Javid’s remarks came after two major incidents were declared in England due to pressures caused by the Omicron variant’s spread….reports Asian Lite News
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that there will be a “rocky few weeks ahead” for the National Health Service (NHS) as Covid cases continue to soar in the country.
Speaking during a visit to a hospital in London, Javid said these are “challenging times” for the health service and the “best thing” people can do is get their booster jab, reports Xinhua news agency.
Javid’s remarks came after two major incidents were declared in England due to pressures caused by the Omicron variant’s spread.
“We know now that Omicron is less severe and we certainly know that once you get boosted that your chance of hospitalisation, our latest analysis shows, is almost 90 per cent less than it was with Delta,” he said.
The UK reported another 178,250 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 14,279,785, according to official figures.
The country also reported a further 229 deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 150,222, with 18,454 patients still in hospital.
Some 200 Armed Forces personnel are being deployed to support the NHS in London as hospitals grapple with staff shortages, according to Sky News.
The Royal College of Nursing has said the deployment means the government can no longer deny there is a “staffing crisis” within the NHS.
More than 90 per cent of people aged 12 and over have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 82 per cent were fully inoculated, according to the latest figures.
Latest data from UK Health Security Agency shows booster doses are continuing to provide high levels of protection against severe disease from the Omicron variant among older adults, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk
A fourth Covid-19 jab is not yet needed, said government scientific advisers on Friday since booster doses continue to provide high protection against severe disease from the Omicron variant among older adults, media reported.
UK Health Security Agency data show three months after boosting, protection against hospitalisation remains at about 90% for people aged 65 and over, the BBC reported.
Protection against mild symptomatic infection is more short-lived. That drops to around 30% by about three months.
Meanwhile, figures also showed that with just two vaccine doses, protection against severe disease dropped to around 70% after three months and to 50% after six months.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises on vaccine policy, says the priority therefore remains to get first, second and third doses to those who have not already had them, the BBC reported.
This is despite some countries such as Israel starting to give fourth Covid shots to manage the highly infectious Omicron variant that is causing rising numbers of infections around the globe.
Meanwhile, more than 35 million boosters and third doses have now been administered across the UK.
“The current data shows the booster dose is continuing to provide high levels of protection against severe disease, even for the most vulnerable older age groups,” said Professor Wei Shen Lim, the JCVI’s chair of COVID-19 immunisation. “For this reason, the committee has concluded there is no immediate need to introduce a second booster dose, though this will continue to be reviewed.”
“The data is highly encouraging and emphasises the value of a booster jab. With Omicron continuing to spread widely, I encourage everyone to come forward for their booster dose, or if unvaccinated, for their first 2 doses, to increase their protection against serious illness,” Professor Shen Lim added.
The latest study looked at booster doses in those aged over 65, who were among the first to be eligible when the booster rollout began in mid-September.
Whilst with a booster dose, the duration of protection against severe disease remains high, protection against mild symptomatic infection is more short-lived and drops to around 30% by about 3 months.
Britain reported 194,747 coronavirus cases on January 5 and 179,756 cases on January 6.
New data revealed that the epicentre of the current COVID outbreak in Britain has moved from London to the North West of England.
Figures from the UK Health Security Agency’s latest surveillance report also showed a sharp rise in hospital admissions in older people, especially those aged over 85.
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed that more than 20 National Health Service (NHS) trusts have now declared a critical incident. “There are 137 trusts, there are 24 which are critical. It is not entirely unusual for hospitals to go critical over the winter, often with things like the flu pandemic, but there are very real pressures which I absolutely recognise,” he told Sky News.
He added that an additional 5,000 doctors and 10,000 more nurses are in place across the country compared to last year.
Meanwhile, an estimated 1.3 million people in Britain were experiencing self-reported long COVID as of December 6, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.
The figure, which only accounts for the four weeks to December 6, represents 2 per cent of the country’s entire population.
The ONS added that 21 per cent who were reporting having long COVID first had or suspected having the virus less than 12 weeks ago. A total of 70 per cent said they had it at least 12 weeks previously and 40 per cent said they were infected at least a year ago.
