(VIETNAM) #Coronavirus Report: QUẢNG NINH — Vân Đồn International Airport on Wednesday received over 300 passengers on the fourth flight as part of the pilot ‘vaccine passport’ programme #AceHealthDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Sept.24: Arriving from France at around 7am, all passengers on flight VN18 met requirements as per the seven-day quarantine policy of the Ministry of Health. …..

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that Vân Đồn Airport welcomes over 300 passengers with ‘vaccine passport’ from France….This is also the last flight in the pilot ‘vaccine passport’ programme to Việt Nam during the #COVID19 pandemic.

Vietnam News

Before boarding the plane, passengers had to meet all health requirements, be fully vaccinated, have proof of negative COVID-19 tests (RT-PCR/RT-LAMP methods) 72 hours before departure, and ensure safety measures throughout the flight. 

After arriving at the airport in Vân Đồn, they were transported to FLC Hạ Long Hotel in Quảng Ninh for seven-day centralised quarantine. 

September has seen flights in this 7-day quarantine programme taking place smoothly and safely, which builds confidence within the community for the near future in which domestic and international travel resumes.

The programme also provides crucial data for review and evaluation before the ‘vaccine passport’ or ‘green card’ are deployed on a larger scale in an aim to balance economic development and the fight against COVID-19, according to Phạm Ngọc Sáu, Director of Vân Đồn International Airport. 

With advanced technology, strict procedures against the pandemic, and excellent coordination between departments, Vân Đồn International Airport is the first to receive pilot flights in the seven-day quarantine programme.

A total of 943 Việt Nam nationals have returned home under this programme to date. Passengers arriving in Việt Nam on September 4 and 12 have been able to return to their localities after completing the centralised quarantine in Quảng Ninh. — VNS

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Sept.24: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#coronaviursnewsdesk, #france, #vaccine, #vietnam

(GERMANY) #Coronavirus Trial Report: BioNTech has said that vaccine is safe for children of 5 – 11yrs-of -age #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.21: In participants five to 11 years of age, the vaccine was safe, well tolerated and showed robust neutralizing antibody responses,” Germany-based BioNTech and US pharma giant Pfizer said in a joint statement.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says BioNTech has said their vaccines safe for kids 5 to 11 and Pharmaceutical companies BioNTech and Pfizer said Monday that their jointly produced coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective for chilldren from the ages of 5 to 11.

A health professional prepares a dose of BionNTech-Pfizer vaccine

The announcement comes as coronavirus cases among children surge in the United States and other parts of the world.

What did the companies say?

The two firms are going to hand over trial data to regulatory bodies in the EU, US and other parts of the world “as soon as possible.” Over 2,200 children took part in the trial. 

The children in the vaccine trial received two doses of 10 micrograms, spaced 21 days apart. Older age groups typically receive two shots of 30 micrograms. 

The smaller dosage meant the children experienced fewer side effects, such as sore arms or achiness, than older age groups.

Hoping for a normal year at school 

Coronavirus cases surge among children in US, other countries  

The statement comes as coronavirus cases among children surge in the United States and in other parts of the world.    

“We are eager to extend the protection afforded by the vaccine to this younger population,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said, while adding that “since July, pediatric cases of COVID-19 have risen about 240 percent in the US.” 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine for children as young as 12. Other vaccine makers, such as Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are also testing their jabs on younger children.  

The vaccine could greatly faciliate the safe return of school children to in-person classes in the US, UK and in other countries. Many Western nations have been reluctant to give jabs to children due to the lack of available data on safety and efficacy. 

COVID-19: Cuba vaccinates children as young as 2 

Israel has already greenlit vaccinations for children aged 5-11 who are at risk of serious illness from the virus. Cuba has vaccinated children as young as two-years-old to reopen schools.   

Although data may show the vaccine is effective and safe for children, some parents may still be reluctant or hesitant for their kids to receive the jab. This reluctance could pose a major challenge for inoculation campaigns in the US and elsewhere. 

wd/rt (AP, AFP)

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Sept.21: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#biontech, #children, #covid19, #germany, #health, #pfizer

(LONDON) PHE Statement Report: Latest list of confirmed case of #COVID19 cases variants identified in U.K. #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.18: PHE releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk reports on PHE confirmed cases of #COVID19 variants identified in UK from Wed.23: Dec: 2020: – Thurs.02: Sept: 2021: PHE: weekly updates

Latest updates on SARS-CoV-2 variants detected in UK.

Latest update:

Public Health England (PHE) has published variant technical briefing 23.

Previous

Thursday 2 September

Public Health England (PHE) has published variant technical briefing 22.

PHE releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

Friday 20 August

Public Health England (PHE) has published variant technical briefing 21.

PHE releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

Friday 6 August

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

PHE has today published the latest variant technical briefing. It shows that Delta is still overwhelmingly dominant across the UK, accounting for approximately 99% of cases. The briefing includes updated hospitalisation data for Delta, which shows that in the period since the last update on 19 July, 1,467 people were hospitalised with cases of Delta confirmed by sequencing or genotyping. Of these, 808 (55.1%) were unvaccinated, while 512 (34.9%) had received both doses of the vaccine. While vaccines provide high levels of protection, they are not 100% effective and will not stop everyone catching COVID-19. As more of the population gets vaccinated, we will see a higher relative percentage of vaccinated people in hospital.

The Technical Briefing also includes some initial findings which indicate that levels of virus in those who become infected with Delta but have already been vaccinated may be similar to levels found in unvaccinated people. This may have implications for people’s infectiousness, whether they have been vaccinated or not. However, this is early exploratory analysis and further targeted studies are needed to confirm whether this is the case.

PHE has also published the risk assessment on VUI-21JUL-01, also known as B.1.621. VUI-21JUL-01 was designated a variant under investigation (VUI) on 21 July, based on apparent spread into multiple countries, as well as importation to the UK and mutations of concern, which include E484K, N501Y and K417N. These mutations have also been detected in other variants under investigation (VUIs) and variants of concern (VOCs). As of 4 August 2021, there were 37 confirmed VUI-21JUL-01 cases in England. Cases have been detected across 6 English regions, with most cases in London. Cases have also been reported in several other countries.

There is preliminary laboratory evidence to suggest that vaccination and previous infection may be less effective at preventing infection with VUI-21JUL-01. However, this data is very limited and more research is required. There is no evidence to suggest that VUI-21JUL-01 is more transmissible than the dominant Delta variant.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said:

The latest hospitalisation figures show once again how important it is that we all come forward to receive both doses of the vaccine as soon as we are able to do so. Vaccination is the best tool we have in keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe from the serious disease risk COVID-19 can pose.

However, we must also remember that the vaccines do not eliminate all risk: it is still possible to become unwell with COVID-19 and infect others. It is still vital that we exercise caution, particularly while cases are high. Remember that meeting outdoors is safer than indoors, isolate if you are told to by NHS Test and Trace, and if you show symptoms stay home and get a PCR test as soon as possible. It is so important that we all continue to play our part.

Friday 23 July

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

PHE’s weekly COVID-19 variant cases data shows that numbers of confirmed cases of the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant in the UK have risen by 33,716 since last week to a total of 286,765. Of these, 45 are the Delta AY.1 sub lineage. The Delta variant currently accounts for approximately 99% of cases across the UK.

PHE has also published the latest edition of the variant technical briefing. This includes updated hospitalisation data showing that between 21 June and 19 July, 1,788 people were admitted to hospital after testing positive for the delta variant. Of these, 970 (54.3%) were unvaccinated, while 530 (29.6%) had received both doses of the vaccine. In total, 3,692 people have been hospitalised with the Delta variant, of whom 2,152 (58.3%) were unvaccinated and 843 (22.8%) were fully vaccinated.

PHE has also published updated risk assessments for the Delta and Beta variants. The Delta risk assessment has been updated to reflect early signs of increased risk of reinfection with Delta compared to Alpha. Further investigations are being undertaken.

New variant under investigation

A further variant, B.1.621, was designated a variant under investigation (VUI) on 21 July 2021, having previously been designated a signal in monitoring. The new designation was made on the basis of early analysis of its genetic profile as well as its apparent international expansion and subsequent importation to the UK.

Sixteen confirmed cases of B.1.621 have been identified across the country to date, and the majority have been linked to overseas travel. There is currently no evidence of community transmission in the UK.

There is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. PHE is carrying out laboratory testing to better understand the impact of mutations on the behaviour of the virus.

All appropriate public health interventions will be undertaken, including additional contact tracing and targeted testing. Where cases have been identified, additional follow-up of cases, testing of contacts and if required targeted case finding will be deployed to limit its spread.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said:

This most recent hospitalisation data shows once again just how crucial vaccination is in protecting us from severe illness and death. Two doses of vaccine are far more effective against COVID-19 than a single dose, so please make sure that you come forward to get your second dose as soon as you are invited.

As we emerge from restrictions and vaccine coverage continues to rise, it is important to remember that while the protection provided by vaccination is excellent, it is not total. It is still as important as ever that we continue to exercise caution. Remember that meeting outside is safer than inside, get 2 doses of the vaccine as soon as you can, isolate if you are told to by NHS Test and Trace and if you show symptoms stay home and get a PCR test. COVID-19 has not gone away and we must all continue to play our part.

Friday 16 July

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

PHE’s weekly COVID-19 variant cases data shows that numbers of the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant in the UK have risen by 36,800 since last week to a total of 253,049. This represents a 17% increase. Of these, 45 are the Delta AY.1 sub lineage. The Delta variant currently accounts for approximately 99% of cases that are sequenced across the UK.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said:

Case rates are still high and rising, but it is encouraging that the increase in cases still does not appear to be associated with a similar increase in hospitalisations and deaths. This is testament to the continued success of the vaccination programme in reducing the incidence of severe disease.

The best way to keep yourself and those around you safe is to get both doses of the vaccine as soon as you are eligible. However, while vaccines offer excellent protection, they do not completely eliminate risk. As we approach the end of restrictions, it is as important as ever that we continue to exercise caution. Take your free twice-weekly rapid tests and if you have symptoms, you should book a PCR test immediately and stay at home until you receive your result.

Friday 9 July

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

PHE’s weekly COVID-19 variant cases data shows that numbers of the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant in the UK have risen by 54,268 since last week to a total of 216,249. This represents a 32% increase. Of these, 44 are the Delta AY.1 sub lineage. The Delta variant currently accounts for approximately 99% of cases that are sequenced across the UK.

PHE has also published an updated variant technical briefing today. It shows that secondary attack rates (the likelihood of an infection occurring in a given context) amongst household contacts of cases with Delta has continued to fall, and is estimated at 10.3% for exposure events in week commencing 7 June 2021. Despite this continued fall, secondary attack rates for both household and non-household contacts of cases with Delta remain higher than for Alpha.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said:

The data continues to show that the sharp increase in cases that we are seeing is not being followed by a similar increase in hospitalisation and death. This is because 2 doses of the available vaccines offer a high level of protection against the Delta variant. Getting both jabs is the best way to ensure you and the people you love remain safe, so we once again urge everyone to come forward as soon as they are eligible.

As we approach the planned end of restrictions, we must remain cautious and careful. Cases are rising across the country, and whilst the vaccines offer excellent protection, they do not offer 100% protection. Be sensible, and follow ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times and make sure to get tested if required.

Friday 2 July

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

PHE’s weekly COVID-19 variant cases data shows that numbers of the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant in the UK have risen by 50,824 since last week to a total of 161,981. This represents a 46% increase. Of these, 42 are the Delta AY.1 sub lineage.

The Delta variant currently accounts for approximately 95% of cases that are sequenced across the UK.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency said:

Cases across the UK continue to rise and it is incredibly important that we do not forget to be careful. The best thing we can do to protect ourselves and the people we love is to get the vaccine if eligible, get tested twice a week and practice ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times.

Although cases are rising, we are not seeing a proportional rise in the number of people who are being admitted to hospital. The data suggest this is testament to the success of the vaccination programme so far and clearly demonstrates the importance of getting both doses of the vaccine. Come forward as soon as you are eligible. It will help us to break the chain of transmission, and it will save lives.

Friday 25 June

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

Delta cases continue to rise across the UK

PHE’s weekly COVID-19 variant cases data shows that numbers of the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant in the UK have risen by 35,204 since last week to a total of 111,157. This represents a 46% increase. Of these, 42 are the Delta AY.1 sub lineage. The Delta variant now accounts for approximately 95% of cases that are sequenced across the UK.

PHE has also published the new edition of the variant technical briefingwhich continues to show that the vaccines continue to have a crucial effect on hospitalisation and death.

An additional 514 people were admitted to hospital in England with a diagnosis of COVID-19 in the week up to 21 June. Of these, 304 were unvaccinated.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency said:

Through the success of our vaccination programme, data suggest we have begun to break the link between cases and hospitalisations. This is hugely encouraging news, but we cannot become complacent. Two doses of vaccine are far more effective against COVID-19 than a single dose, so please make sure that you come forward to get your second dose as soon as you are invited.

Whilst vaccines provide excellent protection, they do not provide total protection, so it is still as important as ever that we continue to exercise caution. Protect yourself and the people around you by working from home where possible, and by practising ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times.

New variant under investigation

A further variant, Lambda (C.37) has been designated as a variant under investigation (VUI) on 23 June due to international expansion and several notable mutations including L452Q and F490S. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified Lambda as a Variant of Interest on 14 June.

Six cases of Lambda have been identified across the country to date, all have been linked to overseas travel. The earliest documented sample was reported in Peru and Lambda has been sequenced in 26 countries to date.

There is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. PHE is carrying out laboratory testing to better understand the impact of mutations on the behaviour of the virus.

All appropriate public health interventions will be undertaken, including additional contact tracing and targeted testing. Where cases have been identified, additional follow-up of cases, testing of contacts and if required targeted case finding will be deployed to limit its spread.

Issue affecting data collection

The Wellcome Sanger Institute is currently investigating an operational issue in the pre-sequencing process which caused potential cross-contamination of a number of positive COVID-19 samples and therefore a delay in retrieving sequencing results. However, these samples were PCRtested before they were transferred to the Sanger Institute meaning all citizens will have received their correct test result and positive cases will have already been contacted and asked to isolate.

As a result of this issue, around 12,000 samples have not been included in the total number published today, so this number of confirmed variants to date is likely to be an underestimate.

PHE scientists, together with experts from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, are reviewing this data to establish to what extent genomic information may be recoverable from those that were sequenced.

As well as whole genome sequencing, a new technology called genotype assays is being used in NHS Test and Trace laboratories to rapidly detect COVID-19 mutations that indicate a variant of concern (VOC). This means there is still VOC data available for health protection teams and other public health professionals, giving them the intelligence they need to monitor the spread of variants.

Friday 18 June

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

Delta variant cases continue to rise

PHE’s weekly COVID-19 variant cases data shows that numbers of the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant in the UK have risen by 33,630 since last week to a total of 75,953. The most recent data show 99% of sequenced and genotyped cases across the country are the Delta variant.

