact thousands of unvaccinated unit moving successful the wellness service. 

Care location workers successful England person already been told they indispensable beryllium afloat vaccinated by this Thursday. According to NHS figures, tens of thousands of attraction location unit were not recorded arsenic having been treble jabbed yet arsenic of 31 October.

NHS Providers main enforcement Chris Hopson said determination are betwixt 80,000 and 100,000 NHS workers successful England who are unvaccinated. “If we get it right, actually, it could beryllium rather a utile spur successful immoderate senses to thrust the take-up up, but the spot that we conscionable request to beryllium cautious of is avoiding scapegoating people,” helium told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

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More than 11,000 radical who died of covid-19 successful England are thought to person caught the microorganism successful a National Health Service hospital, The Telegraph has reported. The fig was compiled from information collected by NHS trusts utilizing Freedom of Information laws. The trusts besides reported implicit 40,000 probable oregon definite hospital-acquired covid-19 infections. Some trusts refused to disclose their data, suggesting the existent numbers are adjacent higher.

France’s nationalist wellness authorization has recommended that radical nether 30 should beryllium fixed the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine successful penchant to the Moderna vaccine, due to the fact that of a uncommon broadside effect. The hazard of myocarditis, a bosom condition, successful this property radical is astir 5 times little successful radical who person the Pfizer jab than Moderna, the Haute Autorité de Santé said.

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

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8 November

Eligible radical who bash not instrumentality up boosters could look question restrictions

More than 10 cardinal radical person had covid-19 booster vaccines oregon 3rd doses successful the UK, arsenic politicians urged others who are eligible to get their jabs.

People implicit 50 and those astir astatine hazard from covid-19 are among those eligible for a covid vaccine booster shot. From today, the NHS booking strategy volition let radical to publication a booster assignment 5 months aft their 2nd dose.

The latest figures amusement that 10,062,704 radical successful the UK person received a booster oregon 3rd dose, with 409,663 receiving 1 connected Saturday. But astir 30 per cent of over-80s and 40 per cent of over-50s successful England are yet to person a booster, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

On Sunday, the UK wellness caput Sajid Javid urged eligible radical to get the vaccine, saying it would assistance the state “avoid a instrumentality to restrictions and bask Christmas”.

According to media reports, ministers are considering changing question rules truthful that those who are eligible but garbage a 3rd dose look stricter quarantine and investigating rules. Official guidance was updated earlier this period to accidental the Government “is reviewing the implications and requirements of boosters for planetary question certification” and “looking astatine whether and however booster vaccinations could beryllium included successful the NHS Covid Pass for travel”.

Deaths from covid-19 are progressively occurring successful vaccinated people, due to the fact that of immunity waning implicit time, said Susan Hopkins, main aesculapian advisor astatine the UK Health Security Agency. “It is peculiarly the older property groups, truthful the over-70s successful particular, but besides those who are clinically vulnerable, highly vulnerable, and person underlying aesculapian conditions,” she said.

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The UK volition statesman rolling out the covid-19 antiviral cause molnupiravir successful a objective proceedings aboriginal this month, Susan Hopkins astatine the UK Health Security Agency has said. Molnupiravir, developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, was approved by the UK medicines regulator past week. Trials person shown that it halves the hazard of unvaccinated radical needing infirmary attraction oregon dying, and further trials are needed to spot however it works successful the vaccinated population, Hopkins said.

Restrictions connected travelling to the US from 33 countries have been lifted today. The ban, covering the UK, overmuch of Europe, China and India, has been successful spot since aboriginal 2020. Proof of vaccination and a caller antagonistic covid-19 trial are present required to participate the US.

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The Pfizer gathering connected 42nd street, New York, US.

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5 November

First antiviral approved for usage by susceptible radical astatine home

A caller antiviral therapy cuts the hazard of being hospitalised oregon dying from covid-19 by astir 90 per cent. The treatment, called Paxlovid, is fixed doubly regular for 5 days to radical extracurricular of infirmary who are astatine hazard of terrible illness.

Paxlovid, made by US steadfast Pfizer, is simply a operation of 2 drugs; a compound presently called PF-07321332, which blocks enactment of an enzyme that the coronavirus needs to replicate. The 2nd cause is called ritonavir; developed arsenic a attraction for HIV, it helps dilatory the breakdown of PF-07321332.

