"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 14th Jan 2021
To thrive in lockdown, keep looking forward
A recent study, by researchers at the University of Surrey in the UK, has explored some strategies for maintaining emotional well-being during lockdown. It suggests that the most effective strategy for managing the emotional burden of lockdown may be to train one’s perspective forward — toward positive aspects of the future. In their study, the researchers investigated the value of three emotional strategies for dealing with lockdowns: nostalgia, or sentimentally looking back toward previous, better times; gratitude, or thinking about the good things currently in one’s life; best possible self, or picturing good things in the future
Lockdown gives us time to learn the art of letting go
Maturity and experience have a way of helping us to move on but what do we do when the art of letting go becomes difficult? Or when the situation, as the world currently stands, becomes so unmoving that we must accept a loss of control? We are at a time in our lives when letting go is proving terrifying considering we have already lost so much control over our lives and our environment with restrictive, unprecedented measures. In any situation where letting go and moving on is beneficial to our mental health, we are ultimately faced with a challenge to let go of a huge amount of control over our own lives. Susan McKenna, social care advocate and author at Bookhub Publishing, says: “This is a time of profound uncertainty with the global Covid-19 pandemic. It is a time when we have all been forced to look into ourselves and draw from our own resiliency. We are given an opportunity to reimagine how and why we engage as we do with the world and our communities.”
Stricter COVID-19 restrictions likely saved THOUSANDS of lives in European countries, study finds
European countries that had stricter mitigation measures against COVID-19 likely saved thousands of lives, a new study finds. Nations such as Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina had closed schools and offices, limited gatherings and implemented stay-at-home orders before cases began rapidly spreading across the continent, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed on Tuesday. Meanwhile countries such as the UK, Belarus and Luxembourg implanted few to no restrictions, allowing infections to spread relatively unchecked. What's more, the CDC found that sterner restrictions in most European countries could have led at least 74,000 fewer deaths - mostly in the UK, France and Spain.
Spain aims for all care home residents to get first COVID-19 vaccine dose by weekend
Spain aims for all its nursing home residents to have received a first dose of vaccine against the coronavirus by the end of the week, Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting. Since kicking off its vaccination campaign at the end of December and with new infections on the rise, Spain has focused its efforts on inoculating elderly nursing-home residents who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
Return with confidence: Using tech to create safe offices, post-pandemic
How can technology help companies worldwide return to work safely when lockdown ends? At Siemens, Ruth Gratzke is overseeing a “Return with Confidence” campaign to create safe and healthy indoor office environments. “It addresses everything from elevators where you don’t have to touch the buttons, touchless interactions throughout the building or management of meeting rooms and desks around social distancing,” said Gratzke, who is president of Siemens Smart Infrastructure, U.S., a unit of Siemens AG. “It’s about using creative and new technologies, looking at what’s available in tech and giving people the confidence to return to the office.”
EasyJet cabin crew to help with UK vaccination programme
British airline easyJet said the National Health Service (NHS) would train hundreds of its cabin crew to administer COVID-19 vaccines under a fast-track scheme designed to help boost the country’s vaccination efforts. The government plans to vaccinate the elderly, the vulnerable and frontline workers - around 15 million people - by mid-February and is opening up centres and recruiting volunteers to help it meet its target. With travel at very low levels due to the lockdown, many of easyJet’s 3,000 cabin crew are not working but are both first aid trained and security cleared, making them attractive candidates to the NHS to help with the programme.
Chinese province of 37million declares 'emergency' to combat coronavirus as the nation's new COVID-19 epicentre launches a second round of mass-testing amid fresh outbreak
Heilongjiang in northeast China announced to enter an 'emergency state' today The province banned its 37m residents from leaving unless absolutely necessary Shijiazhuang in Hebei ordered 11m people to undergo city-wide testing again The province emerged as China's new epicentre in the latest COVID-19 outbreak China recorded 107 new native cases today, the highest daily tally since last July
Palestinians desperately await COVID-19 vaccine
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a coronavirus vaccine jab on December 19, kicking off a national roll-out that has made Israel the world’s COVID-19 vaccination drive leader. But while Israel’s vaccination campaign even includes Jewish settlers living deep inside the illegally occupied West Bank, it will exclude the nearly five million Palestinians living under occupation there or in the blockaded Gaza Strip. They will have to wait for the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority (PA), which administers parts of the West Bank under interim peace agreements signed in the 1990s, to provide the jabs. The Palestinian health ministry expects the first batches of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in the occupied West Bank and Gaza at the beginning of March, more than two months after Israel began its roll-out.
