World Number of weekly COVID deaths falls - as antibody levels show vaccine impact
Delivery of Over A Million COVID Vaccines Shots Delayed by U.S. Winter Storm
Vaccine shipment delays were reported in several southern and Midwestern states, including Texas, Florida, Georgia and Michigan.The delivery of over a million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been impacted so far, including 407,000 first doses and 333,650 second doses in Texas, 200,000 total doses in Florida and 133,000 in Colorado.
The number of people who have COVID-19 antibodies has increased across the UK but there is "substantial variation" between regions, new figures show.
The rates are highest in England, where around one in five adults tested positive for antibodies, with the ratio rising to one in seven in Wales and Northern Ireland and one in nine in Scotland.
Having antibodies indicates that people have either previously been infected with the virus or have had a coronavirus vaccine.
In England, people over 80 were more likely to have antibodies - but across the other three nations the highest rates were seen among younger adults, from 16 to 34-year-olds, according to the Office for National Statistics.
This is how Australia plans to keep the new Pfizer vaccine at -70C
Australia's first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine will be distributed in top secret by global logistics firm DHL once it touches down from Belgium next week. Thousands of doses of the long-awaited vaccine that must be stored below -70C will be warehoused in a top secret location in Sydney before being distributed to 200 cold storage facilities around the country, DHL has revealed.The ultra-cold temperature requirement makes transporting and storing it difficult.
"We would expect younger groups to have high levels of antibody positivity after the period of high infection rates we have seen in the last few months," said Esther Sutherland, principal statistician at the ONS.
But even within nations, there are significant difference in the number of people with antibodies - with 24.8% found to have them in London compared to 11.6% in the South West.
Australia's COVID-19 vaccine rollout now has some certainty but there are still many unknowns
The announcements about Australia's COVID-19 vaccine rollout have been travelling at warp speed this week and although there are now some guarantees, there are still many unknowns."The eagle has landed," Health Minister Greg Hunt announced on Monday, declaring 142,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine had touched down in Australia — after much nervousness.
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Video: Dr Andrew Goodall says sickness rates amongst Welsh NHS staff remain high, with around 8% off work because of coronavirus (Wales Online)
In the same survey, the ONS found the number of weekly coronavirus-related deaths in England and Wales has fallen for the first time since Christmas.
There were 7,320 fatalities where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate in the week ending 5 February - down 13% from 8,433 deaths the previous week.
Though the figure has started to dip, coronavirus-related deaths in the most recent week accounted for 42.6% of all deaths registered in England and Wales - the third highest proportion recorded during the pandemic.
The Pandemic Can End Without Herd Immunity
The new variants are rewriting the pandemic’s end—but it can still end.For COVID-19, the herd-immunity threshold is estimated to be between 60 and 90 percent. That’s the proportion of people who need to have immunity either from vaccination or from prior infection. In the U.S., the countdown to when enough people are vaccinated to reach herd immunity has already begun.
Of the 7,320 deaths linked to coronavirus, the disease was the underlying cause of death in 89.1% of them.
By comparison, of the 4,993 deaths that involved influenza and pneumonia, those illness were the underlying cause of death in only 6.1% of those cases.
Deaths involving coronavirus declined in all regions, with southeast England reporting the largest decrease.
But the number of deaths from all causes across all English regions remains above the five-year average: the highest seen in London at 69.8%, compared to 10.7% in Yorkshire and the Humber.
How a Black bioethicist makes the case for vaccination to people of color
“I think it’s a moral obligation,” says Keisha Ray.This has been a long-running debate among ethicists since well before the coronavirus pandemic. Some philosophers argue that everyone has a moral obligation to be vaccinated against infectious diseases like measles, while others say it’s not so simple. It’s a debate that gets at fundamental questions about individual liberty, bodily autonomy, and communal obligation.
So far more than 15 million people have had a coronavirus vaccine, with the UK government saying everyone in the top four priority groups has now been offered a jab.
The next target is for all remaining five priority groups to be offered a vaccine by the end of April, then all remaining adults in the UK reached by autumn.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will next Monday announce a planned roadmap out of lockdown, where he said he hopes to be able to let schools reopen from 8 March.
He revealed on Monday that he wants the current lockdown to be the last - and for the unlocking to be "irreversible".
Data to be taken into consideration will include coronavirus case numbers, hospital admissions, deaths and the impact of the vaccine rollout.
Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading -. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and . Only if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In , call your GP.
Covid vaccines to be rolled out from MONDAY in NSW .
Healthcare staff and those supporting New South Wales' hotel quarantine program will receive a Pfizer jab in the first stage of the state's vaccine rollout over the next three weeks.Healthcare staff and workers supporting the state's hotel quarantine program will get a Pfizer jab in the first stage of the state's vaccine rollout.