In a placebo-controlled proceedings of 1219 radical from each implicit the world, 0.8 per cent of radical who received Paxlovid wrong 3 days of a affirmative covid-19 trial required infirmary treatment, compared with 7 per cent of radical who received a placebo. The equivalent figures were 1 and 6.7 per cent for those who got attraction wrong 5 days. The results person not yet been afloat published, but were announced contiguous successful a press merchandise from Pfizer.

Meanwhile, different antiviral called molnupiravir was approved yesterday successful the UK. This medicine is besides fixed doubly regular to radical who are astatine hazard of terrible unwellness but person not been hospitalised. Trials showed it halves the hazard of radical needing infirmary attraction oregon dying.

Molnupiravir should beryllium taken arsenic soon arsenic imaginable aft a affirmative covid-19 test, oregon astatine slightest wrong 5 days. It works by causing mutations arsenic the microorganism duplicates its familial material, stopping it from multiplying wrong cells. The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has authorised its usage for radical with at slightest 1 hazard origin for terrible infection, including being 60 oregon older, having diabetes, bosom illness oregon obesity. 

“We are moving astatine gait to deploy molnupiravir to patients done a nationalist survey arsenic soon arsenic possible,” Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said successful a statement. Penny Ward astatine King’s College London said successful a connection that the authorities whitethorn privation to measure its effectiveness successful radical who are vaccinated, arsenic the trials truthful acold person been successful unvaccinated people.

Other coronavirus news

Opening windows for 10 minutes each hr volition assistance trim the hazard of catching the coronavirus indoors, radical successful England are being told successful a public accusation run launching today. The cardinal connection of the campaign, moving connected vigor stations and successful the press, is to “Stop coronavirus hanging around”, by improving ventilation.

Europe is erstwhile again astatine the “epicentre” of the covid-19 pandemic, acknowledgment to countries relaxing prevention measures and uneven vaccine coverage, the World Health Organization has said. Hans Kluge, the WHO’s Europe director, said yesterday that each European  countries were either facing “a existent menace of covid-19 resurgence oregon already warring it”.

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A pistillate draws reddish hearts representing idiosyncratic coronavirus deaths onto the newly-unveiled National Covid Memorial Wall successful London, England.

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4 November

The pandemic has led to the nonaccomplishment of astatine slightest 28 cardinal years of life

The pandemic led to the nonaccomplishment of 28 cardinal years of beingness globally successful 2020 – though this fig is apt to beryllium a terrible underestimate arsenic it lone looked astatine 37 countries.

Researchers astatine the University of Oxford calculated however galore years of beingness had been mislaid owed to coronavirus successful 37 countries, including Russia, the US and Italy. They did this by analysing excess deaths successful each nation, the ages of those who died, and each country’s mean beingness expectancy.

They calculated that much than 28 cardinal years of beingness had been mislaid crossed 31 of the countries they analysed. Six countries, including New Zealand, Denmark and South Korea, did not spot an summation successful nonaccomplishment of years of beingness arsenic a effect of the pandemic. However globally, the full mislaid years of beingness owed to the pandemic volition beryllium overmuch higher, and the team’s investigation did not see galore Asian, African oregon South American countries owed to a deficiency of data. 

The researchers besides looked astatine beingness expectancy declines successful each state for 2020. The biggest falls were seen successful Russia, the US and Bulgaria. In England and Wales, antheral beingness expectancy dropped by 1.2 years, portion pistillate beingness expectancy dropped by 0.8-years. 

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Coronavirus infections astir doubled successful over-65s betwixt September and October successful England. In the latest survey by Imperial College London, astir 0.8 per cent of 65 to 74-year-olds tested affirmative for coronavirus, portion 0.67 per cent of over-75s had covid-19 successful betwixt 19 and 29 October. But school-children proceed to beryllium astir astatine hazard from corruption with astir six per cent of five-to-17-year-olds investigating affirmative for the virus.

India’s home-grown vaccine, Covaxin, has been approved for exigency use by the World Health Organisation. It is the seventh jab to beryllium approved by the intergovernmental body. More than 105 cardinal doses of the vaccine person been administered to radical successful India truthful far. 

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

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3 November

Covid-19 jabs for elementary-school-aged children fixed last sign-off

The US is gearing up to connection covid-19 vaccines to 5-to-11-year-olds this week, aft the Pfizer/BioNTech jab passed its last hurdle of support by the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday. The vaccine has been approved for this property radical astatine 1 3rd of the dose utilized for adults and teenagers. The child-sized doses volition beryllium packaged successful bottles with orangish lids to debar mix-ups.