Joan Bakewell threatens legal action over delays to second Covid vaccine dose
The journalist and Labour peer Joan Bakewell is threatening the government with legal action over its policy to delay the second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid vaccine. Lady Bakewell, 87, said there were grounds to show the decision taken by ministers to widen the gap between doses – from the three weeks recommended by the manufacturer to up to 12 weeks – was unlawful. She has instructed the law firm Leigh Day to start proceedings in response to the new dosing strategy, and names the respondent as the health secretary, Matt Hancock.
COVID-19: Police in talks with ministers about tightening 'vague' lockdown exercise rules
Police are in talks with ministers to tighten the "woolly" and "incredibly vague" lockdown regulations around exercise, a senior officer has said. Existing rules are "a real challenge", Owen Weatherill, from the National Police Chiefs' Council, told a committee of MPs on Wednesday. The assistant chief constable, who is leading the policing response to the pandemic in England and Wales, was giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee. Mr Weatherill told members police were holding discussions with the Home Office and the Department of Health, in the hope that they could "give greater clarity to the public and also to our officers". He said: "It's really difficult to get the right balance, I don't think there's a perfect answer for anybody, because whichever way you frame it somebody will be disadvantaged. That's the reality of what we're dealing with here. "There was a deliberate effort to try and make it flexible initially so there was a degree of freedom of choice for people, and you could exercise some of the decisions you wanted to within certain ranges, but that clearly is presenting other problems.
COVID-19: Compliance with restrictions at highest point since first lockdown, new data reveals
Compliance with coronavirus rules has risen sharply since December and is now at its highest point since the first lockdown, according to a major new survey seen by Sky News. The results cast doubt on the government's claims that rule-breaking is contributing to a rise in COVID-19 deaths, after ministers and senior police officers warned that enforcement would be increased to ensure compliance. But while the restrictions are being followed by most people, the study confirmed "rule-bending" remains as commonplace as throughout the pandemic, with a large minority adding their own "modifications" to the rules, especially when it comes to meeting other people and self-isolation time.
Covid-19: Breaking down Asian vaccine myths in Lancashire
A teacher is making online videos with children to tackle myths in South Asian communities about the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine. A study recently found some ethnic minorities were targeted with inaccurate anti-vaccination messages. Neetal Parekh, from Preston, believes the language barrier is one reason why some older people have been scared to have the vaccine. She said many were being misled "simply because they do not know enough". The 36-year-old has created a collection of short videos of young children urging their grandparents to have the vaccine in a variety of South Asian languages such as Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.
Tokyo's Covid outbreak adds to doubts over hosting Olympic Games
A dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has reignited speculation about the Olympic Games, which are due to open in the city in just over six months’ time. Japan widened its coronavirus state of emergency to cover more than half the population on Wednesday as surging infections sparked warnings of intense pressure on hospitals. The prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, said anti-virus measures introduced in the greater Tokyo region – at the centre of the latest wave of cases – would be expanded to include seven other prefectures. Suga said he would “take every measure” to protect lives, adding that all non-resident foreign nationals would be banned from entering Japan until the emergency measures were lifted. Japan had previously permitted business travellers from 11 Asian countries where case numbers appeared to be under control.
Meagre lockdown food parcels for English school children provoke outcry
Shared images of meagre food packages supplied to children by schools during England’s COVID-19 lockdown prompted an outcry on Tuesday and led the government to warn private suppliers to raise their standards. With England in lockdown to try to control a surge in coronavirus cases, the government has asked schools to provide free lunches for eligible children stuck at home. However, images shared online of some of the food parcels were criticized by politicians, celebrities and the public, who questioned whether they contained enough food and nutrition for the number of meals they were supposed to cover. The outcry began when one Twitter user posted a parcel she said was expected to last 10 days of lunches containing: a loaf of bread, two potatoes, two carrots, three apples, a tomato, some dried pasta, bananas, cheese, beans and other small snack
How book clubs, virtual choirs and gardening are helping people across UK embrace lockdown
People across the UK are finding imaginative ways to embrace life under lockdown by turning to online book clubs, cooking, gardening and virtual choirs to stay active, healthy and maintain social bonds. While tough restrictions imposed across the country are vital to slow the spread of coronavirus, they have also contributed to an increase in those reporting feeling bored, lonely or isolated. But there are many ways people can make the most of their time spent at home while playing their part to beat the pandemic. Every Mind Matters can get you started with a free NHS online plan, showing you simple steps to help manage anxiety, sleep better, and boost your mood.