Data show an increased risk of hospitalisation with Delta compared to Alpha, although PHE’s analysis shows that 2 doses of vaccine gives a high degree of protection against hospitalisation, estimated to be more than 90%.

According to PHE’s latest variant technical briefing, as of 14 June, a total of 806 people have been hospitalised with the Delta variant, an increase of 423 since last week. Of these, 527 were unvaccinated, and only 84 of the 806 had received both doses.

PHE now publishes the number of deaths among people who have tested positive for Delta within the past 28 days. The case fatality rate remains low for Delta. However, deaths tend to happen some weeks after infection and the majority of cases were confirmed less than 28 days ago. It is therefore too early to judge the case fatality of Delta compared to Alpha or other variants.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive, UK Health Security Agency said:

Cases are rising rapidly across the country and the Delta variant is now dominant. The increase is primarily in younger age groups, a large proportion of which were unvaccinated but are now being invited to receive the vaccine. It is encouraging to see that hospitalisations and deaths are not rising at the same rate but we will continue to monitor it closely. The vaccination programme and the care that we are all taking to follow the guidance are continuing to save lives.

Please make sure that you come forward to receive both doses of the vaccine as soon as you are eligible. Don’t drop your guard – practise ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times.

A breakdown of Delta variant cases by lower-tier local authority is available.

Friday 11 June

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

Rapid genotyping test speeds up availability of Delta data as cases continue to rise

Novel genotyping tests are being used to detect the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant, giving a result for action within 48 hours. As cases of the variant continue to rise, the tests are helping to rapidly inform public health action.

Data from these tests is available for the first time this week, as PHEfigures shows that cases have risen by 29,892 to 42,323.

The data indicates that over 90% of new COVID-19 cases in the UK are now the Delta variant, which continues to show a significantly higher rate of growth compared to the Alpha variant.

Positive tests identified through genotyping are subsequently confirmed through whole genome sequencing and recent data have shown them to be extremely accurate in indicating a positive variant result. This allows earlier detection of trends and improved public health response. These results have been available to Health Protection Teams for several weeks and are already being used to develop local and national activities. Most recently, the tests allowed for the early identification of rising cases in areas including Greater Manchester and Lancashire, triggering a support package to control the variant in these areas.

New research from PHE suggests that the Delta variant is associated with an approximately 60% increased risk of household transmission compared to the Alpha variant. Growth rates for Delta cases are high across the regions, with regional estimates for doubling time ranging from 4.5 days to 11.5 days

With this variant now accounting for the overwhelming majority of new cases in the UK, it is encouraging to see that the increase in cases is not yet accompanied by a similarly large increase in hospitalisations. PHE will continue to monitor closely over the next few weeks, but the data currently suggest that the vaccination programme continues to mitigate the impact of this variant in populations who have high 2 dose vaccine coverage.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said:

With numbers of Delta variant cases on the rise across the country, vaccination is our best defence. If you are eligible, we urge you to come forward and be vaccinated. Remember that 2 doses provide significantly more protection than a single dose.

However, while vaccination reduces the risk of severe disease, it does not eliminate it. With data showing that Delta is significantly more transmissible than Alpha, it is just as important as ever to follow public health advice, which has not changed. Get vaccinated, work from home where you can and remember ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times. These measures work, and they save lives.

Thursday 3 June

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant now dominant in the UK

PHE’s weekly coronavirus (COVID-19) variant cases data shows that cases of the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant in the UK have risen by 5,472 since last week to 12,431.

Although there is some regional variation, PHE experts now believe that Delta (VOC-21APR-02) has overtaken Alpha (VOC-20DEC-01) as the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in the UK.

Early evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of hospitalisation for Delta (VOC-21APR-02) compared to Alpha (VOC-20DEC-02) although more data is needed for us to have more confidence in that finding. This week, 278 people with the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant attended A&E, resulting in 94 people being admitted to hospital overnight. Last week, 201 people attended A&E, with 43 admissions. Once again, the majority of these had not been vaccinated.

The most affected areas remain Bolton, where cases have risen by 795 to 2149, and Blackburn with Darwen which has seen 368 new cases, bringing it to 724 in total. There are encouraging signs that the transmission rate in Bolton has begun to fall and that the actions taken by residents and local authority teams have been successful in reducing spread.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive, UK Health Security Agency, said:

With this variant now dominant across the UK, it remains vital that we all continue to exercise as much caution as possible. The way to tackle variants is to tackle the transmission of COVID-19 as a whole. Work from home where you can, and practise ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times.

If you are eligible and have not already done so, please come forward to be vaccinated and make sure you get your second jab. It will save lives.

In Bolton, local teams have gone door to door in targeted areas on consecutive weekends to distribute test kits, share vital safety messages and encourage people to get the vaccine at a local drop-in centre. Take up of both testing and the vaccine has been positive.

Blackburn with Darwen has also seen local teams making door-to-door visits, and over 10,000 additional PCR tests have been given out. Mobile testing units have been deployed to the area and wastewater sampling continues, in order to track the spread of the variant.

PHE has also published a breakdown of outbreaks and clusters of variants in schools and other settings.

Outbreaks and clusters in primary and secondary schools are at low levels but we have seen a slight increase over recent weeks, in line with higher levels of the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant circulating in the community.

The latest PHE data suggest that there have been 97 confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks in primary and secondary schools that have had at least one variant case linked to them over the most recent 4-week period. This represents around 1 in 250 schools.

PHE’s health protection teams continue to work with local authorities and schools to carry out surveillance of COVID-19 cases in schools to understand and reduce transmission in these settings.

PHE experts continue to urge everybody to remain cautious as the country approaches the next stage of the roadmap. Variant cases are on the increase in several areas and it is absolutely crucial that everyone plays their part in preventing their spread.

Thursday 27 May

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

The dominant variant continues to be VOC-20DEC-01 (B.1.1.7) and PHEwill continue to monitor all variants closely. The best way to stop the spread of the virus is to remember: hands, face, space and follow the restrictions in place.

Public health leaders urge caution in areas of high variant prevalence

PHE’s latest weekly variant cases data shows that cases of VOC-21APR-02 have risen by 3,535 to 6,959 since last week.

The most affected areas continue to be Bolton, Bedford and Blackburn with Darwen, which have seen 1,354, 366 and 361 confirmed cases, respectively. There are small numbers of cases of VOC-21APR-02 in most parts of the country. PHE have published a full breakdown of VOC-21APR-02 cases by lower-tier local authority.

In some affected areas, hospitalisations are rising. Hospital attendances and admissions are predominantly in unvaccinated individuals, highlighting how crucial it is that people in these areas come forward to receive vaccination. Nationwide, up to 25 May, 201 people who were confirmed to have VOC-21APR-02 attended A&E, resulting in 43 admissions. These numbers will be updated with new sequencing results on a weekly basis.

Evidence shows that VOC-21APR-02 is likely to be more transmissible than the dominant B.1.1.7 ‘Kent’ variant. Cases of VOC-21APR-02 have continued to grow faster than B.1.1.7 but an increase in overall cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections has only been seen in a small number of areas. PHE experts are monitoring the situation closely to establish how much more transmissible VOC-21APR-02 may be. It is crucial that everybody, particularly in the most affected areas, take particular care to remain responsible and vigilant.

PHE study showed that 2 doses of vaccine offers high levels of protection against symptomatic disease from VOC-21APR-02. We expect the vaccines to be effective at preventing hospitalisation and death, so it is vital to get both doses to gain maximum protection against all existing and emerging variants.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive, UK Health Security Agency, said:

With cases of the variant first identified in India continuing to rise in some areas, we are urging people to be very cautious and follow the guidance on hygiene, face coverings, social distancing and meeting outdoors. We now know that getting both vaccine doses gives a high degree of protection against this variant and we urge everyone to have the vaccine when the NHS invites you.

Please follow the public health advice and make sure that you remain careful, work from home if you can, meet people outside where possible and remember ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times. This is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this variant.

In London, PHE is working across the health system and with borough council leaders in parts of the city where cases have been identified. A targeted approach is being used throughout the city, including Hounslow and other parts of west London, where dispersed clusters have been detected. This includes whole genome sequencing, PCR testing, settings-based testing, enhanced contact tracing, self-isolation support, and enhanced vaccine deployment to ensure that second doses for priority groups are brought forward and that maximum uptake is achieved for first doses.

In Bolton, the army working with RE:SILIENT visited over 4,000 houses, delivering over 1,500 test kits. This was in addition to the national surge team efforts, which saw over 9,000 properties visited and over 3,000 kits given out

In Blackburn with Darwen, enhanced vaccine uptake support has resulted in over 82% of registered patients in cohorts 1 to 10 receiving their first dose.

NHS Test and Trace have supplied more than 400,000 additional PCRtest kits to the most affected areas to make sure that everyone who needs a test can get one.

In addition, over 190 existing test sites have been reassigned to provide PCR test kits in areas where VOC-21APR-02 prevalence is high. This means tests can be sequenced faster, so VOC-21APR-02 cases are found sooner.

Over 300 Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) have been deployed to provide PCR test kits for those without symptoms in high-prevalence areas, including to more than 35 schools so students, parents and staff can get a PCR test as quickly as possible.

National marketing support is in place to make sure that local communities are kept well informed about the situation in their area, how and where to get a test, and about any public health interventions, such as surge testing.

New Vvariant under investigation

A further variant, VUI-21MAY-02 (C.36.3), has been designated as a variant under investigation (VUI) on 24 May on the basis of the mutation profile and increased importation from a widening international area.

There have been 109 cases of VUI-21MAY-02 dispersed across the country to date. The C.36.3 variant was first detected in Thailand, in cases who had travelled from Egypt.

There is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. PHE is carrying out laboratory testing to better understand the impact of the mutations on the behaviour of the virus.

All appropriate public health interventions will be undertaken, including additional contact tracing and targeted testing. Where cases have been identified, additional follow-up of cases, testing of contacts and if required targeted case finding will limit its spread.

More information will be available in variant technical briefing 13, which Public Health England will publish on Thursday 27 May.

Thursday 20 May

Further rise in VOC-21APR-02 detected and new VUIdesignated

Public Health England’s (PHE) latest weekly variant cases data shows that cases of VOC-21APR-02 have risen by 2,111 to 3,424 since last week.

Cases are still predominantly affecting the North West of England – particularly Bolton – and London, but we are seeing clusters of cases across the country.

There is evidence that VOC-21APR-02 is growing rapidly and may be more transmissible than VOC-20DEC-01, the ‘Kent variant’ that is currently dominant in the UK. Experts at PHE are monitoring the situation closely.

In London, PHE is working in close partnership across the health system and with borough council leaders in parts of the city where cases have been identified. A targeted approach is being used throughout the city to target London’s many small dispersed clusters. This includes whole genome sequencing, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, settings-based testing, enhanced contact tracing, self-isolation support, and enhanced vaccine deployment to ensure that second doses for priority groups are brought forward and that maximum uptake is achieved for first doses.

In Bolton, more than 33,000 test kits have been given out as part of the surge testing programme, not including tests taken by residents visiting Mobile Testing Units (MTU). Health officials visited more than 9,000 properties during door-to-door visits over the weekend, giving out over 3,400 test kits.

In Blackburn with Darwen and Sefton, targeted local testing is underway in response to the rise in VOC-21APR-02, including mobile and drive-through test centres being set up and pop-up tests sites in specific communities. New vaccination centres have opened to boost the delivery of vaccines and additional supply of first doses has been secured.

In total, more than 180,000 additional PCR test kits have been deployed to affected areas to make sure everyone who needs a test can get one, and over 170 existing test sites in those areas have been switched to provide PCR test kits – this means tests can be sequenced faster so variant cases are found sooner.

Over 150 MTUs have been deployed to provide PCR test kits for those without symptoms in the most affected areas.

NHS Test and Trace has activated marketing to let some local communities know if surge testing is happening in their area and to explain how, when and where to get their tests, and enhanced contact tracing is in place for all positive cases and their contacts in areas affected by VOC-21APR-02 to help identify and break any potential chains of transmission. All confirmed cases have been told to self-isolate and their contacts are being identified.

So far, more than 20,000 positive samples from the most affected areas have been analysed using the new genotype assay method. In parallel, the majority of positive samples undergo genome sequencing for definitive confirmation of the variant cases.

Wastewater monitoring has been increased in affected areas to help identify early warning signals of where variants may be present. Wastewater monitoring can detect the presence of variants in areas where it has not yet been detected through clinical testing. This allows us to notify local decision makers at an early stage so they can take early action to contain the spread of the virus. Where an outbreak has already been detected, wastewater monitoring can provide additional insights into its geographical spread.

Dr Meera Chand, COVID-19 Incident Director at PHE, said:

We are very grateful to those who have turned out in their thousands in Bolton to be vaccinated. As per advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI), we particularly urge anyone who is yet to have their second dose to make sure they come forward and take up the offer as soon as it is due.

This is vitally important in the light of our current assessment that VOC-21APR-02 has grown rapidly in England and may be highly transmissible. PHE will continue to monitor all variants closely, paying particular attention to the impact on hospitalisations and deaths which will help us to understand the protective effects of the vaccine.

The best way to halt the spread of any variant is to test regularly using lateral flow tests or using PCR if you have symptoms, and to isolate if you or someone in your household tests positive or if you have returned from an amber or red list country. You should continue to work from home where possible and remember that the virus is harder to spread outside.

There is currently no evidence to suggest the vaccines will be less effective in protecting people against severe illness and hospitalisation from VOC-21APR-02. It is highly likely that the vaccines offer significant protection against severe disease, hospitalisation and death, which is why it’s vital to get both vaccine doses as soon as you are offered them. Further work is being rapidly carried out to understand more about the protection the vaccines offer, including impact on transmission.

Everyone in the country, and especially those in areas where a Variant of Concern is present in high rates, should take up the offer of twice-weekly testing.

Although some restrictions have eased, PHE continues to urge caution. Follow the public health advice, get your vaccine when offered it, and practise ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive, UK Health Security Agency, said:

As cases of VOC-21APR-02 continue to rise, it is absolutely vital that people living in areas where prevalence is high come forward to get the vaccine. It is the best defence we have against the spread of this disease.

As we start to get back to normal life, it is very important that we do not become complacent. All of us need to remain responsible and vigilant. Get tested regularly, get the vaccine when offered it, and practise ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’. It will save lives.

New variant under investigation

A further variant, VUI-21MAY-01, has been designated as a variant under investigation (VUI) by PHE.

The variant is from a lineage which was designated a signal in monitoring on 6 May 2021 based on an unusual mutation profile. PHE has been monitoring the variant since April.

There have been 49 cases of VUI-21MAY-01 across the country to date, mainly concentrated in Yorkshire and the Humber.

There is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. PHE is carrying out increased laboratory testing to better understand the impact of the mutations on the behaviour of the virus.

