Researchers running the Com-Cov study, launched in February to investigate alternating doses of the first two jabs to be rolled out across the UK, have announced the programme will be extended to include the Moderna and Novavax vaccines.
Active people less likely to die from Covid-19 – study
People who are “consistently inactive” are at greater risk of Covid-19, a new study has found.
Those who were inactive in the two years before the pandemic were more likely to be admitted to hospital, require intensive care treatment and more likely to die compared to people who meet activity guidelines, researchers found.
The authors said that as a risk factor for severe disease, physical inactivity was surpassed only by advanced age and a history of organ transplant.
The new study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, examined data on almost 50,000 adults who had a Covid-19 diagnosis between January and late October last year.
The team of researchers from the US, used this information and compared it to physical activity data for the preceding two years.
People who did less than 10 minutes exercise a week were classed as “consistently inactive”.
Older drinkers without smartphones ‘at risk of discrimination in pubs’
Older drinkers are at risk of being discriminated against for not having smartphones to order food and drinks at pubs and restaurants, a charity has warned.
As lockdown restrictions eased in England, some pubs are asking punters to order beverages through an online app in order to minimise contact with staff.
Older people charity Age UK said the measure rules out half of those aged 65 to 74 and 70% of the over-75s because they do not use a smartphone.
One such person is widower David Walters, 78, who told the Telegraph the policy was “ageist” after he was denied service at The Angel of Corbridge pub in Northumberland.
He claimed he was told by staff that customers had to use an app to order and submit contact details to NHS Test and Trace.
He told the newspaper: “I just thought it was terrible. Older people like me don’t have this computer knowledge because we weren’t brought up with computers.”
High Court to hear legal challenge to housing asylum seekers in army barracks
The High Court will hear a legal challenge brought by six asylum seekers previously housed at a former army barracks who claim conditions at the site pose “real and immediate risks to life”.
The Napier Barracks in Kent has been used to accommodate hundreds of asylum seekers since last September, despite the Home Office being previously warned by Public Health England that it was unsuitable.
Almost 200 people tested positive for coronavirus during an outbreak at the barracks earlier this year, senior Home Office officials told MPs in February.
At an earlier hearing, also in February, the High Court heard asylum seekers at the barracks were left “powerless to protect themselves” against Covid-19 because of the Home Office’s failures to “prevent the spread”.
Lawyers representing the six men, all said to be “survivors of torture and/or human trafficking”, also said there was “a mental health crisis” at the barracks, with four residents having attempted suicide and others having self-harmed.
Germany to give different second jab to AstraZeneca recipients under 60
People aged under 60 who have been given a first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in Germany will receive a different jab for their second dose, federal and regional health ministers agreed Tuesday, AFP reports.
Germany announced on March 30 that it would no longer offer the two-dose AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged under 60 due to concerns over a possible link to rare cases of blood clots.
DPA news agency said ministers agreed at a meeting that people in the younger age group who received a first AstraZeneca dose before the March 30 announcement will be offered either the BioNTech-Pfizer jab for their second dose, or the Moderna vaccine.
“The solution that has been found will offer a good level of protection,” Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek told DPA.
Boris right to say lockdown has big impact rather than vaccine – Prof
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, a statistician from the University of Cambridge, said the Prime Minister was right to suggest lockdown had played a significant part in reducing coronavirus infection levels.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “It is the lockdown that has caused the major drop, of course, because we’ve seen that happen in the huge reduction in the people who haven’t been vaccinated.
“We’ve estimated that the vaccination programme has maybe saved 10,000 lives – a fantastic success.
“But that is not what has brought the enormous reduction since earlier in the year – that is lockdown.
“We only have to look over the Channel to mainland Europe to see this huge surge going throughout the continent – case rates are 10 times as high in Germany, 20 times as high in Sweden, death rates 10 times as high in France and Italy and going up.
“I think there is, quite reasonably, an anxiety about what might happen but there is definitely a considerable caution at the moment because they (ministers) have said they are not going backwards and so I think that is d
Israel to welcome return of vacinated UK holidaymakers
Israel is to welcome the return of vaccinated UK holidaymakers from next month.
The Middle Eastern country announced it will reopen its borders to groups of foreign tourists who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine from May 23.
That is just six days after foreign leisure travel could be permitted to resume under Boris Johnson’s plan for easing lockdown restrictions.
Israel said inbound travellers will be required to take a PCR test before boarding their flight, and a serological test upon arrival to prove their vaccination status.
Full details will be released in the coming days.
The number of visitors allowed will initially be restricted but will increase “based on the health situation”, the government announced.
Tourism crippled by pandemic – union boss
The travel sector has been “crippled” by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Government needs to provide details on when and where people can go on holiday, the general secretary of pilots’ union Balpa has said.
Brian Strutton told Sky News: “Airlines, aviation and the whole travel sector are on their knees, being crippled by the coronavirus crisis.”
He said passengers had been hoping that the findings from the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce would reveal when they could go on holiday abroad this summer.
“But the report that came out the other day, the Government called it a road map, but I’ve never seen a road map with all the destinations blanked out,” Mr Strutton added.
“We won’t know until next month which countries the Government say are on this so-called green list that it’s OK to travel to, or on a red list or an amber list.
“People are going to have to take expensive tests, there may be queuing at airports to go on holidays.”
Mr Strutton added: “People actually want to know when they can go and where they can go, those are the answers we need.”