German COVID-19 study finds concert halls are safe ‘at half capacity’
A German concert hall commissioned a study which found that – with the correct ventilation system – arts venues are theoretically ‘covid-safe’ at half audience capacity. Concert hall closures have been a heavy blow for musicians in Germany, the UK and in all countries shaken by the coronavirus pandemic. And while there has been government aid, it has rarely been enough to offset lost income from cancelled gigs. In the wake of ongoing closures in its region, in north Germany, the Dortmund Concert Hall decided to commission a study from scientific research organisation, the Fraunhofer Society, to investigate the spatial spread of aerosols and CO2 in a music venue. The study looks specifically at the risk of infection for audience members when attending concert halls and theatres.
Most Want to Continue Working Remotely after Pandemic, but Companies Not So Sure
The U.S. has gone through three basic shifts—settlement of the West, migration of large numbers of people from farm to factory, and as the post-industrial economy developed, from factory to office or service industries. Now, with an unanticipated jolt from the COVID-19 pandemic, some believe the nation is embarking on a fourth major shift—office to working at home. Polls conducted as the pandemic peaked last spring, found that 40% to 60% of those who remained employed reported working remotely. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25% to 30% of the labor force will work from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.
The pandemic upended work. Now your remote workspace is about to get an upgrade
The coronavirus pandemic brought the economy to a halt in March — and sent millions of workers home, where they scrambled to set up remote offices in their kitchens and living rooms and hopped on Zoom calls with co-workers. Now, a raft of new technology and devices, introduced this week at America's largest consumer-technology event, CES (Consumer Electronics Show), seek to help workers manage their new work-life balances. Here are some of the new workplace trends emerging from CES that might work their way into your remote office.
How to find 'flow' while working from home, according to a peak performance expert
“Flow,” a term first coined in the ’70s and often associated with athletes, is “an optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best,” according to peak performance expert Steven Kotler. When top athletes experience flow, for instance, many say they feel a sense of oneness with whatever task they are doing and are not worried about failure or other distractions, according to research on the topic.But the truth is, anyone can achieve flow, according to Kotler, author of “The Art of Impossible,” a how-to manual for peak performance, and founder and executive director of the Flow Research Collective. It just takes some planning and structure — especially when working from home, he says.
How to deal with working from home burnout
It’s coming up to a year since we swapped office life for our working from home setups. When will we be able to resume office life like normal? When can we finally stop working at our dining room tables? And when will Zoom meetings stop being a thing? If you’re feeling stressed about your current routine, you might be suffering from working from home burnout. In case it’s all getting too much for you at the moment, we’ve asked experts to share their advice on how to cope if working from home has left you frazzled.
These Scotland university lecturers are experts of 'remote learning' after doing it for decades - here's how they do it
Educators at Scotland’s University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) have provided online courses since the early 90s which makes many of them highly experienced in ‘remote learning.’ So much that in the wake of the pandemic, UHI lecturers said they have received requests from other universities asking for advice on the online structure that their careers have survived on for decades.
Schools CEO: More students failing in virtual learning
More Baltimore City School students are failing in virtual learning, according to Baltimore City Schools CEO Sonja Santelises. Santelises shared the new figures with the city school board commissioners during Tuesday night's meeting. She says they looked over the first quarter grades of 2019 and compared them to the first quarter of the new school year and found the numbers went up from 38% to 60% among students in grades six through 12. Ninth graders had the biggest percentage of students failing at least one class, according to Santelises. Santelises says students need to go back to school buildings and be with their teachers in person before their losses in learning and education cannot be repaired.