All appropriate public health interventions are being undertaken, including additional contact tracing and targeted testing. Where cases have been identified, additional follow-up of cases, testing of contacts and targeted case finding will limit the spread of variants.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should seek a PCR test as soon as possible. If you are tested positive then you and your household must stay at home and not leave the house for any reason for 10 days.

More information will be available in variant technical briefing 12, which Public Health England will publish on Friday 21 May.

Thursday 13 May

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

The dominant variant continues to be VOC-20DEC-01 (B.1.1.7) and PHEwill continue to monitor all variants closely. The best way to stop the spread of the virus is to remember: hands, face, space and follow the restrictions in place.

Further rise in VOC-21APR-02 cases detected

The latest PHE data show cases of the Variant of Concern, VOC-21APR-02, first detected in India, have risen from 520 to 1,313 cases this week in the UK. The variant was confirmed as a Variant of Concern on 7 May after a rise in cases and evidence of spread in some areas. PHE is actively monitoring the impact of this variant and its severity and is taking all appropriate public health actions to limit the spread.

Cases and clusters are being rapidly investigated to identify close contacts of those who test positive, encourage testing uptake and to ensure that people self-isolate when required. These measures, implemented by PHE health protection teams, NHS Test and Trace and local authorities, are the most effective way of breaking the chains of transmission. Additional control measures, including targeted case finding, will be implemented where there is evidence of increased spread and investigations are underway in specific settings to investigate clusters and outbreaks.

More than 60,000 additional PCR test kits have been distributed so far as part of ongoing surge testing activity for VOC-APR21-02, with cases and close contacts traced and asked to isolate. To find any new cases of the variant, over 150 existing test sites and 10 schools have distributed test kits, with 133 Mobile Testing Units deployed to provide PCR testing for people without symptoms.

Across the North West, significant work is underway with local councils and partners in specific areas where variant cases have been identified. In Bolton mobile testing units have been deployed and door to door PCRtesting has been offered to 22,000 residents. A vaccine bus has been established in the heart of the community to increase vaccine uptake as part of a wider drive.

In London, PHE is working in close partnership across the health system and with borough councils in parts of the city where cases have been identified. PCR testing, whole genome sequencing and enhanced contact tracing are being used throughout the city to target the many small dispersed clusters. Taking this community-led approach has already proved effective in reducing transmission of variants in London to date.

Dr Susan Hopkins, COVID-19 Strategic Response Director at PHE, said:

Cases of this variant are rising in the community and we are continuously monitoring its spread and severity to ensure we take rapid public health action. We need to act collectively and responsibly to ensure that variants do not impact on the progress we have all made to drive down levels of Covid-19 and the increased freedom that brings. That means you should pay attention to and act on the local health advice in your area. Testing and isolating when required not only limits spread, it helps us to better understand how the variant behaves in the community which is vital to taking effective and proportionate action moving forward.

If you’re asked to take a test please do. The way to limit the spread of all variants is the same. Keep your distance, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, cover your nose and mouth when inside, keep buildings well ventilated and meet people from other households outside.

PHE is asking the public to continue to:

  • work from home where you can
  • follow the current guidance on mixing with others
  • take up the universal, free offer of twice weekly LFDs tests
  • if positive, order a confirmatory PCR test kit and stay at home
  • get vaccinated when you are called to do so

The other variants first detected in India, VUI-21APR-01 and VUI-21APR-03 have not been re-designated as VOCs, but this will be kept under constant review.

Following close monitoring, one variant under investigation VUI-21MAR-01, which includes the spike mutations E484K and N501Y, is now considered provisionally extinct in the UK. Designated a variant under investigation on 4 March, the contacts of confirmed cases were traced and followed public health advice to isolate. PHE defines a variant as provisionally extinct after 12 weeks without detection although we continue to monitor to see if they reappear.

Thursday 7 May

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

The dominant variant continues to be VOC-20DEC-01 (B.1.1.7) and PHEwill continue to monitor all variants closely. The best way to stop the spread of the virus is to remember: hands, face, space and follow the restrictions in place.

VUI-21APR-02 reclassified as a Variant of Concern (VOC)

Following a rise in cases in the UK and evidence of community transmission, PHE has reclassified VUI-21APR-02 (B.1.617.2, classified as a variant under investigation (VUI) on 28 April) as a Variant of Concern (VOC), now known as VOC-21APR-02.

This is based on evidence which suggests this variant, first detected in India, is at least as transmissible as B.1.1.7 (the Kent variant). The other characteristics of this variant are still being investigated.

There is currently insufficient evidence to indicate that any of the variants recently detected in India cause more severe disease or render the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. PHE is carrying out laboratory testing, in collaboration with academic and international partners to better understand the impact of the mutations on the behaviour of the virus.

Cases of VOC-21APR-02 have increased to 520 from 202 over the last week and almost half the cases are related to travel or contact with a traveller. The cases are spread across the country, however, the majority of the cases are in 2 areas – the North West (predominantly Bolton) and London – and this is where we are seeing the greatest transmission.

PHE health protection teams are working with local authorities, Directors of Public Health (DsPH) and NHS Test and Trace to detect cases and limit onward spread.

Surge and community testing is an effective way of finding and isolating new cases of variants and will be deployed where there is evidence of community transmission. This is in addition to the comprehensive work that is already underway to trace and test all contacts of cases.

Everyone in the affected areas will be asked to get a test, even if they don’t have symptoms. If someone tests positive, they must isolate to stop the spread.

In partnership with local DsPH, additional measures are being implemented across the country where there are clusters, to contain the spread. These include:

  • enhanced contact tracing for those testing positive with a VOC to define locations they may have acquired or transmitted infection to focus further testing
  • enhanced community and surge testing in areas defined by the local authorities and regional teams
  • working closely with communities and community leaders to ensure that individuals have the right support to test and isolate
  • increased community engagement, including ensuring that messages are accessible in languages that are used by communities and provided by trusted community representatives

Where clusters of other VOCs are detected, PHE will continue to take all appropriate public heath action to break the chains of transmission.

Understanding how this virus behaves in the community is key to assessing its transmissibility, severity and whether it responds to the vaccines currently in use, all of which help to determine the risk to the public from this variant. While overall rates of COVID-19 remain low, there are actions that everyone can take to reduce spread.

PHE is encouraging the public to continue to:

  • work from home where you can
  • follow the current guidance on mixing with others
  • take up the universal, free offer of twice weekly LFDs tests
  • if positive, order a confirmatory PCR test kit and stay at home
  • get vaccinated when you are called to do so

Dr Susan Hopkins, COVID-19 Strategic Response Director at PHE, said:

The way to limit the spread of all variants is the same and although we are all enjoying slightly more freedom, the virus is still with us. Keep your distance, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, cover your nose and mouth when inside and keep buildings well ventilated and meet people from other households outside. If you are told to get a test, if you have any symptoms at all or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, please make sure you get tested too.

We are monitoring all of these variants extremely closely and have taken the decision to classify this as a Variant of Concern because the indications are that this VOC-21APR-02 is a more transmissible variant.

The current evidence suggests that the other variants detected in India, VUI-21APR-01 and VUI-21APR-03 are not VOCs, but this will be kept under constant review and investigations are ongoing into the reasons behind the different behaviours of these variants.

Previous

Thursday 29 April

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

The dominant variant continues to be VOC-20DEC-01 (B.1.1.7) and PHEwill continue to monitor all variants closely. The best way to stop the spread of the virus is to remember: hands, face, space and follow the restrictions in place.

Two VUIs added to B.1.617 group

Two variants have been designated Variants Under Investigation by PHE.

The 2 variants, VUI-21APR-02 and VUI-21APR-03, share the same parent lineage (B.1.617) as VUI-21APR-01, first identified in India. PHE has been monitoring these variants since early April.

VUI-21APR-01 was designated a variant under investigation in April. The variant is from the B.1.617 lineage – a distinct fingerprint of genetic mutations. We have also identified cases of 2 additional variants, which are part of the same lineage and so are genetically similar.

While closely related, their genetic profiles are different and have been designated as separate Variants Under Investigation so that we can track them properly and take fast public health action as needed.

VUI-21APR-02 does not have the mutation E484Q while VUI-21APR-03 shares the L452R and E484Q mutations found in VUI-21-APR-01.

There is currently no evidence that these variants cause more severe disease or render the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. PHEis carrying out increased laboratory testing, in collaboration with international partners to better understand the impact of the mutations on the behaviour of the virus and to ensure all appropriate public health interventions are taken.

Identified case numbers remain low and are geographically dispersed in England. Where cases have been identified, additional follow up of cases, testing of contacts and targeted case finding will be used to limit the spread of these variants.

PHE has identified:

  • 172 cases of VUI-21APR-01
  • 202 cases of VUI-21APR-02
  • 5 cases of VUI-21APR-03

All appropriate public health interventions will be undertaken, including additional contact tracing and targeted testing.

Thursday 15 April

New variant under investigation (VUI) designated

A new variant has been designated a variant under investigation (VUI) by PHE.

The variant, first detected in India, includes a number of mutations including E484Q, L452R, and P681R.

PHE has identified 77 cases of this variant in the UK and all appropriate public health interventions will be undertaken, including enhanced contact tracing.

This variant has been designated VUI-21APR-01. PHE and international partners continue to monitor the situation closely.

Tuesday 16 March

Two additional cases of Variant of Concern VOC-21JAN-02 (P.1) found in England

Two more cases of the Variant of Concern VOC-21JAN-02 (P.1) have been identified in England – one in the West Midlands and one in Haringey, London.

Both cases are linked with international travel to Brazil. The case in the West Midlands was identified following their arrival at Birmingham Airport, where they were tested and quarantined as part of the managed hotel quarantine process.

The London case was picked up through surge testing. Surge testing will be stepped up in the affected area, and contact tracing teams have undertaken a comprehensive investigation to identify any further contacts.

The latest cases bring the total number of P.1 variant cases in the UK to 12 – 9 in England and 3 in Scotland, all of which have links to travel or to a previously confirmed case that has travelled to Brazil.

New variant under investigation (VUI) designated

A new variant has been designated a variant under investigation (VUI) by Public Health England (PHE).

On 9 March, PHE noted a report of 33 cases of a new variant reported by the Philippines. The variant includes a number of notable mutations including E484K and N501Y, which are found in several other variants of concern.

PHE has identified 2 cases of this variant in England. One of the cases is linked with international travel and the other is currently under investigation. All appropriate public health interventions are being undertaken.

This variant has been designated VUI-21MAR-02 (P.3). PHE and international partners continue to monitor the situation closely.

Saturday 13 March

Four more cases of Variant of Concern VOC-202101/02 (P.1) found in England

Four more cases of the Variant of Concern VOC-202101/02, also known as P.1, have been identified in England – 3 in South Gloucestershire and one in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

The cases in South Gloucestershire are all close or household contacts of the 2 existing P.1 cases in the area. They were offered testing in response to the initial cases.

Specialist contact tracing teams have undertaken a comprehensive investigation to identify any further contacts and additional testing has been in place since the initial cases were identified.

The individual in Bradford tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in late February after travelling back from Brazil via Paris on 14 February 2021. Subsequent genomic sequencing confirmed the case as the P.1 variant. Contact tracing teams have followed up close contacts of the individual and advised them to isolate and get a test.

The latest cases bring the total number of P.1 variant cases in the UK to 10 – 7 in England and 3 in Scotland, all of which have links to travel or to a previously confirmed case that has travelled to Brazil.

New variant under investigation (VUI) designated in UK

A new variant identified in the UK has been designated a variant under investigation (VUI) by PHE.

VUI-202103/01 (lineage B.1.324.1) was designated a VUI on 4 March after 2 cases were found in the South East of England in individuals who had recently travelled to Antigua. Despite the travel history of these cases there is no scientific evidence to determine where this variant first emerged.

The variant contains the spike mutations E484K and N501Y, both usually associated with variants of concern (VOC), however it does not feature specific deletions that would lead to a designation as a VOC.

Contact tracing teams have completed thorough investigations to identify and follow up any close contacts and no additional cases have been found to date.

Friday 5 March

Contact tracers successfully identify sixth case of P.1 Variant of Concern

PHE and NHS Test and Trace teams have successfully located the third individual in England who tested positive for the P.1 Variant of Concern that originated in Manaus, Brazil.

Tracing teams narrowed their search to a small number of households in Croydon, South London, when an individual from the borough made themselves known by responding to calls made by specialist contact tracers.

NHS Test and Trace were then able to match the barcode from the individual’s testing pack to the variant test result.

PHE is now carrying out enhanced contact tracing with the individual and other members of their household. The case had been in contact with an individual who travelled from Brazil in early February.

Although investigations are ongoing, current early indications are that all members of the household isolated for the correct amount of time after the traveller returned and after the case developed symptoms.

Doctor Fu-Meng Khaw, Strategic Response Director for PHE and Deputy Chief Medical Adviser for Test and Trace, said:

The identification of this individual is the result of an enormous collaborative effort between specialist teams at NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England.

Staff have been working around the clock to pursue every line of investigation and this is a fantastic result that enables us to fully investigate the circumstances around the case and reduce the risk of onward transmission.

As an additional precaution, we’re working closely with Croydon Council to put in place further testing in the area.

We are continuing to monitor all variants closely and the best way to protect against all COVID-19 infections is to remember the basics of Hands, Face, Space.

Thursday 4 March

New variant under investigation designated in the UK

Sixteen cases of a new variant, VUI-202102/04 (lineage B.1.1.318), have been identified in the UK. The variant has been designated a variant under investigation (VUI) by Public Health England (PHE).

Cases of this variant, understood to have originated in the UK, were first identified on 15 February through genomic horizon scanning. All individuals who tested positive and their contacts have been traced and advised to isolate.

Following assessments, the variant was designated a VUI on 24 February. It contains the E484K mutation, which is also found in 2 existing VUIspresent in the UK, but does not feature the N501Y mutation, present in all variants of concern (VOCs).

The addition of this variant as a VUI means there are now a total of 4 VUIsand 4 VOCs currently being tracked in the UK.

Cases with no travel links

As of 3 March:

  • a total of 59 cases of the variant VOC-202012/02, first detected in South Africa, have been found in England where no travel links could be established
  • a total of 26 cases of the variant VUI-202101/01, the P2 variant first detected in Brazil, have been found in England where no travel links could be established

Previous

Tuesday 28 February

Cases of Variant of Concern first detected in Manaus identified in the UK

Up to 6 cases of the Variant of Concern first identified in Manaus, Brazil (P.1) have been detected in the UK. Public Health England (PHE) has identified 3 of these cases of the Variant of Concern in England.

Two of the cases in England are from one household in South Gloucestershire with a history of travel to Brazil and there is a third, currently unlinked case.

The cases in South Gloucestershire were rapidly followed up by the PHEHealth Protection Team – cases and their contacts have been identified and retested. One case that had travelled to Brazil has been isolating at home with their household since returning to the UK.

PHE and NHS Test and Trace are following up with all passengers on Swiss Air flight LX318 travelling from Sao Paulo via Zurich and landing in London Heathrow on 10 February, to provide public health advice and test them and their households. Anyone who returned to the UK at that time should have gone home immediately from the airport and isolated for 10 days.