More than 90 per cent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 82 per cent have received both doses, according to the latest figures. More than 60 per cent have received booster jabs, or the third dose of a coronavirus vaccine. (with inputs from ANI)
Britain registered 39,716 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 10,228,772, according to official figures released Tuesday…reports Asian Lite News.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that everyone above 18 years of age will be offered a booster vaccine by the end of January and another lockdown is “extremely unlikely”.
Speaking at a Downing Street news briefing on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said the rollout of booster programme will go in age order, and that there will be more than 1,500 community pharmacy sites in England offering the jabs.
“Temporary vaccine centers will be popping up like Christmas trees”, adding that some 400 military personnel and the “jabs army of volunteers” will also help with the rollout, Johnson said.
A further eight cases of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant have been identified in England, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variant known as B.1.1.529 in Britain to 22, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
The UKHSA said it is acting to get scientific information available as quickly as possible in order to inform the right balance of interventions to prevent transmission of the new variant and protect lives.
British Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the news conference that authorities are looking to establish any link to South Africa in the new England cases, but added we have to be “realistic” and there is “likely to be community transmission” of the new variant.
Britain registered 39,716 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 10,228,772, according to official figures released Tuesday.
The country also reported a further 159 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 144,969. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
More than 88 per cent of people aged 12 and above in Britain have received their first dose of vaccine and more than 80 per cent have received both the doses, according to the latest figures.
More than 31 per cent have received booster jabs, or the third dose of anti-coronavirus vaccine.
To restore normalcy, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the US have been racing against time to roll out Covid vaccines.
Every Australian aged 18 and over is eligible for a booster vaccine six months after their second jab…reports Asian Lite News.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will send letters to citizens urging them to book their coronavirus booster vaccines as soon as possible, as the country is still battling the third wave of the pandemic.
In the letter to every Australian home, Morrison said booster shots were the key to keeping Australia open and avoiding a deadly fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Thanks to the high vaccination rates, we are now reopening, our economy is strongly re-emerging, and people can get back to seeing family, travelling and living a more normal life,” he wrote.
“An important part of this process is ensuring that every person in Australia has access to vaccine boosters to help maintain the best possible defence against serious illness or death,” said Morrison.
“Everyone in Australia is encouraged to take up the vaccine boosters to make sure we can keep each and every one of us safe.”
Every Australian aged 18 and over is eligible for a booster vaccine six months after their second jab.
Australia on Friday reported more than 1,600 new locally-acquired coronavirus infections and seven deaths.
Till date, 92 per cent of Australians aged 16 and over have received one Covid-19 vaccine dose and 86 per cent were fully inoculated.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on Friday confirmed Australian authorities are working with the World Health Organization to investigate a new variant that was found in South Africa.
The JCVI also advised that all 16- to 17-year-olds who are not in an at-risk group should be offered a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine 12 weeks or more following the first vaccine dose…reports Asian Lite News.
The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) on Monday announced that people over 40 years old living in the United Kingdom will now be eligible to receive a booster COVID-19 vaccine six months after having their second dose, as a new study showed that boosters give over 90% protection in adults over 50.
“JCVI has previously advised booster vaccination for all adults aged 50 years and over and those in a COVID-19 at-risk group. The offer has now been broadened to include those aged 40 to 49 years,” the committee said in a statement.
The booster vaccines to be offered to this new age group are Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, the same mRNA-type vaccine that is being used since September in people over 50 and at higher risk from the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. So far, more than 12,6 million people in the UK have had the third dose.
According to a study released on Monday by the UK Health Security Agency, two weeks after receiving a booster dose, protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 years and over was 93.1% in those who first had AstraZeneca as their primary vaccine and 94.0% for Pfizer-BioNTech.
The JCVI also advised that all 16- to 17-year-olds who are not in an at-risk group should be offered a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine 12 weeks or more following the first vaccine dose.
UK records another 39,705 new cases
The UK has registered 39,705 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 9,600,369, according to the latest official figures released.