'Teachers are our heroes': Mum praises school staff after Gavin Williamson urges parents to report poor remote learning to Ofsted
In England, a mum has praised a High Wycombe school for its “high quality virtual learning” after parents were asked to report schools to Ofsted if remote lessons were deemed to be poor during the third national lockdown. Natalie Lateu-Robinson said she wants to thank teachers and staff at Wycombe High School, which her daughter attends, after education secretary Gavin Williamson provoked anger by suggesting parents should report schools to Ofsted if they felt the online learning provided was not good enough.
Will poorer nations miss out on COVID-19 vaccine?
The WHO has urged countries to prioritise COVAX, an initiative to secure vaccines for low and middle-income nations. The global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines is widening the divide between the world’s rich and poor. The United Nations warns “vaccine nationalism” is on the rise, as Europe, the United States and many wealthier countries buy up millions of potential doses. The World Health Organization urged countries to prioritise COVAX, an initiative to secure vaccines for low and middle-income nations. So how can we ensure protection for everyone? Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom
Second shots of Covid vaccine could be delayed further in England
Second shots of coronavirus vaccine could be delayed even further amid growing evidence that spacing out the doses improves their effectiveness. The NHS vaccination programme aims to immunise about 14 million people at greatest risk of Covid by mid-February, with second doses to be given up to 12 weeks later. But Public Health England’s head of immunisation, Mary Ramsay, told MPs on Wednesday that if infection data showed vulnerable groups, such as the over-80s, were well protected by their first shot, then second doses could be delayed to get a first jab to younger people as well.
Soaring COVID-19 cases in Spain prompt more regions to toughen response
The Spanish regions of Galicia, La Rioja and Cantabria became the latest to tighten coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday amid a spiralling national infection rate that officials have blamed on lax adherence to the rules over Christmas. After a lull in contagion in late November, cases skyrocketed through December and into early January, doubling the incidence of the virus as measured over the past 14 days in just three weeks, to 454 cases per 100,000 people. Unlike European countries such as Britain and the Netherlands, which have extended national lockdowns, the Spanish authorities have repeatedly said a return to confinement is not necessary. Instead it has delegated regional authorities to deploy a mixture of curfews, caps on group meetings and restrictions on business opening hours.
Japan expands state of emergency over coronavirus as infections climb
Japan will expand its state of emergency to seven more prefectures, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday. The country reported 4,527 new cases and 51 deaths Tuesday, bringing the national total to almost 300,000, with a death toll of 4,158. More than 61,500 patients are in hospitals across the country, which have been struggling to deal with a spike in cases brought on in part by freezing winter temperatures. Tokyo, previously among the worst hit areas, reported 970 new cases Tuesday, the first time the Japanese capital's daily tally has dropped below 1,000 in over a week. The total number of confirmed cases in Tokyo now stands at 77,133.
Facing New Outbreaks, China Places Over 22 Million on Lockdown
When a handful of new coronavirus cases materialized this month in a province surrounding Beijing — apparently spread at a village wedding party — the Chinese authorities bolted into action. They locked down two cities with more than 17 million people, Shijiazhuang and Xingtai. They ordered a crash testing regime of nearly every resident there, which was completed in a matter of days. They shut down transportation and canceled weddings, funerals and, most significantly, a provincial Communist Party conference. By this week the lockdowns expanded to include another city on the edge of Beijing, Langfang, as well as a county in Heilongjiang, a northeastern province. Districts in Beijing itself, the Chinese capital, also shut down.
Tunisia to lock down for four days from Thursday
Tunisia will impose a four-day national lockdown from Thursday along with lesser measures lasting until Jan. 24 to combat a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, Health Minister Fouzi Mehdi said on Tuesday. “The situation is very critical and the vaccination will not come before February,” Mehdi said. Other measures will include rotating staffing in state jobs to reduce people in offices and transport, school closures, longer curfew hours and the removal of all chairs from cafes.
Germany will have COVID curbs beyond January - health minister
Germany will not be able to lift all coronavirus lockdown curbs at the beginning of February, Health Minister Jens Spahn said, stressing the need to further reduce contacts to fend off a more virulent variant of the virus. The German cabinet on Wednesday approved stricter controls on people entering the country after a national lockdown was last week tightened and extended to the end of January.