If you were a passenger on the flight and have not been contacted, please call 01174 503 174 to arrange a test for you and your household contacts.

Although the risk to the wider community is considered low, as a precaution, PHE, working in collaboration with South Gloucestershire Council and NHS Test and Trace, is taking swift and decisive action to deploy surge asymptomatic testing as well as increasing sequencing of positive samples from the area. Residents of South Gloucestershire should visit the council’s website for more information on testing. The most important actions are identifying cases and their contacts and supporting these individuals to isolate effectively.

Further investigation is underway regarding the third case in England. The individual did not complete their test registration card so follow-up details are not available. We are therefore asking for anyone who undertook a test on 12 or 13 February and hasn’t received their result or has an uncompleted test registration card, to call 119 in England or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland for assistance as soon as possible.

The P.1 variant has been designated ‘of concern’ as it shares some important mutations with the variant first identified in South Africa (B.1.351), such as E484K and N501Y.  It is possible that this variant may respond less well to current vaccines, but more work is needed to understand this.

Dr Susan Hopkins, PHE strategic response director for COVID-19 and NHS Test and Trace Medical Advisor, said:

We have identified these cases thanks to the UK’s advanced sequencing capabilities which means we are finding more variants and mutations than many other countries and are therefore able to take action quickly.

The important thing to remember is that COVID-19, no matter what variant it is, spreads in the same way. That means the measures to stop it spreading do not change. Stay at home and if you do need to go out for essential reasons, cover your nose and mouth, wash your hands thoroughly and keep your distance.

We ask that individuals come forward for testing through the symptomatic and asymptomatic test sites across the countries in order to continue to drive down cases in the community.

Background

Three cases of the variant have also been identified in Scotland but these are not linked to these 3 cases in England.

Tuesday 16 February

Public Health England (PHE) has identified 38 cases of COVID-19 which genomic sequencing has shown to feature a specific set of mutations which are currently being referred to as lineage B.1.525. The set of mutations includes the E484K spike protein mutation, which is present on a number of other variants of concern and variants under investigation.

This variant has been designated a variant under investigation (VUI) and will be referred to as VUI202102/03.

The variant has been detected in other countries, including Nigeria, Denmark and Canada.

Cases are geographically dispersed across England. Enhanced contact tracing and genomic sequencing is underway to monitor the situation as it develops.

Professor Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at PHE, said:

PHE is monitoring data about emerging variants very closely and where necessary public health interventions are being undertaken, such as extra testing and enhanced contact tracing.

There is currently no evidence that this set of mutations causes more severe illness or increased transmissibility.

The best way to stop the spread of the virus is to follow the public health advice: wash your hands, wear a face covering and keep your distance from others. While in lockdown, it is important that people stay at home, where possible.

Regular updates of confirmed variant cases will be provided on this page.

Friday 15 January

As of Thursday 14 January 2021, 35 genomically confirmed and 12 genomically probable cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variant which originated in South Africa (called VOC202012/02 in the UK, also named B1.351 and 501Y.V2 internationally) have been identified in the UK.

Two variants of interest have also been identified in Brazil. The first variant is variant under investigation (VUI) 202101/01 – this variant has a small number of mutations. The spread and significance of this variant remains under investigation. In partnership with COG-UK, 8 genomically confirmed cases of this variant have now been identified in the UK. All necessary public health action is being taken to follow-up the cases.

The second variant has been designated a Variant of Concern by NERVTAG, now termed VOC202101/02, and this variant has more mutations. We have NOT detected this second Brazil originated strain in the UK– this has been detected in Manaus and travellers arriving in Japan.

Laboratory work has begun on the VOC 202012/02 in the UK and is routinely undertaken on all variants under investigation or of concern once samples are available.

Dr Susan Hopkins, COVID Strategic Response Director at Public Health England, said:

We are continuing efforts to understand the effect of the variants on transmissibility, severe disease, mortality, antibody response and vaccine efficacy.

For now, our advice remains the same following detection of a Brazilian variant in the UK, even though this is not the variant detected in Manaus with more mutations: the best way to stop the spread of the virus is to wash your hands, wear a face covering and keep your distance from others. Whilst in lockdown, it is important that we also stay at home unless it is absolutely essential to go out.

Through COG-UK, the UK is a global leader in SARS-CoV-2 genomics, providing around 48% of the genomic data supplied to GISAID, the scientific initiative which allows global, real-time surveillance of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WGS is vital to the global response to the pandemic, allowing us to monitor and understand the evolution of new COVID-19 variants and respond with timely public health interventions.

In addition to the travel ban imposed on South Africa on 23 December 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced new restrictions for everyone arriving into the country from Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, Mauritius and Seychelles.

The restrictions follow new data on the steep rise in incidence of the B1.351 variant, which has vastly increased the risk of community transmission between these 9 southern African countries, as well as the Seychelles and Mauritius which have strong travel links with South Africa.

From 15 January 2021, the DfT has also imposed a subsequent travel ban to the UK from several South American countries and countries with strong travel links to Brazil. Passengers who have been in or transited through Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Panama, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela in the last 10 days will no longer be granted access to the UK.

British and Irish Nationals (and or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK) who have travelled from or transited through these countries must self-isolate for 10 days, as must members of their household. Contact tracing and testing of close contacts of confirmed cases will be used to identify and manage potential transmission. The decision to impose these restrictions has been taken to prevent the spread of the variant of coronavirus, known as VOC202101/02, into the UK.

The Isolation Assurance Service (IAS) will be contacting all returnees from all southern African countries, Mauritius and Seychelles to reinforce the advice to self-isolate, to encourage testing even if asymptomatic and to inform anyone treating/testing them of their recent travel.

Wednesday 23 December

The 2 cases were identified in the UK on 22 December 2020 and both have been in contact with someone who has travelled from South Africa. PHE’s Health Protection Teams have followed up with both cases and contact tracing is underway.

The new variant named B1.351 (also referred to as 501Y.V2) was first detected in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, in samples at the beginning of October. Molecular dating suggests that it could have been in circulation from the end of August.

The rapid spread of the variant in South Africa could be an indication of increased transmissibility but this is not yet confirmed. PHE is investigating this variant and will share its findings in due course. There is currently no evidence to suggest that the variant has any impact on disease severity, antibody response or vaccine efficacy. Epidemiological and virological investigations are also ongoing in South Africa.

It is not uncommon for viruses to undergo mutations; seasonal influenza mutates every year. More than 4,000 variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been identified in the UK and variants have been observed in many other countries.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser on COVID-19 to PHE & Test and Trace, said:

We are investigating this new variant of SARS-CoV-2 which originated in South Africa. Viruses often evolve and this is not unusual. We are carrying out work as a priority to understand the potential risk this variant may cause. It is important to say that there is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe illness, or that the regulated vaccine would not protect against it.

The best way to stop infection is to stick to the rules – wash our hands, wear a face covering and keep our distance from others.

The recommended control measures to limit the spread of the new variant continue to be testing, following the existing public health guidance and abiding by the restrictions, including ‘Hands, Face, Space’ and limiting your number of contacts. DfT have announced new restrictions for everyone arriving in the country from South Africa.

#AceHealthDesk report …….Published: Sept.18: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here:  https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#delta, #health, #london, #phe, #variants

(LONDON) ONS Breakthrough Cases Report: Where infection occurs in people ‘fully vaccinated’ and deaths involving #COVID19 who also had first positive PCR Test at least 14-days after 2nd vaccine dose #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.18: “ Breakthrough cases” are where infection has occurred in someone who is fully vaccinated. We define a “breakthrough death” as a death involving coronavirus (COVID-19) that occurred in someone who had received both vaccine doses, and had a first positive PCR test at least 14 days after the second vaccination dose. In total, there were 256 breakthrough deaths between 2 January and 2 July 2021 (Table 2)….

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says this is an ONS report from Jan.02 – July.02: 2021: On Cases of people who have received two doses of vaccine and showed 256 breakthrough deaths between those dates above ….

5. Characteristics of breakthrough deaths

We used the Public Health Data Asset (PHDA) to investigate the characteristics of breakthrough cases, leveraging information from the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) data for coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic planning and research and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). The linked data includes 252 breakthrough deaths and 43,956 total deaths involving COVID-19, 98.4% and 85.7% respectively of all breakthrough and total deaths involving COVID-19 that occurred between 2 January and 2 July 2021.

Table 3 shows some characteristics of these deaths.

Notes:
  1. Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures based on death registrations up to 28 July 2021 for deaths that occurred between 2 January and 2 July 2021 (Week 1 – Week 26).
  2. Statistics are calculated using the Public Health Data Asset, a linked dataset of people resident in England who could be linked to the 2011 Census and GP Patient Register.
  3. Deaths were defined using the International Classification of Diseases, tenth revision (ICD-10). Deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) are defined as those with an underlying cause, or any mention of, ICD-10 codes U07.1 (COVID-19 virus identified) or U07.2 (COVID-19, virus not identified). Please note, this differs from the definition used in the majority of mortality outputs (see Glossary).
  4. Age is defined on the date of death.
  5. See Glossary for definitions of health-related variables.

The median age for breakthrough deaths was 84 and 61.1% of the deaths occurred in males, despite there being more elderly women than men, and therefore initially more fully vaccinated women who could experience a breakthrough death. For all other deaths involving COVID-19 occurring between 2 January and 2 July 2021 in the PHDA dataset, the median age was 82 and 52.2% were male.

13.1% of the breakthrough deaths occurred in people who were immunocompromised, compared to 5.4% for other deaths involving COVID-19. Individuals were identified as immunocompromised if they had experienced a hospital episode since 1 January 2019 where the diagnosis or procedure code corresponded to an immunocompromised condition, or who had died and a condition corresponding to being immunocompromised was listed on the death certificate (see Measuring the data).

A greater proportion of breakthrough deaths occurred in those who were clinically extremely vulnerable (76.6%, 193 deaths), than other COVID-19 deaths (74.5%, 32,567 deaths) or non-COVID-19 deaths (69.7%, 128,454 deaths). A similar trend is observed for disability and long-term health problem status, with proportions of deaths among people self-reporting that they are “limited a lot” on the 2011 Census as 31.7%, 27.8% and 24.2% for breakthrough deaths, other deaths involving COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 deaths respectively. However, the characteristics of breakthrough deaths can reflect the characteristics of the population that is more likely to be double vaccinated as well as having an increased risk of a breakthrough death, and numbers are relatively low and should therefore be interpreted with caution.Back to table of contents

6. Glossary

Age standardised mortality rates

Age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) are used to allow comparisons between populations that may contain different proportions of people of different ages and sex. The 2013 European Standard Population is used to standardise rates. In this bulletin, the ASMRs are calculated for each week. For more information see Section 7: Measuring the data.

Coronaviruses

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines coronaviruses as “a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)”. Between 2001 and 2018, there were 12 deaths in England and Wales due to a coronavirus infection, with a further 13 deaths mentioning the virus as a contributory factor on the death certificate.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 refers to the “coronavirus disease 2019” and is a disease that can affect the lungs and airways. It is caused by a type of coronavirus. Further information is available from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Statistical significance

The term “significant” refers to statistically significant changes or differences. Significance has been determined using the 95% confidence intervals, where instances of non-overlapping confidence intervals between estimates indicate the difference is unlikely to have arisen from random fluctuation.

95% confidence intervals

A confidence interval is a measure of the uncertainty around a specific estimate. If a confidence interval is 95%, it is expected that the interval will contain the true value on 95 occasions if repeated 100 times. As intervals around estimates widen, the level of uncertainty about where the true value lies increases. The size of the interval around the estimate is strongly related to the number of deaths, prevalence of health states and the size of the underlying population. At a national level, the overall level of error will be small compared with the error associated with a local area or a specific age and sex breakdown. More information is available on our uncertainty pages.

Deaths involving COVID-19

For this analysis we define a death as involving COVID-19 if either of the ICD-10 codes U07.1 (COVID-19, virus identified) or U07.2 (COVID-19, virus not identified) is mentioned on the death certificate. In contrast to the definition used in the weekly deaths release, deaths where the ICD-10 code U09.9 (post-COVID condition, where the acute COVID-19 had ended before the condition immediately causing death occurred) is mentioned on the death certificate and neither of the other two COVID-19 codes are mentioned are not included, as they are likely to be the result of an infection caught a long time previously, and therefore not linked to the vaccination status of the person at date of death. Deaths involving U10.9 (multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19) where U07.1 or U07.2 are mentioned are also excluded. This is a rare complication affecting children, and there are no such deaths in our dataset for the data released in Deaths involving COVID-19 by vaccination status, England: deaths occurring between 2 January and 2 July 2021. 

Limitation by a long-term health problem of disability

Limitation by a long-term health problem or disability is self-reported on the 2011 Census for the question, “Are your day-to-day activities limited because of a health problem or disability which has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months?”. Answers are one of, “Yes, limited a lot”, “Yes, limited a little”, or “No”.

Clinical vulnerability

Clinical vulnerability is determined according to the QCOVID risk model for health conditions that result in a higher risk of COVID-19. Health conditions are determined using the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data.

Immunocompromised

A person was identified as immunocompromised if they had a hospital episode recorded in the Hospital Episode Statistics dataset (HES) Admitted Patient Care dataset that started on or after 1 January 2019, with a diagnosis code (ICD-10) or procedure code (OPCD) corresponding to a condition that is associated with either primary or secondary immunosuppression. A person was also flagged as immunocompromised if they died and at least one of these ICD-10 diagnosis codes was mentioned on the death certificate or if they had SNOMED codes recorded in the General Practice Extraction Service dataset corresponding to a prescription of immunosuppressants.

The ICD-10 diagnosis codes included are based on the Immunocompromised State Diagnosis codes from the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. These are ICD-10-CM codes, therefore we used only those codes that were up to 4 digits long to correspond to ICD-10 codes. 

The OPCS-4 procedure codes are based on the OPCS-4 codes listed in the NHS shielding list published by NHS Digital for the following disease groups: transplant, or cancer undergoing active chemo or radiotherapy.

Full lists of the ICD-10 codes and OPCS-4 codes used are given in the reference tables.

Date infected with COVID-19

The first positive test date of the most recent COVID-19 infection recorded in Test and Trace data is used to determine when a person who died from COVID-19 was infected relative to their vaccination data. The absence of a positive test can be either due to a linkage failure (the person was tested but we could not find them in the Test and Trace dataset) or to infection having occurred either not in England or before mass testing was available.

A COVID-19 infection can have multiple positive test results, and a person may be reinfected at a later period. The first positive test result was taken as the start of the first infection, and subsequent infections were determined as starting on the first positive test date that occurred >90 days after the start of the previous infection. The most recent infection is then defined as the start of the last recorded infection.

