Coronavirus News: Covid To Become Unlikely And True Seasonal Herd Immunity, Government Advisor Says
The government’s science adviser has said Covid is unlikely to be completely eradicated and true herd immunity is questionable.
Professor Andrew Hayward told BBC Radio 4 that Covid would likely continue to mutate and the ‘nature of the virus’ meant it would become a seasonal infection.
He said: “I think the nature of this infection and the nature of the vaccines are such that the level of immunity achieved is not sufficient to consider this.
“If someone could come up with a vaccine that not only protects 95% against serious disease, but 95% against infection, then, yes, we would have a chance to eradicate it. “
He added: “I think that’s a pretty distant prospect and we have to get used to the concept that it will become what we call an endemic disease rather than a pandemic disease. A disease that accompanies us all the time – probably spreads seasonally much like the flu where we see winter epidemics. “
It comes as the World Health Organization has urged the 20 most powerful world leaders to reverse the ‘shameful’ global imbalance in access to Covid-19 vaccines.
A quarter of workers do not benefit from paid leave to be vaccinated against Covid
One in four employers did not give their staff paid leave to get vaccinated against Covid, research shows.
The conciliation service Acas said its study also showed that many bosses did not intend to allow employees to get a bang during working hours and receive compensation for the time missed.
Susan Clews, CEO of Acas, said: “The vaccine rollout program has gone well and our survey reveals that most employers have allowed staff time off to receive the vaccine, but a quarter did not.
“Our study also found that a similar number of bosses did not pay full company sickness benefits to staff who were unable to work due to side effects from the vaccine.
“It is in the best interests of companies to have an immunization policy that helps staff take time off, as fully immunized workers are less likely to need longer periods of time off work to recover from work. Covid 19. “
The report was based on a survey of 2,000 companies.
Morrisons staff to take Boxing Day off as a ‘thank you’ for work during pandemic
Morrisons staff will get Boxing Day this year as a thank you for their hard work during the pandemic.
It will be the first time that the grocer will close stores on December 26 in living memory.
The supermarket informed its 111,000 employees on Tuesday.
Last year, several competitors agreed to give staff a day off to spend time with families and loved ones after one of the most difficult years in retail.
Asda, Marks & Spencer, Pets At Home, Aldi, Lidl and The Entertainer have all said they will remain closed on December 26, despite opening in previous years.
Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s were open Boxing Day, although some offered incentives for staff to work.
Joanne McGuiness, national leader of the Usdaw Store Workers Union, said: “The past year and a half is unlike any other.
“The pandemic has meant that store workers have stepped up and kept essential services running. We welcome Morrisons who are doing the right thing by their staff with the supermarket closing on Boxing Day. “
Number of teens who have become ‘seriously ill’ with Covid led to jab extension
The number of adolescents who have become “seriously ill” with the coronavirus has led to the extension of the vaccination rollout to 16 and 17 year olds, a member of the vaccine advisory committee said.
University of Bristol professor of pediatrics Adam Finn said there had been “a couple” of 17-year-olds in the area who needed intensive care in hospital in recent weeks.
Mr Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI), added that while most young people will only have the virus in a mild form, vaccines will be effective in preventing severe cases.
He told BBC Breakfast: “We are moving carefully through the ages to infancy and it was clear that the number of cases and the number of young people in the age group – 16, 17 – who were falling seriously ill deserved to go ahead by just giving them a first dose. “
Australian Olympians must quarantine for 28 days
Australian athletes returning home from the Tokyo Olympics have been told they must self-quarantine for 28 days.
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has called the South Australian government “cruel and indifferent” for enforcing the additional two-week self-isolation.
International arrivals to Australia must self-isolate for 14 days in quarantine hotels or other special facilities under Covid-19 restrictions designed to stop the spread of the delta variant.
But South Australia is imposing an additional 14-day home quarantine requirement for arrivals from the eastern Australian states of Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales battling the Covid-19 outbreaks.
The AOC said its request for an exemption from the extra quarantine period for athletes was denied.
“As other countries celebrate the return of their athletes, we are subjecting ours to the most cruel and indifferent treatment,” said Matt Carroll, CEO of the AOC.
“They are being punished for proudly representing their country with distinction at the Olympic Games.”
Facebook closes hundreds of anti-vax accounts linked to Russia
Facebook has closed hundreds of accounts linked to a Russian advertising agency, which targeted influencers in an attempt to smear Covid-19 vaccines.
The 65 Facebook pages and 243 Instagram accounts were peddling conspiracy theories and looking to pay influencers to promote the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs as dangerous, the social media company said.
A network of accounts can be traced back to Fazze, an advertising and marketing firm working in Russia on behalf of an unknown client, the tech giant said.
Read the full story here.
Melbourne extends lockdown as Delta variant continues to spread
Melbourne has extended its latest lockdown in a bid to eradicate a Covid-19 outbreak.
Australia’s second-largest city will keep restrictions in place for a second week until the end of August 19, the Victoria state government said on Wednesday as it reported 20 new infections.
It comes as authorities in Sydney have said they are considering easing restrictions for vaccinated residents despite the continued spread of the delta variant.
The New South Wales state government reported 344 new infections and said some restrictions could be relaxed for vaccinated residents of Sydney from September.
Australia has used lockdowns to successfully end coronavirus outbreaks throughout the pandemic. But the highly contagious delta variant poses new challenges.
A concert in the Gorillaz O2 arena to thank NHS employees
Gorillaz returned to the stage for his first concert in front of a live audience in nearly three years with a free concert for NHS workers last night.
The virtual group performed at the O2 Arena with spectators required to present a negative Covid-19 test to participate in what was the first live event at full capacity at the O2 since March 2020.
Heathrow figures still down 80%
Heathrow saw passenger numbers rise in July as the government eased travel restrictions, but warned the overall number was still down 80% from pre-pandemic levels.
The airport saw more than 1.5 million travelers pass in July, making it the busiest month since March 2020, just before the start of Covid-19 lockdowns in Europe and travel halted.
No certainty in wider recall campaign, expert says
A third coronavirus vaccine will “most likely” be needed for a small number of people, but a larger campaign is still uncertain, a vaccination expert has said.
Professor Adam Finn, who sits on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) – which advises the government on vaccine policy – said people with weakened immune systems will likely need a booster, but it is still unclear whether this will be necessary for all over 50s.
“We have been asked to indicate who might receive a reminder if it becomes necessary to give reminders,” he told BBC Breakfast.
“I think it’s becoming pretty clear that there is a small group of people whose immune responses to the first two doses are likely to be inadequate – people who have immunosuppression of some sort, maybe because they’ve got an immunodeficiency or I’ve had treatment for cancer, bone marrow or organ transplants, that sort of thing.
“I think it’s highly likely that we will recommend a third dose for some of these groups.
“A broader recall program is still uncertain.”