Denmark to extend lockdown measures by three weeks - media reports
Denmark on Wednesday extended hard lockdown measures by at least three weeks to limit the spread of the coronavirus, in particular a more transmissible variant of the virus that is spreading in the Nordic country. Denmark has so far registered 208 cases of the new variant dubbed cluster B 1.1.7., which was first registered in Britain and has spread across Europe. “It is the growth that is extremely worrying,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke told a news conference late on Wednesday. “This means that we will see a situation with sharply increasing infection rates later in the winter, if the situation continues as it is now,” he said.
Swiss boost coronavirus restrictions, shy away from full lockdown
Switzerland on Wednesday tightened measures to tackle new variants of the COVID-19 virus spreading across the country while stopping short of the full lockdown neighbouring countries have adopted to choke off the pandemic. The wealthy Alpine country also eased rules for pandemic-hit businesses to apply for state aid, which will force the government to ask parliament to top up the latest 2.5 billion Swiss franc ($2.82 billion) pot of money for hardship cases. Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns over fears about a fast-spreading variant first detected in Britain, with vaccinations not expected to help much for another two to three months.
Lockdown starting to have an effect, says UK PM Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday tougher restrictions brought in last week were starting to have an effect on the spread of COVID in some parts of the country, cautioning that it was still early days. “What we are now seeing, and it’s very, very important to stress that these are early days, we are now seeing the beginnings of some signs that that is starting to have an effect in many parts of the country, but by no means everywhere and it is early days,” he told parliament. He also said he did not rule out bringing in even tougher restrictions to try to temper the spread of the coronavirus, which has largely been driven by a new variant.
U.S. Vaccine Shift Stirs New Unease as 128 Million Join Line
The U.S. government wants states to offer vaccines to millions more Americans as Covid-19 infections continue to soar, in a bid to bolster an immunization campaign that’s off to a rocky start. In recommending that states start immunizing all residents 65 and older, along with all those between 16 and 64 with medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious disease, U.S. health officials are clearing a path for about 128 million more Americans to be vaccinated.
Less than half of people who have developed Covid-19 symptoms have requested a test - and over-60s are the worst at getting checked out
Just 43 per cent of people who develop Covid-19 symptoms are getting a test, according to shock new data. An ongoing UCL study has been tracking the social aspect of the pandemic and how the general public has been behaving and adhering to the ever-changing rules and guidance. It started in mid-March 2020 and regularly quizzes more than 70,000 Britons about their life in lockdown. Data shows a third of people requested a test every time they developed symptoms, one in ten got a test only on some of the occasions when they had symptoms and 57 per cent never requested a test despite having symptoms
US requires negative Covid-19 tests from all international travelers
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced it will start requiring all international travelers coming into the US to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the country. Global testing requirements would be an expansion on a Trump administration policy barring UK travelers without a negative test from entry, which was announced on December 24. The new rule, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, will apply to Americans returning home from abroad, as well as visitors.
Mental health of NHS staff placed under further strain as Covid hospitalisations continue to rise
Doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients in overstretched hospitals are increasingly suffering from mental health issues, figures show – as health chiefs warn staff will be pushed to their limit over the next few weeks of the pandemic. The number of doctors seeking psychiatric help through the British Medical Association has doubled since the pandemic began, The Independent can reveal, while new research shows that nearly half of all NHS staff in intensive care units (ICUs) are likely to meet the threshold for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety or depression. And in a letter sent to doctors on Tuesday, the UK’s chief medical officers said that the weeks ahead “are likely to be among the most challenging of all our professional lives” and will push staff “to the limits of [their] physical and mental endurance”.
Scotland's Covid lockdown tightened with click and collect and takeaway curbs
Shops in Scotland have been ordered to stop non-essential click-and-collect services and alcohol consumption is to be banned outdoors, in a further tightening of lockdown measures. Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister, said shops would be allowed to offer click and collect only for essential goods such as clothes, shoes, baby equipment, books and homeware from Saturday 16 January. Takeaway outlets will be banned from allowing customers into the building. “I must stress at the outset that the situation we face in relation to the virus remains very precarious and extremely serious,” she told MSPs. UK government ministers are considering restricting click and collect in England, and Matt Hancock, the health secretary, joined Sturgeon in welcoming John Lewis’s voluntary decision on Tuesday to suspend its collect services.