NOTE: This data is subject to change or fluctuation

#AceHealthDesk report ……..Published: Sept.18: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here:  https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#covid19, #london, #ons, #pcr-test, #vaccine

(PITTSBURGH) CBP REPORT: Seized the second of two shipments of counterfeit #COVID19 vaccination cards on Sept.07: shipped from China #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.17: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized the second of two shipments of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards in Pittsburgh on September 7.CBP seized 70 counterfeit #COVID19 vaccination cards shipped from China.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk reports that Pittsburgh CBP Officers Seize 70-Counterfeit #COVID19 Vaccination Cards from China: An investigation continues: The FBI has warned the public that buying, selling, or using a counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards endangers and places others at risk, and breaks our nation’s laws.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Pittsburgh seized 70 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards on September 7 that shipped from China and were destined to an address in Beaver County, Pa.

The two international mail parcels contained a combined 70 fake COVID vaccination cards: CBP officers seized the first parcel of 20 cards on August 24 after they determined that the cards presented a low-quality appearance and that they were being imported by a consignee who is not from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or a certified medical entity.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Pittsburgh seized 70 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards on September 7 that shipped from China and were destined to an address in Beaver County, Pa.

CBP officers placed a hold on a second shipment destined to the same Beaver County, Pa., consignee. That parcel of 50 fake COVID cards arrived on Tuesday. Both parcels were shipped from China.

CBP officers in ChicagoMemphis and Anchorage, Alaska, have seized more than 6,000 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards.

“Coronavirus and its variants continues to pose a serious health and safety threat to American citizens, and so do unscrupulous vendors who peddle counterfeit COVID vaccination cards,” said William Fitting, CBP’s Port Director in Pittsburgh. “Customs and Border Protection will continue to intercept counterfeit goods, such as these fake vaccine cards, that threaten our nation, our people and our economy.”The fake vax cards were destined to
an address in Beaver County, Pa.

CBP’s border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality. Learn more about what CBP accomplished during “A Typical Day” in 2020.

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Swpt.17: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#cbp, #counterfeit, #pittsburgh, #vaccination

(LONDON) GOVUK Press Release Statement Report: DHSC Announce agreement to end ‘shielding guidance’ for people considered clinically extremely vulnerable #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.17: This decision is based on there being far more information available on the virus and what makes individuals more or less vulnerable, the success of the COVID-19 vaccination programme and the emergence of proven treatments, such as dexamethasone and tocilizumab, to support improved outcomes in clinical care pathways.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk reports on the Shielding Programme: People previously considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable will not be advised to shield again, as the government agrees to end the requirement for centralised guidance for these groups following expert clinical advice. The closure of the shielding programme follows a pause to shielding guidance in place since 1 April 2021……

Those previously on the Shielded Patient List will receive a letter from the government in the coming days to inform them of this decision.

Shielding was introduced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the few interventions available to support those who were considered to be most at risk of serious illness from the virus.

While this was the right decision at the time to protect the most vulnerable during the initial waves of the virus when little was known about the virus and risk characteristics, shielding advice was extremely restrictive and for some, had a significant impact on people’s lives and their mental and physical wellbeing.

Since 19 July, the guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people has been to follow the same advice as the rest of the population, with the suggestion of additional precautions people may wish to take. Research and evaluation for some individual clinical groups will continue.

This will move the country towards the situation pre-COVID-19, where people managed their own conditions with their health professionals, who know the needs of their individual patients best.

For some who may have a reduced immune response – for example those who are immunocompromised or have particular cancers such as blood (haematological) malignancies – and who are at risk from infectious diseases more generally, a return to routine individual advice from relevant specialists is now recommended.

The government will continue to assess the situation and the risks posed by COVID-19 and, based on clinical advice, will respond accordingly to keep the most vulnerable safe. Individuals should consider advice from their health professional on whether additional precautions are right for them.

People aged over 16 with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 will also be prioritised for booster vaccinations, as well as adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals. This will ensure the protection the vaccines provide will be maintained over the winter months.

Vaccinations as part of a booster programme will begin from next week and the NHS will contact people directly to let them know when it is their turn.

Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, Jenny Harries, said:

Since the start of the pandemic, the NHS has administered millions of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, which is why those who were originally considered clinically extremely vulnerable have, since step 4 (19 July), been advised to follow the same guidance as everyone else.

Because of this progress, the government does not expect to have to issue shielding advice to this large group again, but will continue to assess the risks to the most vulnerable from COVID-19.

Those patients who are at risk from infectious diseases more generally – for example patients with blood cancers – and who can also remain less protected after other vaccinations, may wish to discuss this with their specialist as part of their routine care.

I would urge everyone else to follow the guidance and continue with the precautions that make you feel safe.

#AceHealthDesk report ………Published: Sept.17: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#govuk, #london

(LONDON) Press Release MHRA Statement Report: On #COVID19 booster vaccines for Winter 2021 – 2022 #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.15: We are committed to getting safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to the UK public. This means ensuring that existing COVID-19 vaccines can continue to be used in the most effective way possible…..

#CoronavirusNewsDesk reports on Regulatory updates by the MHRA today on the #COVID19 booster vaccine programme for winter 2021 to 2022…..

Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive said:

We confirmed on 9 September 2021 that the COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca can be used as safe and effective booster doses. This is an important regulatory change as it gives further options for the vaccination deployment programme which has saved tens of thousands of lives.

The regulatory decision followed a careful review of available data on safety and effectiveness of booster or supplementary vaccine doses by the MHRA and the independent Commission on Human Medicines(CHM, which advises the government.

We have also now looked at data for the Moderna vaccine to be used as a booster, and this has also been reviewed by the CHM experts who concluded that the Moderna vaccine can be used as a safe and effective booster dose, including in a half dose, which also gives an effective boost to antibodies.

The CHM took into account data on waning vaccine effectiveness after the second dose, providing important insights into potentially waning immunity.

The data reviewed showed that giving the booster jabs with flu vaccines at the same time is safe and does not affect an individual’s immune response to either vaccine. Therefore COVID-19 booster doses may be given at the same time as flu vaccines.

We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines and this surveillance includes booster jabs.

As with first and second doses, if anyone has a suspected side effect, please report it to us using our Yellow Card scheme.

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Sept.15: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#health, #london, #mhra, #vaccine

(LONDON) Press Release Statement Report: PM Boris Johnson Announces governments plan to manage #COVID19 through Autumn & Winter #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.15: Thanks to the phenomenal success of the vaccination programme, the data continues to show the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths has weakened significantly…..

#CoronavirusNewsDesk reports that GOVUK Prime Minister has set out the autumn and winter #COVID19 plan with emphasis also on a Plan B should cases overwhelm the NHS

  • Boosters, testing and refreshed public health advice will help keep the virus under control in the coming months
  • Plan B prepared to protect NHS if necessary
  • PM continues to warn the pandemic is not over and public need to remain vigilant

The Prime Minister has today set out the government’s plan to manage Covid throughout autumn and winter.

In England, the number of hospital admissions with Covid has remained relatively stable over the last month.

And although deaths increased at the beginning of the summer, they have remained far below the levels in either of the previous waves.

Over autumn and winter, the government will aim to sustain this progress through:

  • Building our defences through pharmaceutical interventions
  • Identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission
  • Supporting the NHS and social care
  • Advising people on how to protect themselves and others
  • Pursuing an international approach

Vaccines will continue to be our first line of defence. All those who were vaccinated during Phase 1 of the vaccine programme (priority groups 1 to 9) will be offered booster jabs from this month – to boost immunity amongst the most vulnerable groups during winter.

The Test, Trace and Isolate programme will continue its important work, with symptomatic PCR testing continuing throughout the autumn and winter.

Lateral flow tests will also remain free of charge but at a later stage, as our response to the virus changes, this will end and individuals and businesses will be expected to bear the cost. The government will engage widely on this before any changes are made.

The legal obligation to self-isolate for those who have tested positive and their unvaccinated contacts will continue, and the financial support payment for those self-isolating on certain benefits will continue in its current format until the end of March.

Our NHS will continue to get the support it needs, with an extra £5.4 billion recently announced for the next 6 months alone for the Covid response.

The public will be offered continued guidance on how to protect themselves and each other – including letting fresh air in, wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed place where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet, getting testing and self-isolating if required.

Our tough border policy will remain in place and genomic sequencing capability will be increased to help scientists update our vaccines to defeat new variants.

As the PM also set out, autumn and winter could pose renewed challenges and it is difficult to predict the path of the virus with certainty.

So as the public would expect, there will be a range of ‘Plan B’ measures kept under review to help control transmission of the virus while minimising economic and social damage.

Plan B would include:

  • Introducing mandatory vaccine only Covid status certification in certain, riskier settings.
  • Legally mandating face coverings in certain settings, such as public transport and shops.
  • Communicating clearly and urgently to the public if the risk level increases.

The government could also consider asking people to work from home again if necessary, but a final decision on this would be made at the time, dependent on the latest data – recognising the extra disruption this causes to individuals and businesses.

Ministers would only decide to implement these measures if necessary, and if a range of metrics and indicators mean the NHS is at risk of becoming overwhelmed.

Plan B recognises the success of our vaccination programme – meaning smaller interventions which are far less disruptive can have a much bigger impact on reducing the spread.

The Prime Minister committed to taking whatever action is necessary to protect the NHS, but stressed his belief that the combined efforts of the public and the vaccination programme mean we can avoid plan B and protect our freedoms in the coming months.

#AceHealthDesk report …….Published: Sept.15: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#covi, #govuk, #health, #london

(PARIS) #Coronavirus Report: French vaccine maker Valneva says the UK government has scrapped a deal for its #COVID19 vaccine #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.13: The UK had about 100 million doses on order, after it increased its request by 40 million in February…..

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that UK has scrapped the #COVID19 vaccine deal with French firm Valneva the company said in a statement that the UK government served notice over allegations of a breach of the agreement, which it “strenuously denies” as the Valneva’s jab is still being tested in trials although regulators must be satisfied before the rollout of any vaccine, manufacturing at a site in West Lothian, Scotland, had already started……..

Vials of vaccine against the coronavirus

In a statement on its website, Valneva said: “Valneva SE, a specialty vaccine company, today announced that it has received a termination notice from the UK Government (HMG) in relation to the Supply Agreement for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, VLA2001: The contract provides HMG with the right to terminate. HMG has alleged that the company is in breach of its obligations under the supply agreement, but the company strenuously denies this.”…….The firm said on Monday that results from its phase three trials were due later this year: It added: “Valneva has worked tirelessly, and to its best efforts, on the collaboration with HMG including investing significant resources and effort to respond to HMG’s requests for variant-derived vaccines.”………The company hopes that, dependent on the results of its continuing trials and sign-off from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, initial approval could still be granted in 2021: Its vaccine is expected to be given as two doses and contains a dead version of coronavirus that cannot cause disease, but should teach the body’s immune system how to fight it: But given that it is not yet approved for use by UK regulators, it will not affect the current rollout of jabs.

Speaking to BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland, Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We have enough supply even for a booster programme. I want to give absolute confidence to anyone listening that we have the supplies necessary to continue to vaccinate and particularly with a booster programme on the horizon.” …..Mr Yousaf said that while the announcement would be a big set-back for the Livingston plant, he would speak to Valneva to discuss its future.Valneva said on Monday that it would also look to other potential customers to ensure that the vaccines can still be used in the fight against the pandemic.The Scottish Health Secretary added that he was waiting for further information from the UK government over Valneva’s alleged failure to meet the terms of its contract.The Department for Health did not immediately respond to the BBC’s request for comment.

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Sept.13: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#paris, #u-k-france, #vaccine, #valneva

(ISRAEL) #Coronavirus Study Report: An Israeli study finds that #COVID19 immunity is significantly improved by a third #Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.11: A research team using data from Maccabi Healthcare Services in Tel Aviv found that the rate of infection dropped 48 to 68 percent within a week to 13 days after the third shot of the Pfizer vaccine. In addition, the study found the infection rate dropped even further—70 to 84 percent—two weeks to 20 days after the additional dose, reports Jason Gale of Fortunemagazine.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says an Israeli Study Finds Third Shot Provides Significant Boost in Covid-19 Immunity: When it comes to #COVID19 vaccinations, it appears the third time is a charm. A new Israeli study finds that people who get a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have a significantly lower risk of infection from the coronavirus, including the more dangerous #Delta variant.

Covid Booster
(CDC via Pexels)smithsonianmag.com
September 8, 2021 2:54PM:

Israeli study finds infection rate drops dramatically with third Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination

Released on MedRxiv before submission to a peer-reviewed journal, the Israeli Ministry of Health study concludes there are short-term health benefits to receiving a third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“Further studies are needed to determine the duration of protection conferred by the third dose and its effect on severe disease,” conclude the researchers, who include Daniel M. Weinberger, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health.

So far, more than 2 million of Israel’s 9.3 million residents have received the third dose, reports Dov Lieber of the Wall Street Journal. They include 70 percent of Israelis 60 or older and about half who are more than 50 years old.

“If your goal is to provide someone with high levels of short-term immunity, there’s no question that a good way to do this is … through a booster shot,” David Dowdy, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, who was not involved in the research, tells Gretchen Vogel of Science magazine.

He cautions that more research is needed to find out how long the boosters last since this study only covers a short period of time.

Health officials in Israel also want to know more about the booster’s longevity. They say they don’t know yet if more than three doses will be needed to protect people, though they are moving ahead with plans to give the booster to as many people as possible as the Delta variant continues to spread.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had wanted wealthier nations to hold off on administering boosters until people in poorer countries had received their first shots. However, Hans KlugeWHO Europe’s regional director, is now saying the additional dose should be given to people who are most at risk.

“A third dose of vaccine is not a luxury booster taking away from someone who is still waiting for a first jab,” he tells Hannah Knowles and Lenny Bernstein of the Washington Post. “But it’s basically a way to keep the people safe, the most vulnerable. But at the same time, we need to share. So we need to do it all.”

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Sept.11: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#israel, #vaccine

(EDINBURGH) #Coronavirus Report: Parliament has voted in favour of introducing #COVID19 vaccination certificates for entry to nightclubs and other events, the nation becoming the first in the UK to adopt such a measure #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.11: Maura McGoldrick, 21, received her first dose in London and her second in Glasgow, where she lives: However, her vaccination record only shows her having received one dose: The fourth-year student at the University of Edinburgh is concerned others may be similarly affected: The Scottish government said it had been working to “align” vaccination data from across the UK.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that #COVID19 in Scotland passports will be mandatory for entry to events and nightclubs and travelling abroad:

With some saying they are double-vaccinated but can’t show the proof’ as a number of people including this woman who was vaccinated in England and Scotland says she cannot get an accurate vaccination certificate because of issues with data-sharing across health services.

By Mary McCool
BBC Scotland news

RULES: What are the restrictions in your area?

EASING: What rules are changing, and when?

CASES: Where are the latest cases in Scotland?

WHO? The people who have died with Covid-19

Maura McGoldrick
Maura McGoldrick was vaccinated in England and in Scotland

The certificates are necessary for travelling abroad and could be used as part of a passport scheme to allow people into nightclubs and large events.