The country on Monday also reported a further 47 coronavirus-related deaths, Xinhua news agency reported.
The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the UK now stands at 142,945. These death toll only includes people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
There are currently 8,678 patients in hospital with Covid-19.
The latest data came as the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed there’s still nothing in the coronavirus data to suggest further restrictions were needed despite a “storm of infection” in Europe and the risk that “a blizzard could come from the east again.”
Speaking on a visit to a medical centre in east London, he said: “The best protection for our country is for everybody to go forward and get that booster.”
However, England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, said the modelling is “getting more difficult to give us any clear sense of whether things will turn up or down.”
“We’re in for potentially some difficult months over the winter,” he told reporters.
Around 88 percent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and around 80 per cent have received both doses, the latest figures indicate. More than 22 per cent have received booster jabs, or the third dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.
At the Times Now Summit 2021, Ella also opened up about the hurdles faced in Covaxin’s WHO approval…reports Asian Lite News.
Hyderabad-based pharma major Bharat Biotech founder and Managing Director Dr Krishna Ella on Wednesday said that an ideal time for booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine would be six months after receiving the second dose.
However, he added that a final decision will be taken by the government.
About the nasal vaccine being developed by Bharat Biotech after its Coavaxin, he said that the Phase 2 trials are done and data was being analysed. “We should expect it in 3-4 months,” he said, adding that Bharat Biotech was also talking to the government about using the Cowin platform for doing clinical trials.
Ella indicated that the nasal Covid vaccine could be taken instead of the second dose of Covaxin or to protect previously infected persons. The nasal vaccine was more effective in preventing infection as compared to an injectable vaccine which does not reach upper lungs and could eliminate the need for a vaccinated individual to continue wearing the mask, he said.
On bringing a vaccine for children, Ella said Bharat Biotech was the only company in the world to have done clinical trials among those between 2 and 18 years of age.
At the Times Now Summit 2021, Ella also opened up about the hurdles faced in Covaxin’s WHO approval.
He said that they had 5 vaccines WHO pre-qualified “so we knew it very well, we know how to do it. But the problem is many media people who are negative, they even wrote to the scientific journals to look into some death in Bhopal. It happened because of suicide but it was blamed on vaccine”.
Asked about the reason behind the negative publicity, the Bharat Biotech founder responded: “When Prime Minister took the vaccine, immediately they said it’s a BJP vaccine, it’s a Modi vaccine. All sorts of synonyms. We are scientists, we don’t understand the politics.”
The World Health Organisation granted emergency use listing to India’s indigenous vaccine Covaxin on November 3.
Experts warn of double-threat of Covid and flu. Scientists are warning of a particularly bad flu season while Covid cases surge. However, there are things we can all do to limit the spread of both viruses, keep ourselves safe, and protect our friends and families. From letting fresh air indoors to Covid booster jabs, here are actions we can all take to reduce the risks from Covid and flu
As the seasons change and with children back at school, we all tend to catch more coughs and colds. But this Autumn is different – after 18 months of limited socialising and exposure to bugs, the nation’s immune system is at an all-time low.
Scientists are warning of a particularly bad flu season while Covid cases surge. However, there are things we can all do to limit the spread of both viruses, keep ourselves safe, and protect our friends and families. From letting fresh air indoors to Covid booster jabs, here are actions we can all take to reduce the risks from Covid and flu.
Covid is set to spike again this winter and vaccines remain our best line of defence. That’s why the NHS is inviting people over 50, clinically vulnerable people and frontline health and social care workers to top-up their immunity by getting the Covid booster jab. People aged 16 to 49 with underlying health conditions and anyone living with someone with an immune disorder should also get the booster jab.
Covid vaccines have been vital to us regaining some normality in our daily lives. So far, 9 out of 10 adults have had at least one Covid jab, resulting in 24 million fewer infections and over 130,000 lives saved in England alone. To be eligible for a Covid booster you need to have received your second dose at least six months ago. If you are eligible, you should receive a letter or text letting you know when it’s your turn.
Who should get a flu jab?