School key worker ‘lottery’ sees NHS staff miss out on lockdown classroom places as more children attend
One week after schools in England closed, key worker parents and NHS staff are missing out on face-to-face education places for their children, as schools attempt to adhere to broader key worker guidance while managing a problematic increase in attendance. Both teachers and parents told i that they were finding it increasingly difficult to manage demand for children to attend school. While schools in England closed for most pupils on Tuesday 5 January, as with the first lockdown they remain open for vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers, as well as for those children without digital devices or quiet spaces in their homes, and the children of EU transition workers.
COVID-19 infection gives some immunity for at least five months, UK study finds
People who have had COVID-19 are highly likely to have immunity to it for at least five months but there is evidence that those with antibodies may still be able to carry and spread the virus, a UK study of healthcare workers has found. Preliminary findings by scientists at Public Health England (PHE) showed that reinfections in people who have COVID-19 antibodies from a past infection are rare - with only 44 cases found among 6,614 previously infected people in the study. But experts cautioned that the findings mean people who contracted the disease in the first wave of the pandemic in the early months of 2020 may now be vulnerable to catching it again. They also warned that people with so-called “natural immunity” - acquired through having had the infection - may still be able carry the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in their nose and throat, and could unwittingly pass it on.
J&J likely to seek EU approval for COVID-19 vaccine in February: lawmaker
Johnson & Johnson could deliver the first doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Europe in April, an EU official told Reuters on Wednesday after a top lawmaker said the U.S. healthcare company was likely to seek EU regulatory approval in February. Clinical data on the vaccine has been assessed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) since Dec. 1 under a rolling review to speed up possible approval. A senior EU official, who is involved in negotiations with vaccine makers and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the J&J shot could be available from April 1 in Europe. Earlier on Wednesday, an EU lawmaker said J&J could seek EU approval for its one-shot vaccine in February.
Sinovac: Brazil results show Chinese vaccine 50.4% effective
A coronavirus vaccine developed by China's Sinovac has been found to be 50.4% effective in Brazilian clinical trials, according to the latest results released by researchers. It shows the vaccine is significantly less effective than previous data suggested - barely over the 50% needed for regulatory approval. The Chinese vaccine is one of two that the Brazilian government has lined up. Brazil has been one of the countries worst affected by Covid-19. Sinovac, a Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company, is behind CoronaVac, an inactivated vaccine. It works by using killed viral particles to expose the body's immune system to the virus without risking a serious disease response.
Are women with asthma at increased risk for severe COVID-19?
Although adults with asthma appear to have a reduced risk of severe COVID-19 compared with younger populations,1 women with asthma might represent a somewhat susceptible subgroup for severe COVID-19 requiring hospitalisation.2 A study by Atkins and colleagues established female sex as an independent risk factor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) hospitalisation among patients with asthma in the UK.2 This study and three additional studies from Paris, France, Illinois, USA, and New York, NY, USA, report that 37–53% of all individuals hospitalised with SARS-CoV-2 were women.3, 4, 5 However, 56–71% of patients with asthma hospitalised for COVID-19 were women in these studies
AstraZeneca boss says two million weekly doses of vaccine will be delivered to NHS ‘imminently’
Two million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs will “imminently” be delivered to the NHS a week as the vaccine roll-out is dramatically stepped up, a pharmaceutical boss said today. Tom Keith-Roach, president at AstraZeneca UK, said 1.1 million doses of the company’s Covid-19 jab had been released to date. He told the Commons science and technology committee: “We are scaling up very rapidly and this will happen imminently to releasing two million doses a week. “We’re absolutely on track to do that and therefore deliver tens of millions of doses in the first quarter of the year.
Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine generates immune response, few side effects, in early trials
Early stage trials of Johnson & Johnson's experimental coronavirus vaccine show it generated an immune response in nearly all volunteers, with minimal side-effects, after a single dose. The company expects to report details of more advanced trials later this month and is hoping to apply for authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration soon after. Researchers who tested the vaccine in a combined Phase 1-2 trial -- mostly meant to show safety -- found either one or two doses of the vaccine generated both antibody and T-cell responses against the coronavirus. The trials were not designed to show whether the vaccine protected people against either infection or symptoms of coronavirus -- that's what the ongoing Phase 3 trials are designed to do. Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, an international team of researchers who tested the vaccine in around 800 volunteers said the early stage trials showed it was safe and probably should work.