Scotland’s system has already seen problems including a recent security glitch and people being denied use of the pass in certain countries.

It has only recently been made available in the form of a QR code – despite a digital passport being widely used across Europe for months.

‘Hopeless situation’

While travelling to London over the summer, Ms McGoldrick said she heard news of the push for young people to visit drop-in vaccine clinics – and attended a local clinic the following day.

She said the medics at the centre were unable to find her NHS records, but took her name and address and gave her a card which stated the batch of the vaccine she had just received.

Maura McGoldrickNHS England issue patients with cards detailing the vaccine batch number

To be safe, Ms McGoldrick said she quickly phoned NHS Inform to let them know she had received her first jab outside of Scotland and was told her records would be updated.

However, when she received her second dose in Glasgow in August, she was told the first dose was missing from her medical records.

She requested her vaccine certificate by post and, again, the document showed one dose issued in Glasgow.

“Because there have been other things going on, it’s just compounded general stress and been emotionally draining,” said Ms McGoldrick.

“I know rationally it’s not the end of the world and I’m very privileged even to just have the vaccine.

“But I’m now at the stage where there is no-one else for me to call, no more leads for me to pursue – it’s a bit of a hopeless situation.”

Ms McGoldrick has spent more than two weeks calling NHS Inform and her GP in order to resolve the matter: She said her GP managed to acquire information on her vaccination in London.However, she said NHS Inform staff told her there was no data-sharing mechanism between them and NHS England and they would need to request the information from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.The Scottish government then refuted the claim about data sharing, saying it has worked to “align” vaccination records from different UK nations.A spokesperson said: “We are aware some people have encountered problems but it’s untrue to say there is no data-sharing and we are working closely with other nations to resolve the issue. “We have a process in place for sharing data between England and Scotland and continue to work with international stakeholders to improve the transfer of data across borders.”Updated NHS Inform guidance contains guidance on what to do if you have been vaccinated abroad or have been vaccinated in different parts of the UK.” What does the NHS say about vaccine status and the Common Travel Area?

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde gave the BBC contradictory information, saying that NHS Scotland certificates “can only contain information on vaccines administered in Scotland”.It has not responded to a further query.Ms McGoldrick is currently trying to get the health board to share her GP’s information with NHS Inform – but said other people in her position may not be able to chase it up.She said: “Selfishly speaking, I’m trying to sort this out for myself but I’m in the fortunate position where I have time to chase this up.”

But I know there are other people in the same position – NHS Inform said they had other people call about this but assumed they sorted it out: People have probably just given up as it will take more time and effort that they have to give right now.”

Vaccine certificates with QR codes are widely used across European countries: A a result of her vaccine status issue, Ms McGoldrick has postponed her October plans to travel to Copenhagen – partly for leisure, but also to do work experience related to her university course in international relations.She said she thought she was doing the right thing by getting her vaccine as quickly as possible, but the bureaucracy and cancelled plans that resulted had been a “bit of a blow”.”It’s the fact that we’ve been cooped up for so long,” she said. “I felt when I got two doses I had done everything I was supposed to do.”

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Sept.11: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#coronavirus, #edinburgh, #scotland

(LONDON) Parliament Social Care Levy (Ways & Means) Report: MPs Ayes: 319 & Noes: 248 on Wednesday evening over raising and spending of the £36-billion #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.09: The Prime Minister today set out responsible, fair, and necessary plans to tackle the Covid backlogs, reform adult social care, and bring the health and social care system closer together on a long term, sustainable footing.

#AceDailyNews reports that GOVUK Parliament has voted on raising 36-billion investment through a ‘Social Care Levy’ to reform NHS & Social Care and how it will be spent and heres waht the PM & Tory MPs and others said to read below:

Responsible, fair, and necessary action taken to provide biggest catch-up programme in the history of the NHS and reform the adult social care system.

  • Prime Minister pledges to tackle NHS Covid backlogs and cut waiting times with new £36 billion investment for health and social care
  • Responsible, fair, and necessary action taken to provide biggest catch-up programme in the history of the NHS and reform the adult social care system
  • NHS capacity to increase to 110% of planned activity levels by 2023/24, offering more appointments, treatments, and operations
  • Social care reform plan will end catastrophic costs for people across the country, and include extra investment in care sector to improve training and support
  • Funded by a new Health and Social Care Levy on working adults and an equivalent rise in the rates of dividend tax to make sure everyone pays their fair share

The Prime Minister today set out responsible, fair, and necessary plans to tackle the Covid backlogs, reform adult social care, and bring the health and social care system closer together on a long term, sustainable footing.

£36 billion will be invested in the health and care system over the next three years, to ensure it has the long term resource it needs.

Patients will benefit from the biggest catch-up programme in the NHS’s history, so people no longer face excessive waits for treatment.

Successive governments have failed to provide a long-term solution for social care. The system will finally be reformed, ending unpredictable and catastrophic care costs faced by thousands, and making the system fairer for all.

From April 2022, the government will introduce a new, UK-wide 1.25 per cent Health and Social Care Levy, ringfenced for health and social care. This will be based on National Insurance contributions (NICs) and from 2023 will be legislatively separate.

To ensure everyone contributes fairly, all working adults, including those over the state pension age, will pay the levy and the rates of dividend tax will also increase by 1.25% to help fund this package.

Every individual will contribute according to their means. Those who earn more pay more, with the highest earning 14 per cent of people paying around half the revenues.

Employers, who benefit from a healthy workforce and a tax-payer funded health service, will be asked to contribute so the costs are more widely shared.

This will raise around £12 billion in extra funding per year, to be invested in frontline health and social care across the UK over the next three years.

The pandemic put unprecedented pressure on the NHS. The number of patients waiting for elective surgery and routine treatment in England is now at a record high of 5.5 million. This could reach 13 million by the end of the year if left unchecked. Before the pandemic, nine out of ten were waiting fewer than 25 weeks in England. This has now risen to 44 weeks.

To fix this, the NHS needs to be able to offer more appointments, operations, and treatments. Rather than simply plugging the gaps, new, innovative practices must be pushed forward so patients continue to receive the best possible care.

The new funding is expected to fund an extra 9 million checks, scans, and operations. The NHS long term plan committed to increasing activity year on year. In recognition of pressures from Covid, this will now increase to 110% of the planned activity levels by 2023/24.

This is in addition to our historic settlement for the NHS in 2018, which will see its budget rise by £33.9 billion a year by 2023/24.

This is a significant, long-term increase in public spending, which will directly improve people’s lives.

Speaking in the House, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:

You can’t fix the Covid backlogs without giving the NHS the money it needs. You can’t fix the NHS without fixing social care, you can’t fix social care without removing the fear of losing everything to pay for it, and you can’t fix health and social care without long-term reform. The plan I am setting out today will fix all of these problems together.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

We’re tackling the NHS backlog and taking decisive action to fix our broken social care system.

This significant £12bn-a-year long-term increase in public spending will improve people’s lives across the UK – but our health and social care systems cannot be rebuilt without difficult decisions.

The new Health and Social Care Levy is the necessary and responsible thing to do to protect the NHS, sharing the cost between businesses and individuals and ensuring those earning more pay more.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said:

It’s absolutely right that NHS staff, who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to care for hundreds of thousands of Covid patients in hospital, get strong backing to recover routine services and begin to tackle the Covid backlog.

The pandemic is still with us and we will have to live with the impact of Covid for some time, so the additional funding confirmed this week will help meet those additional costs, and give the NHS clarity for the coming years while delivering millions more of the vital checks, tests and operations that patients need.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said:

Our nurses, doctors and care workers have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic in our hour of need.

But the pandemic has taken its toll – waiting times are longer than ever before and social care is under even greater pressure.

This additional funding is a critical investment in our country’s future – it will give the NHS the extra capacity it needs to get back on its feet and is a vital first step in the reform of our broken care system.

The Prime Minister has been clear that we cannot fix Covid backlogs without fixing the social care system. Taking necessary, responsible, and fair action, the Prime Minister has pledged to end the cruel lottery around social care costs.

Currently, families live with the fear of losing everything they own – including potentially a lifetime’s worth of savings.

Around one in seven must pay over £100,000 for care, with bills falling indiscriminately on some of the sickest and most vulnerable.

Thanks to the action announced today, no one in England will now have to pay more than £86,000 in care costs over the course of their lifetime. This is equivalent to around three years in care.

This will apply regardless of where they live, how old they are, what their condition is, or how much they happen to earn.

At the same time, the government will support those without savings – with the state covering all care costs for anyone with assets under £20,000.

Anyone with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will be expected to contribute to the cost of their care but will also receive state support, which will be means-tested.

The new £100,000 limit is over 4 times higher than the current limit of £23,250, meaning many more people will be eligible for support than under the current system.

The overall system will be made fairer, to ensure those who fund their own care do not pay more than state-funded individuals for the equivalent standard of care.

The social care workforce will receive new training and qualification opportunities, so they have the opportunity to progress and improve, while providing an even better standard of care.

The Prime Minister is also clear we must address wider issues in how and where people are cared for. We will bring the NHS and the social care system in England closer together – so people can be better cared for at the time and place that is right for them. An integration white paper will be published later this year.

While Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own systems, we will work together with the Devolved Administrations to tackle treatment backlogs and improve care for our elderly.

An ageing population with increasingly complex needs is putting ever more pressure on the social care system.

So alongside providing a path to long-term financial sustainability, additional support for the care system is also needed.

The government will set out a detailed plan later in the autumn to enable Local Authorities and other providers to invest in technology, innovative methods of care and in their workforce.

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Sept.09: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#govuk, #london, #nhs, #parliament, #social-care-levy, #votes

(VIETNAM) #Coronavirus Report: In rapid tests, some 290 of the 306 students and staff on the campus in the city’s urban District 2 tested positive for #COVID19 …Authorities immediately clamped a quarantine on the campus and sent in a small medical team #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.07: When several students at the Evangelical Church of Vietnam South’s (ECVN-S) Institute of Bible and Theology in Ho Chi Minh City developed coughs and fevers on July 20, church authorities immediately called the government health department.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says according to the Morning Star News Mixed Messages in Vietnam amid #COVID19 Following prior anti-church hype, communist government reacts responsibly to outbreak at Bible school……

In rapid tests, some 290 of the 306 students and staff on the campus in the city’s urban District 2 tested positive for COVID-19. Authorities immediately clamped a quarantine on the campus and sent in a small medical team.

Among the 15 cases that required off-campus hospitalization were those of the dean of students, pastor Nguyen An Thai, and his wife. All the hospitalized were improving except for three students who remained seriously ill at this writing. Many of the infected who remained on campus had coughs and fevers and were weak. A male student on campus who was mildly ill died from a serious fall.

Two Christian doctors and five volunteers of a Christian student fellowship have courageously gone into the quarantined campus to serve for the duration.

Among the first hotspots in what Vietnam calls its fourth wave of COVID-19 was a serious outbreak related to the Revival Ekklesia Mission (REM) house church at the end of April. At that time the government and state-controlled media came down very hard on the small church and its leaders, blaming and shaming them and launching a criminal investigation for spreading a dangerous disease.

Media and public opprobrium began to abate only when Ho Chi Minh City was overcome by other, larger outbreaks in factories and schools.

With the memory of harsh treatment of the REM church outbreak still fresh, however, ECVN(S) leaders appealed to communist authorities to refrain from making a big fuss about the Bible school outbreak in the media, and they complied. Government-church cooperation in this case has been better managed by both sides.

Churches, other Christian organizations and individuals generously donated equipment and supplies to the affected school. The ECVN(S)’s Social and Medical Committee (SOMEDCO), for its part, went into high gear with both local and international support. Churches in Hong Kong donated 100 ventilators. SOMEDCO supplied 10 to their affected school and 20 to the National University in Ho Chi Minh City. Others are being distributed as needed.

The SOMEDCO also prepared care packages worth about $25 each for hundreds of affected and quarantined families, both church members and not, as well as hundreds more for minimally paid public COVID-19 sanitation workers and their families. With food preparation on the campus not possible, SOMEDCO was also tasked with supplying 1,100 meals a day for the quarantined, so far costing about $60,000.

On 21 July SOMEDCO representatives went to the offices of the Vietnam Fatherland Front to present a gift of 1.1 billion Vietnamese dong (US$48,000) for the national fund for purchasing COVID-19 vaccines.

Authorities have approached representatives of the various religions for volunteers to work in COVID-19 hospital wards. The Vietnam Evangelical Alliance of house churches recruited 10 such volunteers. This service requires a three-month commitment, two months of service isolated within the institution and three weeks of quarantine after the service. Catholic news service Asianews reported that teams from various religions supplied 299 such volunteers in Ho Chi Minh City.

Until this “fourth wave,” Vietnam had been among the top 10 countries in the world in controlling the virus. In a country of just under 100 million people, the total numbers of cases at this writing was only 110,000, and deaths were 524. But now Vietnam is recording about 6,000 new infections a day, mostly in Ho Chi Minh City.

In contrast to implementing anti-religion communist ideology, Vietnam seems to be recognizing that religion is not a parasitic leech on society but a willing contributor to the national fight against the pandemic.

Nevertheless, the earlier REM church outbreak appears to have left lingering negative fallout. Many partially registered and non-registered churches that make up at least a third of Vietnam’s evangelicals are experiencing increased scrutiny under the onerous terms of the 2018 Law on Belief and Religion. At least one group has been ordered to cease its online worship services.

Church leaders who do not wish to be quoted by name fear that this scrutiny will lead to more intense government interference and control of their internal affairs.

© 2021 Morning Star News. Articles/photos may be reprinted with credit to Morning Star News. https://morningstarnews.org

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Sept.07: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#health, #vietnam

(LONDON) #Coronavirus Travel Report: Heathrow Airport has criticised Border Force after passengers faced “unacceptable queuing times” when arriving back from abroad over the weekend #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Sept.06: A Heathrow spokesman apologised for the delays, but blamed Border Force for not providing enough staff at immigration.

#AceDailyNews says that Heathrow criticises Border Force for ‘unacceptable’ queues at immigration desk with many now filled with people coming back from holidays over the weekend with many of the staff vetting Afghans from Kabul

By Alex Therrien
BBC News

People queuing at Heathrow Airport
Images on social media showed packed queues at the west London airport on Friday night, with travellers complaining of waits of several hours.

The Home Office, which has responsibility for Border Force, said the wait times were “unacceptable”. 

It said Border Force was “rapidly reviewing its rosters and capacity and flexibly deploying our staff across the airport to improve waiting times”.

Travellers at Heathrow used social media to complain about lengthy queues with inadequate ventilation, while some claimed people had fainted while they were waiting.

One Twitter user said: “There are people collapsing in Terminal 5 Arrivals due to overcrowding and no ventilation. Some Covid secure measures…”

Another said: “Horrendous kettling at Heathrow Terminal 5 arrivals tonight. No Border Force. No ventilation. No fire exits. No explanation. Held there for over an hour. People fainting. Panicked skeleton Heathrow ground team not knowing what to do.”

