The Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines are both highly effective at preventing over-80s from being admitted to hospital, according to a new study. Researchers in Bristol found that 14 days after one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, it was 79.3% effective at preventing people in that age group from developing symptomatic illness severe enough to be admitted. For AstraZeneca 's COVID-19 jab, the effectiveness was 80.4%. Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world What EU leaders said about AstraZeneca vaccine - and the data forcing a rethink The study tallies up with the Public Health Scotland (PHS) and Public Health England (PHE) reports released in February and on Monday respectively. Advertisement Professor Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics and chief investigator of the study at the University of Bristol, said his team took a different approach, using a smaller geographical area and … [Read more...] about COVID-19: Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines ‘highly effective’ at preventing hospital admissions in over-80s, study finds
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Covid deaths in England are falling faster than gloomy SAGE advisers thought they would, official data show — and scientists claim lockdown rules could be loosened faster. Models produced by the SPI-M group of scientists predicting the future of the Covid outbreak in February suggested the daily death count would stay above 200 until mid-March. But the average number of victims recorded each day had dropped below this level before the end of February, statistics show. Experts told The Telegraph the progress is 'better than expected' and suggested the Government's 'data not dates' approach could see relaxations brought forward. The vaccine rollout has made immense progress, with 20million people now vaccinated across the UK, and studies suggest the jabs are working better than expected, preventing between 85 and 94 per cent of hospitalisations. SPI-M's prediction was more pessimistic about how well the vaccine would work and whether it would stop transmission, which may … [Read more...] about Lockdown ‘could ease earlier’ in England because Covid deaths are falling FASTER than SAGE predicted thanks to vaccine success
Germany on Wednesday took a step towards forcing companies to take responsibility for any labor or environmental abuses in their global supply chain. A new law (Lieferkettengesetz in German) allows for hefty fines starting at several hundred thousand euros if their contractors abroad are found to breach human rights or environmental rules. The fines go up to two percent of the company's annual revenues if they exceed 400 million euros ($484 million). The companies are held responsible for every step of the way: from the raw materials to the finished product. "This law protects workers from exploitation across sprawling supply chains and protects human rights across the world," Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday, adding "In future, it will be clear that 'Made in Germany' also means respect for human rights." The SPD-run development and labor ministries initially wanted the law to also target smaller companies, but backed down in the face of strong opposition from the … [Read more...] about Germany to implement supply chain law against exploitation
It’s one of the front-runners in the fight against coronavirus , and now Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine is starting to be tested in teenagers. The pharmaceutical giant has announced that the first adolescent participants have been dosed in the Phase 2/3 study of its Covid-19 vaccine, called mRNA-1273. Teens aged 12-17 will receive the vaccine as part of the trial. Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, said: “We are pleased to begin this Phase 2/3 study of mRNA-1273 in healthy adolescents in the U.S. “Our goal is to generate data in the spring of 2021 that will support the use of mRNA-1273 in adolescents in advance of the 2021 school year. “We are encouraged by the interim and primary analyses of the Phase 3 COVE study in adults ages 18 and above and this adolescent study will help us assess the potential safety and immunogenicity of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate in this important younger age population. “We hope we will be able to provide a safe vaccine to provide protection … [Read more...] about Covid vaccine: Moderna has started testing its jab in kids aged between 12 and 17
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced several measures to support people affected by COVID-19 lockdowns. Much of Wednesday's budget (summed up here ) focused on the pandemic, with some schemes being extended and some new ones introduced to the tune of an extra £65 billion, bringing the total spend on COVID-19 since March 2020 into the next financial year to £407bn. Here are all the COVID -related announcements: Furlough Mr Sunak has extended the furlough scheme to 30 September. It was due to expire at the end of April after starting last March when the crisis began. Wages for millions who are unable to work due to the restrictions will continue to have up to 80% of their salary subsidised by the government, with a maximum of £2,500 a month. This will gradually be lifted, with the government reducing its contribution to 70% from July and employers having to pay 10% for hours not worked. In August and September, the government will pay 60% and employers 20%. … [Read more...] about Budget 2021: What COVID-19 support measures were announced and extended?