Covid-19 round up

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Newsflash:  The government has just confirmed that all 16 and 17-year-olds in the UK will start to be offered a first dose of the Covid jab within weeks. 

They will not need parental consent and will receive the Pfizer jab. Advice on the second dose will come later. At the Rye Pfizer Centre we await instructions about delivery. Until now, children over 12 have been able to get a jab in Rye if they have certain health conditions, live with others who are at a high risk or are nearing their 18th birthday.

We are continuing to see plenty of young people at the Rye Pfizer Vaccination Centre, some of which have been rather anxious. The way we have handled these has contributed to some of last week’s positive feedback.

  • “Visited Tilling Green community centre in Rye with my partner for the vaccine, staff were very kind and accommodating. Didn’t need an appt. There wasn’t any pressure and they calmed any hesitations about the vaccine. Doors open and a good amount of fresh air coming in. Would definitely recommend coming here for the vaccine especially if it’s your first dose and you’re nervous! Thank you to all the staff working here :)”
  • “Caring and very professional, thank you for making my vaccination completely pain free.”
  • “Really nice lovely group of people. Made the experience relaxed and stress free.”
    “Super! So quick to be seen, taken to a side room due to being pregnant and looked after really well! Thanks everyone”
  • “Had both jabs at Tilling Green, the pharmacist that did my jabs was great and helped to settle my nerves. Everyone there was friendly and chatty, would recommend going here for vaccine.”
  • “Had a very efficient and positive experience having my second vaccination today. Very friendly volunteers”.

NHS App – “Pings”

As there have been widespread Covid-19 contact alerts via the NHS App, we learn that the software has now been “tweaked” to make it “more balanced” in its detection of contacts. The app will now look for contacts two days prior, rather than five, when someone without symptoms tests positive. The government is urging the public to continue using the app.

Young people

Sussex figures reflect the national ones: 68% of 18 to 29-year-olds in England have had their first jab. More than 72% of UK adults have had two doses, while 88.5% have had one. With government concern about a reluctance by some young people to take the vaccine, various (controversial) incentives are being considered, such as offers of free Uber drives; Uber Eats and Deliveroo vouchers. Some local councils and charities have already been offering free taxis to help people get to vaccination centres. It is not clear at this stage to which age group the incentives will be available and whether those who have already had the jab will be eligible. The government has said that discussions were ongoing with companies and details would be published in due course.

Booster jabs

A decision on whether over-50s will be given a third or booster coronavirus jab is expected to be made “within weeks.” Ministers have said that reports of the programme in the press “have been premature” but indications are that the the plan would be to deliver an average of almost 2.5million third doses a week, through 2,000 pharmacies in the scheme. It is not clear what impact this might have on the Rye (Pharmacy led) centre which continues to deliver second jabs. If it is approved in England, all people in the over 50 age bracket, plus the clinically vulnerable are expected to be offered a booster vaccine before Christmas. Separately studies are under way to see whether vaccines of a different type (to the first and second) can be given as the third jab.

Uncertainty

18 months after Covid-19 first appeared, members of SAGE the governments advisory committee believe that there remains uncertainty about the future of the pandemic. One said last week “At any other point of the epidemic, it has been easier to foresee what might happen, but at this point, I think it’s really hard to understand what has happened and what is going to happen in the long term. There is a huge amount of uncertainty about the disease.” Vaccines have been developed to protect against it and other drugs identified to treat patients. Researchers considering the data remain unsure about how Covid-19 will progress in the UK in the coming months. Recent data has underscored this uncertainty. The numbers rose in early July but then reversed and fell. Many factors have affected the infection numbers including: Freedom Day on July 19, Euro Football 2020 mixing and school holidays. Ultimately our behaviour will dictate what happens next.

No jab; no job?

The government says companies proposing to check the vaccination status of staff as part of its employment policies “will need to consider how this fits with their legal obligations”

Domestic Covid-19 passports

The government has been accused of trying to introduce vaccine passports “by stealth” after the NHS app was updated this week to include a domestic Covid passport section. There is now a backlash over the “threat” of domestic vaccine passports, for access to events, pubs and restaurants. Some MPs have pressed for a recall of Parliament to debate the proposal.

Image Credits: Anthony Kimber .

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1 COMMENT

  1. In case helpful for the interested reader, the Royal Society of Medicine’s COVID-19 webinar series is free for anyone to access aiming to share up to date information.

    This episode discusses issues relevant to Anthony Kimber’s excellent article, capturing a health service perspective – pings, young people, booster jabs and uncertainty:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFRTRMiVg-g&list=PL1yY3WBVbNWAUNRjD5SUeC9R-G9vT8Gvq&index=2

    with data correct from 29th July 2021.

    Up to date data at:
    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

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