On Saturday morning, Heathrow Airport tweeted that it was unable to say how long travellers would have to queue for immigration. 

In a subsequent statement, the airport said it had “escalated” the issue with Border Force and expected it to provide a better service over the weekend.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “We are very sorry that passengers faced unacceptable queuing times in immigration due to too few Border Force officers on duty. 

“Border Force were aware of the extra demand from families and we are very disappointed that they did not provide sufficient resource. 

“We have additional Heathrow colleagues to support in managing queues and to hand out passenger welfare including water, but we need every immigration desk to be staffed at peak times. 

“We have escalated this with Border Force and expect them to provide a better service over the remainder of the weekend.”

The Home Office said it was the busiest weekend of the year for returning passengers, with particularly high numbers of families with children under the age of 12 who cannot use e-gates.

E-gates allow travellers with biometric passports to bypass manual inspections when they cross border control.

A Home Office spokesman said: “Throughout the pandemic we have been clear that queue times may be longer as we ensure all passengers are compliant with the health measures put in place to keep the UK public safe. However, the very long wait times we saw at Heathrow last night are unacceptable…

“Border Force is rapidly reviewing its rosters and capacity and flexibly deploying our staff across the airport to improve waiting times.” 

The Home Office added that Border Force was working closely with Heathrow Airport and its airlines and was committed to ensuring passengers had “a safe and hassle-free journey”.

The ISU union, which represents borders, immigration and customs staff, said Border Force had been “chronically under-funded for years” at major airports, with new recruits directed to inland and international trade to address issues arising from Brexit. 

Speaking about the scenes on Friday, an ISU spokeswoman said: “It will happen again. Not just at Terminal 5 but potentially at any large airport.”

EPAMore people have travelled overseas after the government relaxed some travel restrictions

The UK’s travelling restrictions were eased for many on 19 July when the government dropped the requirement for fully-vaccinated people and those under the age of 18 years and six months to quarantine after returning from amber list destinations. 

Most countries – including the UK’s most popular holiday destinations – are on the amber list.

Travellers coming from green list countries do not need to quarantine when they come back to the UK – whether or not they have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

However, travellers from green and amber destinations must have one test before returning to Britain and another two days after they get back.

Only British nationals can enter the UK directly from a red list country, and they must pay to quarantine in government-approved hotels and be tested.

The travel industry has criticised the UK’s changing travel rules, with airlines saying the system risked making international travel “more expensive, burdensome and uncertain compared to other countries”. 

Travel lists are currently updated every three weeks and the system is similar for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

At-a-glance: UK Covid travel rulesGetty ImagesCountries are placed on different coloured lists depending on the Covid situation in each nationGreen list countries are said to carry the lowest risk for travellers – and so isolation is not required, though testing pre-arrival and on day two is neededMost

MOST COUNTRIES: Including the UK’s most popular holiday destinations – are on the amber list: Amber list arrivals do not need to isolate if they are fully vaccinated or under-18 – but testing is required pre-arrival and on day two after landingThose who have yet to have both jabs will need to isolate and take additional Covid testsOnly British nationals can enter the UK directly from a red list country and they must pay to quarantine in special hotels and be tested.

#AceHealthDesk report …Published: Sept.06: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#heathrow, #immigration, #kabul, #london, #travel

(BRUSSELS) #Coronavirus Report – Sept.04: The EU and UK-Swedish drug-maker AstraZeneca have settled a row over a shortfall in #COVID19 vaccines that affected the European rollout earlier this year #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.04: The deal puts an end to the EU’s pending action in the Belgian courts: The EU said this week that 70% of adults had been double vaccinated…….

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that AstraZeneca has agreed to deliver 200 million doses of its vaccine, which had been promised under a contract, to the EU by the end of March 2022.

Vial labelled "AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine" placed on displayed EU flag is seen in this illustration picture
BBC Health Report:

Earlier this year AstraZeneca angered European Commission officials when it said it could only deliver a fraction of the doses agreed for the first three months of 2021. 

The bitter dispute overshadowed the initial weeks of the vaccine rollout across the EU’s 27 countries. The Commission accused the company of breaking an August 2020 advanced purchase deal while AstraZeneca hit back arguing that the contract only required its “best effort” to deliver millions of vaccine doses on time.

AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine, now known as Vaxzevria, has also been hit by age restrictions imposed by several EU countries because of very rare side effects. The EU’s medicines agency made clear that the benefits outweighed the risks for all adult groups.

The delivery row was set to reach the Brussels courts at the end of September and Rudd Dobber of AstraZeneca said he was “very pleased that we have been able to reach a common understanding” with the Commission.

EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said there were still “significant differences in vaccination rates between our member states, and the continued availability of vaccines, including AstraZeneca’s, remains crucial”.

Under the settlement the two sides agreed that another 60 million doses would be delivered by the end of this month, a further 75 million by the end of December and a final 65 million by the end of March 2022.

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Sept.04: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#astrazeneca, #brussels, #covid19, #e-u

(SCOTLAND) #Coronavirus Report: Vaccine passports are to be required for entry to nightclubs and many large events in Scotland from later this month, Nicola Sturgeon has said #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Sept.02: The plans will apply to indoor and outdoor events, and will need to be signed off by MSPs next week: Ms Sturgeon said the move was needed to help stem the recent surge in the number of cases…..

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that Nicola Sturgeon with support from Greens in their Power-Sharing have agreed to the need for vaccine passports for large events she said in Holyrood on Wednesday as a further 6,107 people have tested positive, with the number of people in hospital doubling in the past 10 days and several areas of Scotland are among the regions with the highest rates of the virus in Europe.

nightclub
The move means people will need to show they have had both doses of the vaccine before being allowed into nightclubs and many other events

The new vaccine certification rules mean people over the age of 18 will need to show they have had both doses of the vaccine before they are allowed entry to:

  • Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues.
  • Unseated indoor live events, with more than 500 people in the audience.
  • Unseated outdoor live events, with more than 4,000 people in the audience.
  • Any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance.

RULES: What are the restrictions in your area?

EASING: What rules are changing, and when?

CASES: Where are the latest cases in Scotland?

WHO? The people who have died with Covid-19

The new rules will impact on many sporting events in Scotland – particularly football matches – as well as concerts and music festivals.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said Premiership football clubs had “a significant number of questions and real concern” about the plan.

He added: “It’s not clear what IT infrastructure will be in place, what time-scales clubs will be asked to work to, or what can be done for those without smart phones.

“And it’s not clear if it’s going to cut across terms and conditions of seasons tickets already bought by people across the land.”

Ms Sturgeon said the hospitality industry as a whole would not be included in the certification scheme – although that decision would be kept under review.

And there are no plans to include key services or settings where people have no choice over attendance – such as shops, public transport, education and medical services. 

Anyone who has good reasons for not getting fully vaccinated – including children and people with particular medical conditions – will be exempt. 

People can already request a paper copy of their vaccination record to allow them to travel, and from Friday they will be provided with a QR code so they can download a copy of the record to keep on their phone.

Paper copies of vaccine certificates are already available for people who have been fully vaccinated

A similar scheme will be introduced in England at the end of this month, with people needing to have a “Covid pass” to access “higher risk” settings such as nightclubs. 

Several other European countries – including France, Italy and Ireland – have already introduced certification.

Scotland’s health secretary, Humza Yousaf, said in July that he was “sceptical” about the case for vaccine passports, citing concerns that they “might increase the inequality gap, and there would be ethical issues”.

The country’s deputy first minister, John Swinney, also said he did not believe it was right to exclude people who do not want to be vaccinated after the UK government set out its plans to introduce passports in England.

In a statement at Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon told MSPs that the certification scheme was now needed to “help protect individuals and the country as a whole and reduce the risk of further restrictions being necessary”.The first minister added: “Many of the events and venues that are covered by the certification scheme are important – they matter to our economy, and to our cultural and social life. “That’s why we want to enable them to stay open safely – but they are not essential services.”And the nature of them – which involves bringing many people together in relatively small areas – does mean that, despite their very best efforts, they can contribute significantly to the spread of the virus.”She also said it would be “grossly irresponsible” to rule out re-introducing further restrictions in the future.

The Scottish Greens are not keen on vaccine passports. The new minister for zero carbon buildings, active travel and tenants’ rights, Patrick Harvie, has raised concerns about their introduction before.In July he argued vaccine certification “would deepen discrimination against those who have not yet been vaccinated”.

Today the party’s health spokesperson, Gillian Mackay, said it was essential the Scottish government ensures the introduction of vaccine certification doesn’t adversely affect disabled people, those with underlying health conditions and those from the global south who may not be able to access proof of vaccination. But the Greens are now in government. Vaccine certification isn’t specifically excluded in the co-operation agreement they signed with the SNP and so the Greens are bound by collective responsibility on this issue and will have to support it when it’s put to the vote at Holyrood.

The first minister said it was a “significant move” and would need to be signed off by MSPs, with a debate and vote to take place next week.However the SNP has a comfortable majority with the backing of the Scottish Greens – who have previously been opposed to the move – and the cooperation agreement between the two parties commits them to working together on Covid-related matters.

The Liberal Democrats were the only party to hit out directly against the plans following Ms Sturgeon’s statement, with leader Alex Cole-Hamilton saying vaccine passports were akin to “medical ID cards”, adding: “

This is an illiberal step”.Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said the Scottish government had “wasted months” that could have been spent making preparations, and was now “introducing vaccine passports at the last minute”.He added: “It’s a striking u-turn from what John Swinney said last month, where he emphatically claimed vaccine passports were “the wrong way” to go. “We need businesses to get in-depth guidance around these certificates as soon as possible.

They should be involved in the process and the government needs to clarify whether they will be expected to police these new rules.”Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said the virus was now out of control and Scotland – and claimed the government had no strategy to deal with it. Case levels in Scotland are 80% higher now than they were last week, and five times higher than they were four weeks ago.

The number of people in hospital has more than doubled since 20 August, from 312 to 629.Intensive care admissions have not risen as quickly, but have still gone up from 34 to 59 over the same timescale.Meanwhile 4,108,804 people have had a first dose of vaccine, and 3,691,066 have had two.That includes 95% of people over 40 who are now fully vaccinated, as well as 71% of 30 to 39-year-olds and 51% of 18 to 29-year-olds.The Federation of Small Businesses said the many affected firms would not welcome the certificate scheme – but would accept it as an alternative to stricter restrictions. But it said the system needed to be user-friendly for both businesses and the public, and warned against a “rush” to extend the scheme to other settings. The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) said the scheme was a “threat hanging over the whole of the hospitality industry”, while the UK Hospitality Scotland said the move would “cause dismay amongst businesses” that had only recently been allowed to reopen.

#AceHealthDesk report ………Published: Sept.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#conservative, #coronavirus, #covid19, #greens, #liberal, #scotland, #snp, #sturgeon, #vaccine-passports

(SCOTLAND) #Coronavirus Report: Records a record number of daily #COVID19 cases as the number surged above 6,000 for the first time #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Aug.28: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the sharp rise was a “cause for concern” – but the Scottish government was not currently considering the introduction of a circuit breaker lockdown……

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says following unlocking restrictions has led Scotland to record a huge increase in daily #COVID19 cases with a total of 6,835 new cases were reported on Friday – more than 1,800 above the previous highest figure and the third time this week a new record has been set as cases have roughly doubled in a week’ …

However, she stressed the importance of everyone “playing their part” in halting the spread of the virus.

Ms Sturgeon had previously said the country was at a “fragile and pivotal moment” in the pandemic: Live coverage of Nicola Sturgeon’s Covid briefing

She said on Friday that she could not rule anything out, but that no-one wanted to “go backwards” to even limited restrictions.

PA Media: Ms Sturgeon urged people to get vaccinated, test themselves regularly and “tighten up again” on following the current guidelines.

She encouraged people to meet outdoors, avoid crowds, keep a safe distance from others and minimise physical contact.

And she added: “I hope we can get through this with all of us behaving sensibly and appropriately.”

The daily test positivity rate reported on Friday was 14.2%, up from 11.5% the previous day.

A record number of tests had been carried out on Thursday – but Ms Sturgeon said that did not entirely explain the increase in case numbers, which have doubled over the last seven days.

“It’s important to point out that case numbers are rising across the UK just now, but after a period of slower increases in Scotland the rise here is particularly sharp at the moment,” she said.”That is possibly, at least in part, a reflection of the fact that our schools return earlier, with the increased interactions that come with that.”And although vaccination has significantly weakened the link between a high volume of new cases and serious harm to health, it hasn’t completely broken that link.”The number of people in hospital with Covid has risen from 312 to 479 over the last week.There have been four further deaths, and no change in the number of patients in intensive care, which stands at 47.We’ve seen record high figures this week, but the vaccination programme has disrupted the link between catching Covid and ending up in hospital.But if case numbers get too high, even a small proportion of people becoming seriously ill can pose a challenge for the NHS.

So it’s the number of people becoming seriously ill that will now define the path we take. And, crucially, whether restrictions have to come back.The first minister is ruling out the harshest of restrictions – a circuit-breaker lockdown. She’s actually hopeful that we can get through this without any additional measures. We’re being asked to take voluntary action: meet outdoors, avoid crowds and limit physical contact.But that leaves the public in a slightly strange position – being asked to not take full advantage of the freedoms we were granted just a few weeks ago. Voluntary action now can help avoid more rules in the near future: That’s Nicola Sturgeon’s message for the weekend.

National clinical director Professor Jason Leitch was asked on BBC Radio Scotland’s Drivetime programme about the statistical modelling for case numbers.He said that if the rate doubled again in another seven days, that would mean nearly 14,000 cases – unless we were close to a “peak” which was not currently visible.When the previous record total of new cases – 5,021 – was reported on Wednesday, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the rise was partly being fuelled by the return of schools.Scottish schools returned from the summer holidays in mid-August, several weeks earlier than in the rest of the UK.

The Scottish Secondary Teachers Association is calling for all secondary school pupils to be vaccinated.Getty ImagesPupils returned to school earlier this monthScottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser warned that “heightening the threat of restrictions when our vaccine system has been so successful” would jeopardise the country’s recovery from the pandemic. He added: “The Scottish people cannot be kept in this holding pattern of removing and introducing Covid restrictions, particularly when there is no threat of a new variant at this time. “The recovery of our NHS and Scotland’s economy is at stake.

The SNP must give that more consideration now that so many people have been vaccinated.”Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar voiced concerns about the case rate and increase in hospitalisations, and said the way we “ramp up” the rollout of the vaccine was crucial: He suggested door-to-door vaccination in areas with a low uptake, along with mobile units at university campuses and high schools.

RULES: What are the restrictions in Scotland?

LOCKDOWN: Six months that changed our livesCASES:

CASES: Where are the latest cases in Scotland?

