Oxford University’s Com-Cov study, launched in February, has already been investigating whether doses of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines can be safely mixed and will announce its first findings next month.
The expansion of the research comes amid concerns that the spread of the South African variant in the UK could slow the roadmap out of lockdown.
Professor Peter Openshaw, who advises the government, said he and his peers were “very concerned” by the recent cluster of variant cases detected in London.
There have been 533 confirmed cases of the South African variant in the UK so far, according to government data.
“If we get rapid spread of the South African or other more resistant variants, it may well be that we are going to have to put the reductions of lockdown into reverse,” Prof Openshaw told BBC2’s Newsnight.
‘Consistently inactive’ people at greater risk from Covid, research finds
People who were inactive in the two years prior to the pandemic were more likely to fall seriously ill with Covid-19 than those who met physical activity guidelines, research has found.
Those who were “consistently inactive” had a higher chance of being admitted to hospital, needing intensive care treatment or dying from the virus.
The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, was based on the data of 50,000 adults who contracted Covid-19 between January and October last year.
Chiara Giordano has the details:
Rory Sullivan14 April 2021 08:35
Spread of Covid variants could slow route out of UK lockdown
The fast spread of Covid-19 variants around the country could slow the route out of lockdown, a government scientific adviser has warned.
Professor Peter Openshaw said he and his peers were “very concerned” by the cluster of 44 cases of the South African variant found in London recently.
He told BBC2’s Newsnight: “A lot of we scientists are very concerned about what’s happening at the moment.
“I think we’re all just hoping that the staged reduction in lockdown is going to be ok. It is being done reasonably cautiously but I think this is not good news.
“If we get rapid spread of the South African or other more resistant variants, it may well be that we are going to have to put the reductions of lockdown into reverse.”
Rory Sullivan14 April 2021 08:15
India sees record number of Covid-19 infections
India has reported 184,372 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, the highest daily jump in cases.
The government also announced that deaths from Covid-19 had risen by 1,027 to 172,085.
This comes as hundreds of thousands of Hindu worshippers continue to gather by the Ganges to celebrate a weeks-long festival called the Kumbh Mela.
Sanjay Gunjyal, the man responsible for policing the festival, said 650,000 people had bathed in the river on Wednesday morning.
“People are being fined for not following social distancing in non crowded ghats (bathing areas), but it is very hard to fine people in the main ghats, which are very crowded,” he said.
Rory Sullivan14 April 2021 07:55
Oxford University expands ‘mix and match’ vaccine study
The UK is expanding its ‘mix and match’ vaccine study to include the Moderna and Novavax vaccines, after only using Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs so far.
The research aims to look at the safety and efficacy of giving people two different vaccine doses.
Our science correspondent Sam Lovett reports:
Rory Sullivan14 April 2021 07:38
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coronavirus coverage.
Rory Sullivan14 April 2021 07:31