Covid UK News Live: Six-month booster jab gap is ‘sweet spot’


UK encourages booster shots, resists new virus restrictions

Ministers are reportedly considering whether to shorten the interval between booster shots and a second dose of a coronavirus vaccine from six months to five, as the race between inoculations and infections intensifies.

With former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt among those calling for “more flexibility” in the winter deployment, Boris Johnson said the period between jabs was an “extremely important point” and stressed the need to ” keep going as fast as possible “.

However, the vice-chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, Professor Anthony Harnden, said that although the advisory body would consider reducing the booster interval, six months seemed to be the “sweet spot”.

It came as the UK reported more than 50,000 cases in a single day, which – with the exception of two days in July – has not happened since January, when the emergence of the Alpha variant has resulted in an average of over 1,000 deaths per day across this country. month.

Although the country has recorded 912 deaths in the past seven days, Care Minister Gillian Keegan insisted the death rate remains “very low” while defending the government’s decision not to implementing its “plan B” measures, such as compulsory masks and vaccination passports.


A “madness” for the reopening of nightclubs in Northern Ireland, according to BMA

A decision by Stormont to lift the coronavirus rules despite mounting pressure on health services has been called “utter madness” by doctors.

Dr Tom Black, chairman of the British Medical Association’s Northern Ireland board, said the eases planned for the end of the month would ultimately lead to more deaths from Covid-19.

He called the move “stupid” as he warned the region’s health system was facing its “worst crisis ever” this winter as it faced the “triple whammy” of Covid, to winter pressures and spiraling waiting lists.

Andy GregoryOctober 22, 2021 11:04 AM


Our political correspondent Ashley cowburn a more on the JCVI Vice President’s suggestion that the current six month interval for the recall jab is the “sweet spot”.

“Whether it’s five months or seven months isn’t that important, but I think what’s important is that people get their booster,” Professor Anthony Harnden told the BBC.

Andy GregoryOctober 22, 2021 10:35 AM


Travel to Wales allowed with side flow test for double puncture

Fully vaccinated travelers arriving in Wales from a non-redlisted country will be able to take a lateral flow test instead of the more expensive PCR test from Sunday 31 October, the Welsh government said.

This will come a week after the policy was introduced in England.

Andy GregoryOctober 22, 2021 10:17 AM


‘Tsunami of unmet need’: care watchdog contradicts government with disastrous NHS warning

The health watchdog has warned that the NHS and England’s healthcare services are facing a “tsunami of unmet need” despite ministers insisting that hospitals face the huge increase in request, our health correspondent Shaun lintern reports.

Care Quality Commission chief executive Ian Trenholm said the NHS and caregivers “cannot work harder than they already are if we are to make it through this winter safely”.

“What we are seeing is that many services are at full capacity, and in many cases beyond capacity, and issues that traditionally could have been hijacked can no longer be hijacked,” he said. -he declares.

Organizations had to come together and work differently, he warned: “If these things don’t happen, there is a real risk of a tsunami of unmet need, with many people not receiving the care they need. desperately needed this winter.

Andy GregoryOctober 22, 2021 9:59 AM


Ask a disease control expert anything about the increase in Covid cases in the UK

Dr Bharat Pankhania, Clinical Lecturer at the University of Exeter and former Public Health England consultant on communicable disease control, will be live on The independentat 10 a.m. to answer questions about the coronavirus pandemic.

You can submit questions and follow the discussion via the article below:

Andy GregoryOctober 22, 2021 9:44 AM


New app could see good audiences donated for healthy behavior

Public Health Minister Maggie Throup will soon make a statement in the House of Commons regarding the government’s new health incentive program.

The Department of Health today announced it is launching a new app “to help people make positive changes to their diet and physical activity” – including the use of government-funded incentives.

A pilot will see users wearing devices on the wrist that can generate personalized health recommendations, such as increasing the number of steps, consuming more fruits and vegetables, and reducing portion sizes.

The government is investing £ 3million in the program, which will allow users to unlock rewards for healthy behaviors – which could include gym passes, clothing or food stamps and discounts for stores, movie tickets or theme park tickets.

Andy GregoryOctober 22, 2021 9:38 AM


JCVI will consider reducing the interval for booster jabs, but six months is an ‘sweet spot’, says vice president

It seems people don’t show up for booster shots at the same rate as they did for other jabs, the vice chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) suggested.

When asked if people know how to book boosters, Professor Anthony Harnden told the BBC Today show: “Well, there was a bit of confusion. Of course, the GP workforce, who have worked tirelessly during this pandemic, including given much of the immunization schedule, have themselves become a bit tired and I think some GP practices are falling apart. are withdrawn.

“So there is a whole portfolio of different places – pharmacies, mass vaccination centers and the like that deliver the vaccines right now – and there can be a bit of confusion as to where people can get them. this vaccine, but people can call 119 number, they can go to the NHS website, and with either of those options, they can book a vaccine. “

He said reducing the booster jab interval to five months is “something that could be considered,” adding: “But I think the data shows six months is kind of a sweet spot, whatever. five months or seven months isn’t It’s not that important, but I think what’s important is that people get that booster.

Andy GregoryOctober 22, 2021 9:24 AM


Cases of psychosis have increased dramatically over the past two years in England

Cases of psychosis have increased dramatically in England during the pandemic, according to new data from the NHS, which showed an increase of more than 29% between April 2019 and April 2021.

The data, which was analyzed by the charity Rethink Mental Illness, showed that much of the increase in referrals has occurred in the past year after the first nationwide lockdown.

The most recent data for July suggests that the number of people presenting to mental health services with symptoms of psychosis has returned closer to pre-pandemic levels, but the charity insists these numbers should be carefully monitored.

My colleague Holly Bancroft has the full report here:

Andy GregoryOctober 22, 2021 9:07 AM


Minister declares Covid deaths “very low” and defends non-application of “plan B” measures

Our political correspondent Ashley cowburn has more on Care Minister Gillian Keegan’s comments this morning that coronavirus deaths remain “very low” – despite 912 reported in the past week.

Ms Keegan was also asked about the lack of Tory MPs wearing face masks in the Commons, after Sajid Javid suggested politicians should “lead by example”.

“Throughout the summer, few of us have worn masks,” she said. “You will find more and more that as we go into winter, people will be wearing masks. But we shouldn’t make it this sign of virtue or not, people should make wise choices. “

Andy GregoryOctober 22, 2021 8:54 AM


The number of Covid cases reported in a single day surpassed 50,000 yesterday for the first time since July.

Except for a single day in July, the 52,009 infections represent the largest daily increase since the devastating wave of January – when the 7-day average peaked just below 60,000.

Thanks to widespread immunization, deaths remain lower, but 912 deaths have still been reported in the past seven days.

The latest wave came after the Confederation’s chief executive of the NHS urged the government to implement measures even stronger than its current backup plan to tackle the virus.

“We’re at the limit – and it’s mid-October,” said Matthew Taylor. “We would need an incredible chance not to find ourselves in the middle of a deep crisis for the next three months.

“The government should not only announce that we are moving to Plan B, but it should be Plan B plus.

“We should be doing what’s in plan B in terms of masks… working from home, but we should also try to achieve the kind of national mobilization that we got in the first and second waves, where the public went. bent over backwards to support and assist the health service.

Andy GregoryOctober 22, 2021 8:46 AM

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