The NHS will offer 35 million flu vaccines this Autumn – five million more than usual. To stave off a serious wave of the flu, many people will need to get the flu jab for the first time this Autumn.
Sadly, around 11,000 people die from the flu in England in an average year. However, experts are warning that this year the number of deaths could shoot up to 60,000. Despite this, the seriousness of flu is often underestimated. According to a survey of 300 South Asians in England, 41% of respondents view it as just a bad cold and a quarter (26%) don’t even know you can die from it.
Those most at risk from Covid are also most at risk of getting seriously sick with the influenza virus. People who need both the flu and Covid boosters include over 50s, those at risk or with long-term health conditions, and health and social care workers.
Pregnant women and children and teenagers aged 2 to 16 only need to get the flu vaccine. Eligible people should book an appointment for their flu jab at either their GP practice or their local pharmacy as soon as possible. Expectant mothers can ask for their free flu jab at their local maternity service.
Vaccine for children
Although Covid doesn’t usually affect the very young as badly, offering children Covid jabs will reduce the number currently missing out on school after testing positive. Vaccinating children and teenagers against Covid and flu also minimises the spread of both viruses among vulnerable groups like older people and babies (in the case of the flu). Flu can also lead to serious problems in children, includingbronchitis andpneumonia.
Children aged 2 to 11 and those aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions will receive a nasal spray of the flu vaccine free on the NHS. The spray may contain pork products and a pork-free option is available on request.
12–17-year-olds will also be offered a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine. The UK is not alone in doing this, several countries have already immunised millions of children with the same vaccines, so there’s plenty of real-world data, as well as trial data to support their safety and effectiveness.
Children will only be vaccinated with parental consent and many Covid jabs will be administered in school as with other vaccines like tetanus.
Other preventative measures for avoiding Covid and the flu
When someone with Covid coughs, sings or even breathes, they send out tiny particles containing the virus that hang around in the air like smoke. Studies show that allowing fresh air into a room, even for just 10 minutes at a time throughout the day disperses these particles, reducing Covid transmission rates by up to 70%
Wear a facemask in busy or enclosed spaces to reduce your chance of catching Covid
Get tested regularly and isolate at home if you test positive
Find out how to book your flu vaccine and if you’re eligible for the Covid booster at nhs.uk/wintervaccinations
As a bigger flu season than normal is expected, extra protection against Covid is likely to be needed…reports Asian Lite News.
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has been given the green light to roll out Covid vaccine booster programme for all the vulnerable populations in the country from September, the media reported.
This move follows interim advice by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that boosters will help maintain protection against Covid-19 and new variants for those most at risk, before winter sets in, BBC reported on Wednesday.
As a bigger flu season than normal is expected, extra protection against Covid is likely to be needed.
The JCVI has advised to give a third Covid jab (and a flu jab) to adults aged 16 and over who are immunosuppressed or clinically extremely vulnerable; residents in care homes for older adults; all adults aged 70 and over; frontline health and social care workers.
After those groups, it will be all adults aged 50 and over; adults aged 16-49 who are in a flu or Covid-19 at-risk group and those living in the same house as people who are immunosuppressed.
“We want to be on the front foot for Covid-19 booster vaccination to keep the probability of loss of vaccine protection, due to waning immunity or variants, as low as possible — especially over the coming autumn and winter,” Prof. Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, was quoted as saying.
He said other respiratory viruses, particularly flu, “will make a comeback” and be an additional problem this winter.
“We will need to ensure protection against flu, as well as maintaining protection against Covid-19,” Van-Tam said.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said ministers were working with the NHS to rapidly deliver the programme from September.
“Our first Covid-19 vaccination programme is restoring freedom in this country, and our booster programme will protect this freedom,” he was quoted as saying.
The JCVI’s final advice will be published before September, when better data will be available on how long protection from the first two doses of the vaccines lasts. The latest figures on hospitalisations, emerging variants and trials will also be taken into account at that point, and could change their advice, the BBC report said.
Younger adults will not be given a third dose, because they will only have had their second dose in the summer, although this decision will be revisited at a later time, the JCVI said.