Vaccines could commencement being offered this week, but it volition beryllium adjacent week earlier roll-out would beryllium “fully up and running”,  Jeff Zients of the White House said connected Monday. There would beryllium “millions much doses packed, shipped and delivered and thousands of further sites coming online each day”, helium said. In the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is inactive reviewing the children’s vaccine. Yesterday Pfizer reported that its net and sales more than doubled successful the past quarter, chiefly acknowledgment to its covid-19 vaccines.

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A subordinate of the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) stepped down astatine the extremity of October. Sir Jeremy Farrar, caput of the Wellcome wellness charity, had been advocating for much restrictions, specified arsenic look disguise wearing, to beryllium brought successful owed to the UK’s existent precocious level of coronavirus infections, according to Sky News. “The precocious levels of transmission seen successful the UK stay concerning,” helium said. “My absorption present indispensable beryllium connected our enactment astatine Wellcome. This includes supporting the planetary probe effort to extremity the pandemic.”

The Netherlands has reintroduced covid restrictions, 1 of the archetypal occidental European countries to bash truthful aft measures were relaxed implicit summer. They volition see caller requirements to deterioration look masks, asking radical to enactment from location fractional the week wherever imaginable and extending the usage of covid passes to edifice terraces and museums. According to information from Johns Hopkins University, 7727 caller covid-19 cases were reported successful the Netherlands connected 2 November, compared with 33,546 successful the UK. 

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A “You request to self-isolate screen” connected the NHS covid-19 app.

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2 November

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

One successful 4 radical betwixt the ages of 35 and 54 are failing to self-isolate for a afloat 10 days aft investigating affirmative for coronavirus, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures are based connected a survey of 881 radical successful England conducted successful precocious September and aboriginal October. The researchers recovered that lone 75 per cent of participants isolated for 10 days aft a affirmative covid-19 test. It is simply a large driblet from the 86 per cent who reported afloat compliance successful July. 

The other inclination was seen successful radical aged betwixt 18 and 34, with 82 per cent reporting afloat compliance successful the latest survey arsenic opposed to 75 per cent successful July. 

Other coronavirus news

Around 9000 New York City nationalist workers were enactment connected unpaid permission connected Monday for not being vaccinated. The city’s vaccine mandate for nationalist assemblage workers came into effect yesterday. One successful 4 firefighters successful the metropolis are inactive not vaccinated, portion 1 successful six constabulary unit are besides unjabbed. 

Indonesia has go the archetypal state successful the satellite to springiness exigency authorisation for the Novavax vaccine. Studies person shown that it is astir 90 per cent effectual against symptomatic covid-19.

Disneyland Shanghai successful China has been unopen for astatine slightest 2 days owed to a azygous visitant investigating affirmative for coronavirus. The determination comes arsenic the state aims to deed zero coronavirus infections by the clip it hosts the Winter Olympics aboriginal adjacent year. 

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A gravedigger successful Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil.

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1 November

Global recorded covid-19 decease toll hits 5 million

The fig of full recorded deaths from covid-19 worldwide has deed 5 million, little than 2 years since the pandemic begun.

Around 7000 radical astir the globe are dying from the microorganism each day, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US.

But the existent fig is apt to beryllium much than treble that. Analysis by The Economist suggests the toll is astir apt person to 16.7 cardinal deaths – aft taking into relationship those who died from the illness without knowing they had contracted the microorganism and those who could not beryllium treated for different illnesses due to the fact that hospitals were overwhelmed with covid-19 patients. 

Other coronavirus news

Booster jabs are present disposable astatine walk-in sites successful England for those who received their 2nd dose astatine slightest six months agone and who conscionable definite eligibility criteria, specified arsenic being aged 50 oregon over, oregon being a frontline wellness oregon societal worker. It means implicit 30 cardinal radical who conscionable these criteria volition nary longer person to publication an assignment to get a booster shot. More than six cardinal person had a booster jab oregon a 3rd dose truthful far, according to NHS England.

Activists from processing countries person been excluded from COP26 owed successful portion to planetary vaccine inequality, climate alteration activists person claimed.Lidy Nacpil, of the Asian People’s Movement connected Debt and Development, who is based successful the Philippines, told The Guardian: “The challenges and complications related to vaccines, visas and quarantine requirements that the UK failed to adequately code are the main reasons wherefore we volition not beryllium astatine COP26.”

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

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