Sumary of Covid jabs for 12- to 15-year-olds ‘set to start in weeks’:
- Sources tonight indicated that the government may be moving against the idea of vaccine passports, despite culture secretary Oliver Dowden last week indicating strongly they were pressing ahead.
- Vaccine passports are due to be introduced in Scotland next month.
- Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, said: “With hospital admissions climbing and high levels of virus in circulation, we need to go further on vaccination.
- ”Meanwhile, clinical trials are under way for next-generation vaccines which may protect against variants.
- A version of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine intended to protect against both the Beta variant and the original Wuhan strain is being tested, and the first results are expected in the autumn, possibly as soon as next month.
- The government says the best analysis shows the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine 92% effective in preventing hospitalisation after two doses.
- Writing in the Observer, Gabriel Scally, visiting professor of public health at Bristol University and a member of the independent Sage group of scientists, criticises the government for “inadequate” public messaging and not introducing anti-Covid measures such as better ventilation and higher-quality facemasks.
- Buildings need to be modified to improve ventilation, he says, and the public should be encouraged to wear properly designed masks that may protect them as well as others.