NUMBERS: Four key figures to watch out for

#AceHealthDesk report ………Published: Aug.28: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#health, #scotland, #sturgeon, #vaccines

(LONDON) GOVUK OCTAVE DUO Clinical Trial Study Statement Report: A new clinical trial to determine whether a third dose of vaccine will improve the immune response for people who have weakened immune systems is launching in the UK.

#AceHealthReport – Aug.25: The study, OCTAVE DUO, will offer people who are immunosuppressed or immunocompromised a Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax vaccine to determine whether this will give a stronger immune response than two doses.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk reports on a new study to test third #COVID19 vaccine for people with weakened immune systems

A new clinical trial will investigate whether a third dose of vaccine for people with weakened immune systems gives a stronger immune response than two doses.

  • Participants will be given either Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax as a third dose of vaccine
  • The government-funded study follows the results of the OCTAVE trial showing that 89% of people who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed generate antibodies, and 60% generate a strong antibody response after two doses

The £2.2 million study will build on the OCTAVE trial, led by the University of Glasgow and co-ordinated by the University of Birmingham’s Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit.

The OCTAVE trial has published preliminary data today showing that 89% of people who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed generate antibodies following vaccination, and 60% generated a strong antibody response following two doses of a vaccine.

However, 40% of people in these groups mounted a low, or undetectable, immune response after two doses, and the level of antibody response varies between the groups studied.

The level of antibodies required for protection from COVID-19 is still not known, and it is likely that T cells also play an important role in protecting people from the virus. These findings therefore don’t provide a conclusive assessment of the protection vaccines offer people with weakened immune systems.

Up to 1,200 patients who are already involved in the OCTAVE study or those with other at-risk conditions involved in parallel studies will be recruited to the OCTAVE DUO trial.

The OCTAVE DUO study, co-funded by the government’s Vaccines Taskforce and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and led by the University of Glasgow and University of Birmingham, will analyse in detail the immune response of this group to the vaccine and the durability of this protection. It will also use healthcare records to determine whether any participants are later diagnosed with COVID-19.

Initial results are expected later this year to inform the UK’s COVID-19 vaccine deployment in these specific at-risk groups. The trial will follow the patients to mid-2022 and offer more detailed information at that stage about the immune responses that develop in these groups.

The government is carefully considering the findings of the OCTAVE trial and will also consider any further appropriate advice – including from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) – for those who are immunosuppressed as part of regular reviews of the latest data and evidence on vaccine efficacy and effectiveness.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said

Vaccines have built a strong wall of defence in the UK and this is allowing most of us to learn to live safely with COVID-19.

We know some people may get less protection from the vaccine than others, so we are planning for a booster programme in the Autumn, prioritising those most at risk.

This new study will play an important role in helping to shape the deployment of future vaccines doses for these specific at-risk groups.

A separate study by Public Health England in July which looked at antibody response and vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic infection also showed that those who were immunocompromised had lower antibody responses.

It also found that protection from COVID (vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease) for those who are immunosuppressed of all ages after one dose was 4%, but after two doses it was 74%, providing similar protection to those who are not in an at-risk group. Again vaccine effectiveness may vary by specific condition and severity of that condition.

Patients included in the OCTAVE DUO study are people with lymphoid malignancies, immune mediated inflammatory diseases (including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, vasculitis and inflammatory bowel disease), renal disease, solid tumours (including breast and lung cancers), haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation, hepatic and intestinal disease, and primary immune deficiency.

Professor Iain McInnes, Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow who leads the OCTAVE and OCTAVE DUO studies, said:

It is hugely important for us to urgently understand the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in people who have immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, cancer, and diseases of the kidney or liver.

Our first study to answer this question is the OCTAVE study which has shown that there is a group of patients who may not mount a sufficient immune response.

We are pleased to now roll-out of the OCTAVE DUO trial, to investigate the effects of a third dose on this particular group of patients who have shown an undetectable or low vaccine response. We hope to provide answers to this very important unanswered question.

Professor Pam Kearns, Director of the University of Birmingham’s Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit which is co-ordinating both OCTAVE and OCTAVE DUO, said:

The pandemic has been particularly concerning for millions of people in the UK who have conditions or long term illnesses which place them at greater risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.

Together with our preliminary findings from OCTAVE, this new study will be instrumental in helping inform how best to vaccinate patients with chronic conditions, and protect them from COVID-19 infection in the future.

Dr Rob Buckle, Chief Scientist of the Medical Research Council, part of UKRI, which co-funded the trial, said:

While most of us are relieved to be vaccinated to protect ourselves and those around us, today’s results investigating the outcome for people with immunosuppression will be of concern to the subset for whom the vaccine didn’t trigger a large protective response.

This new study of giving third jabs to this group is critical research which we hope will demonstrate a much-needed immunity boost or identify those who could benefit from other interventions.

One of the real strengths of the UK’s scientific response to the pandemic has been the way that we’ve assembled teams of experts to lead cutting-edge studies like this, to inform our vaccine roll-out and government decision-making in real time.

More than 89 million people have been vaccinated in the UK, including more than 47million people with a first dose (87.7%) and more than 41 million people with a second dose (76.9%).

Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, the dominant strain in the UK. The analysis shows that, across all adults, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after 2 doses.

COVID-19 vaccines have saved around 95,200 lives and prevented 82,100 hospitalisations and 23.9 million infections in England alone, the latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University shows.

Addtional Notes:

  • Further advice on vaccination, including on whether a third dose should be given to the immunocompromised, is not dependent on the OCTAVE DUO, the results of which are expected later this year.
  • Recruitment to the OCTAVE DUO study will be only from the cohort of people involved in the initial OCTAVE study, and similar studies.
  • Hospital study sites that recruited patients for OCTAVE: QEH Birmingham, Glasgow, St James Leeds, Imperial London (Hammersmith), Oxford, Addenbrookes, Southampton, King’s College London, Sheffield, St Georges London, Freeman Hospital.

Background on the vaccination programme:

  • The latest UK-wide vaccination statistics are published here and NHS England publishes vaccine statistics for England here.
  • The latest PHE analysis on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines is available here. Their latest study on the number of cases prevented and lives saved by vaccines is here.
  • PHE have published data on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for at-risk groups here.
  • Visit the NHS website for advice on how to book or manage a COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

#AceHealthDesk report ……….Published: Aug.25: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#govuk, #london, #study

(LONDON) #Coronavirus GOVUK Report: #COVID19 Anti-Body tests to be offered to the public for the first time to establish a natural protection #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Aug.23: Anyone over 18 will be able to opt in when having a PCR test from Tuesday – of those who test positive, up to 8,000 will be sent two home antibody tests. ….

#CoronavirusNewsDesk reports #COVID19 Antibody tests are to be widely offered to the UK public for the first time in a new programme that aims to find out more about how much natural protection people have after getting #coronavirus.

On Sunday the U.K. reported see below for latest figures after coming out of lockdown recently as U.K. prepares to end furlough and everyone can return to normal life ?

A person using a Covid antibody test
Getty Images

The government scheme will offer tests to thousands of adults each day.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it would be quick and easy to take part.

The first of the finger-prick tests would have to be done as soon as possible after the positive result, so the body would not have time to generate a detectable antibody response to the infection. 

The second would be taken 28 days later and measure antibodies generated in response to the infection. 

The UK Health Security Agency is to run the programme and will work alongside NHS test and trace services in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to use results to monitor levels of antibodies in positive cases. 

Its chief executive Dr Jenny Harries said the scheme would help the UK gain “vital insight” into the impact of the vaccination programme and immune responses to different variants.

Mr Javid said it would build on the “massive wall of defence” that was the vaccination programme and getting involved would help “strengthen our understanding of Covid-19 as we cautiously return to a more normal life”. 

The Department of Health said as well as helping it improve understanding about antibody protection, the scheme could give information about any groups of people who did not develop an immune response after getting coronavirus.

Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf welcomed news of the study, saying: “It is vital that we have the fullest understanding possible of vaccine effectiveness and the immune response of the broader population.

“The rollout of this antibody testing study will help us achieve this and could play an important role in the battle to keep the virus under control.”

Antibody tests have been used previously in the UK during the pandemic but in limited numbers, largely on people involved in studies or surveys.

#AceHealthDesk report ………Published: Aug.23: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#antibody, #london, #vaccine

(LONDON) ONS REPORT: In England, it is estimated that over 9 in 10 adults, or 94.2% of the adult population (95% credible interval: 93.2% to 95.1%) would have tested positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the specific virus that causes coronavirus (COVID-19) FULL DETAILS BELOW: #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthDesk says that 9 in 10 adults were estimated to have #COVID19 antibodies across U.K. (not living in care homes, hospitals or other institutional settings) Week beginning 26th July 2021 ….

Aug.20, 2021: @acenewsservices

ONS REPORT:

1. Main points

  • In England, it is estimated that over 9 in 10 adults, or 94.2% of the adult population (95% credible interval: 93.2% to 95.1%) would have tested positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the specific virus that causes coronavirus (COVID-19), on a blood test in the week beginning 26 July 2021, suggesting they had the infection in the past or have been vaccinated.
  • In Wales, it is estimated that over 9 in 10 adults, or 93.2% of the adult population (95% credible interval: 91.8% to 94.5%) would have tested positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 on a blood test in the week beginning 26 July 2021, suggesting they had the infection in the past or have been vaccinated.
  • In Northern Ireland, it is estimated that around 9 in 10 adults, or 89.1% of the adult population (95% credible interval: 85.0% to 92.0%) would have tested positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 on a blood test in the week beginning 26 July 2021, suggesting they had the infection in the past or have been vaccinated.
  • In Scotland, it is estimated that over 9 in 10 adults, or 93.5% of the adult population (95% credible interval: 92.2% to 94.6%) would have tested positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 on a blood test in the week beginning 26 July 2021, suggesting they had the infection in the past or have been vaccinated.
  • Across all four countries of the UK, there is a clear pattern between vaccination and testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies but the detection of antibodies alone is not a precise measure of the immunity protection given by vaccination.

About this bulletin

In this bulletin, we refer to the following.

Antibodies

We measure the presence of antibodies in the community population to understand who has had coronavirus (COVID-19) in the past, and the impact of vaccinations. It takes between two and three weeks after infection or vaccination for the body to make enough antibodies to fight the infection. Having antibodies can help to prevent individuals from getting the same infection again, or if they do get infected, they are less likely to have severe symptoms. Once infected or vaccinated, antibodies remain in the blood at low levels and can decline over time. The length of time antibodies remain at detectable levels in the blood is not fully known.

Community population

In this instance, community population refers to private residential households, and excludes those in hospitals, care homes and/or other institutional settings.

SARS-CoV-2

This is the scientific name given to the specific virus that causes COVID-19.

Data in this bulletin

The analysis on antibodies in this bulletin is based on blood test results taken from a randomly selected subsample of individuals aged 16 years and over, which are used to test for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. We also present data on the percentage of people aged 16 years and over who report they have received one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine since 14 December 2020, and the percentage of people aged 16 years and over who are fully vaccinated since 15 February 2021.

Our antibodies and vaccination estimates are based on modelling of the people visited in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey in the community. Further information on our method to model antibodies and vaccinations can be found in our methods article.

We produce weekly modelled estimates using standard calendar weeks starting Monday. To provide the most timely and accurate estimates possible for antibody positivity, the model will include data for the first four to seven days of the most recent week available, depending on the availability of test results. The antibody estimate for the most recent week in this publication includes data from 26 to 29 July 2021.

We are presenting weekly modelled antibody estimates for adults by country, grouped age and single year of age for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. We present the same analysis for vaccine estimates of adults who reported they have received one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and for adults who report they are fully vaccinated.

Modelled vaccine estimates are produced to provide context alongside our antibodies estimates and do not replace the official government figures on vaccinations, which are a more precise count of total vaccines issued. While we would expect the overall trend of our estimated number of people who have received vaccines to increase, it is possible that in some weeks, the estimate may remain the same or decrease as a result of sampling variability (for example, we may have a lower number of participants recording a vaccination in the latest week compared with an earlier week).Back to table of contents

2. Understanding antibodies, immunity and vaccination estimates

This bulletin presents analysis on past infection and/or vaccination – which we define as testing positive for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 – for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland based on findings from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey in the UK. For context, we include estimates from our survey on the percentage of people who reported they have received at least one dose of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, as well as those who have been fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2.

It is not yet known how having detectable antibodies, now or at some time in the past, affects the chance of becoming infected or experiencing symptoms, as other parts of the immune system (T cell response) will offer protection. Antibody positivity is defined by a fixed amount of antibodies in the blood. A negative test result will occur if there are no antibodies or if antibody levels are too low to reach this threshold.

It is important to draw the distinction between testing positive for antibodies and having immunity. Following infection or vaccination, antibody levels can vary and sometimes increase but can still be below the level identified as “positive” in our test, and other tests. This does not mean that a person has no protection against COVID-19, as an immune response does not rely on the presence of antibodies alone.

We also do not yet know exactly how much antibodies need to rise to give protection. A person’s T cell response will provide protection but is not detected by blood tests for antibodies. A person’s immune response is affected by a number of factors, including health conditions and age. Our blog gives further information on the link between antibodies and immunity and the vaccine programme.

While the daily official government figures provide the recorded actual numbers of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 issued, our vaccination estimates are likely to be different from the official figures. This is because they are estimates based on a sample survey of reported vaccine status and are provided for context alongside our antibodies estimates. We control for the effect of ethnicity by post-stratifying our analysis by White and non-White ethnic groups, rather than individual ethnicities, because of our current sample size. This could result in differences between our survey estimates and the government figures in the numbers of vaccines received for some ethnic minority groups.

Importantly, our survey collects information from the population living in private households and does not include people living in communal establishments such as care homes, hospitals or prisons. The value of showing our estimates of vaccines alongside our estimates of people testing positive for antibodies is to illustrate the relationship between the two.

Differences between official figures and the estimates from this survey differ in scale across each of the four UK nations (some survey estimates are closer to the official reported figures than others) because of differences in reporting dates and the inclusion of National Immunisation Management System (NIMS)1 data for England. In addition, our sampling method for Northern Ireland is different to the other nations, inviting only people who have previously participated in a Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) survey, which could result in a sample of individuals who are more likely to get vaccinated. This should be taken into consideration if comparing vaccine and antibody estimates across the four nations, as vaccine status and antibody positivity are related.

In addition, as our analysis develops, our survey-based estimates will enable possible future analysis of people who have received a vaccine with other characteristics collected in the survey. Our blog provides more information on what the Office for National Statistics (ONS) can tell you about the COVID-19 vaccine programme.

Our methodology article provides further information around the survey design, how we process data, and how data are analysed. The study protocol specifies the research for the study. The Quality and Methodology Information details the strength and limitations of the data.

Notes for: Understanding antibodies, immunity and vaccination estimates

  1. National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) administrative data are used to validate Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey self-reported records of vaccination for England. The equivalent of this is currently not included for other countries meaning the estimates for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are produced only from Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey self-reported records of vaccination.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.20: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#health, #london, #northern-ireland, #ons, #scotland, #wales