"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 21st Sep 2020

Isolation Tips
'A lifesaver': US seniors turn to Zoom to connect with friends and family
As the pandemic persists, older adults who are at higher risk of contracting Covid-19 are moving their lifestyles – from classes to coffee chats – online
Hygiene Helpers
Who gets a COVID vaccine first? Access plans are taking shape
The NASEM guidance goes a step further by ranking priority groups in order of who should get a vaccine first (see ‘A tiered approach’). After health-care workers, medically vulnerable groups should be among the first to receive a vaccine, according to the NASEM draft plan. These include older people living in crowded settings, and individuals with multiple existing conditions, such as serious heart disease or diabetes, that put them at risk for more-serious COVID-19 infection. The plan prioritizes workers in essential industries, such as public transit, because their jobs place them in contact with many people. Similarly, people who live in certain crowded settings — homeless shelters and prisons, for example — are called out as deserving early access.
From adenoviruses to RNA: the pros and cons of different COVID vaccine technologies
The World Health Organisation lists about 180 COVID-19 vaccines being developed around the world. Each vaccine aims to use a slightly different approach to prepare your immune system to recognise and fight SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, we can group these technologies into five main types. Some technology is tried and trusted. Some technology has never before been used in a commercial vaccine for humans. As we outline in our recent paper, each technology has its pros and cons.
Obese Britons putting at risk hopes of widespread vaccine protection
Britain’s obesity crisis could prevent a vaccine from ending the pandemic, experts have warned. Scientists are concerned that vaccines being developed to protect against Covid-19 may be less effective in fat people, leaving them more vulnerable to infection, which could, in turn, put others at risk.
Coronavirus Scotland: How Sweden avoided lockdown thanks to Anders Tegnell
When the rest of the world blinked as coronavirus took hold, ice-cool Swede Anders Tegnell refused to lock down his nation. As Sweden’s death count spiralled last spring at one of the highest global rates, this once faceless scientist was accused of creating a “pariah state”. Yet when I met Tegnell, 64, in the capital Stockholm he was being lauded as if he was the fifth member of Abba. T-shirts proclaiming — in the style of the Carlsberg adverts — “Tegnell, probably the best state epidemiologist in the world” are best-sellers. For it appears his decision not to lock down may have paid off.
Community Activities
The coronavirus vaccine volunteer: 'I hope this is a kick up the ass to do things better'
The world is watching the Covid-19 vaccine trials conducted by the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute closely. Australian Josh McGrane is an associate professor and educational researcher living in Oxford. He decided to take part in the trials when he saw the call-out for volunteers on Facebook earlier this year.
Sheffield blazes a trail during pandemic to support community and help healthcare students gain clinical skills
People with communication difficulties in South Yorkshire have continued to receive specialised care during the pandemic, thanks to staff and healthcare students at the University of Sheffield.
Rising student mental health problems need urgent action
Prompted by rising reports of student distress and suicide, universities are becoming increasingly responsive to the mental health and well-being needs of their students. But the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the day-to-day experiences of international students calls for immediate, whole-of-university action that is proactive, visible and accessible. Most international students transition into university at a time of life when they are also transitioning to adulthood, a period associated with greater than average levels of anxiety and mood disorders. To be successful, they must manage disparate academic, social and cultural expectations and integrate into unfamiliar communities, while assuming financial independence and personal responsibility.
Milton Keynes Community Foundation funds MK SNAP for Reaching Out Project
MK Snap recently received an Emergency Grant from MK Community Foundation to enable them to adapt their services, address the needs of those most vulnerable & continue to provide vital support. During the emergency phase of the grant programme, Milton Keynes Community Foundation has supported local community groups with over £500,000 as they work to deliver vital projects to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. MK SNAP were among the recipients, and put their emergency grant towards the expansion of their Reaching Out Project – which focuses on adapting their services and support to reach people with learning disabilities who also suffer with underlying health conditions that may prevent them from receiving the face-to-face support offered to them in the MK SNAP Centre.
Football: Italy to allow 1000 fans at Serie A games from Sunday
Italy will allow up to 1,000 supporters to attend top flight Serie A soccer matches from Sunday (Sep 20) following an agreement between the regions and various government departments, sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Saturday. The regions of Emilia Romagna - home to Parma, Sassuolo and Bologna - and Veneto - where Verona are based - had already announced that fans could watch matches in their jurisdiction but Spadafora said the measure had been extended to nationwide. Spectators have been barred from Serie A matches since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coronavirus: Lockdown theatre group takes show to Nottingham doorsteps
An arts charity, which normally performs shows in theatres, care homes and nurseries, has started touring residents' doorsteps because of coronavirus. City Arts is taking its family-friendly puppet show "The Search for Tedding Island" outside the homes of Nottingham residents while many theatres remain closed due to the pandemic. The show, which is aimed at children aged two to five, is being performed with government social distancing guidelines in place. Creative development manager Alison Denholm said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has created a lot of challenges for theatre and arts.
Working Remotely
Amid coronavirus, Aruba invites Americans to relocate visa-free for 3 months
Officials in Aruba are inviting weary Americans to relocate visa-free for three months and work remotely (or not) amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Aruba Tourism Authority launched the “One Happy Workation” program this week, inviting anyone with a valid U.S. passport to relocate to the Caribbean isle for 90 days.
The coronavirus chronicles: What kind of remote worker are you? | Millie F. Dizon
‘You actually go to your office to work?” Many of my colleagues in public relations and marketing express surprise—and disbelief—when they learn that yes, I have been going to office regularly since May. On the other hand, I continue to be amazed on how many continue to work from home, and seem to have settled quite comfortably into it.
Agencies explore idea of Finland as 'remote working paradise'
California is seeing a pandemic-induced exodus, Stefan Lindström, Finland's consul general in Los Angeles, told Yle. "One of my friends, an Indian-American, is moving to Estonia next week," he said, adding that countries are now competing for nomadic top talent. In addition to Estonia, which recently launched its Digital Nomad Visa programme, the Netherlands is also fast-tracking visas for start-up entrepreneurs, IT professionals and investors. Canada meanwhile offers two-week processing times for certain work permits. Finland has a lot to offer in this space, according to Lindström.
Here’s the growing list of schools going remote because of COVID-19 (Sept. 19, 2020)
In most cases, the switch to all-remote learning is temporary -- typically for a few to as many as 14 days. And many districts have only had to send home students from one school, where the cases of COVID-19 were found, but students at other schools in that district continue in-person learning. The state Department of Health issued guidelines for schools on how to handle positive cases, when to ask students to quarantine and when schools need to switch to remote learning.
Average worker gets 'career burnout' at age 32 - and 59% now say that they do MORE hours working from home amid coronavirus lockdowns, survey finds
A study asked 2,000 people if they feel burnout with work and why. More than half reported working more hours because their office is in their home. This is due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing many to leave the office. Other responses included taking on more work and having to always be on
Virtual Classrooms
How do you teach performing arts when there are no performances? This school is learning
For Monica Sauer Anthony, adapting to the challenge of a virtual classroom started with a reenvisioning of what it even means to teach at a performing arts school. A choir can't really rehearse in a virtual classroom much less give a live performance. Neither can an orchestra. There's too much digital delay involved in streaming to get everybody synced up. When Gov. Doug Ducey ordered Arizona schools to close in March because of the pandemic, Sauer Anthony was teaching Music History and Culture, and Beginning Woodwinds, Flute and Oboe Studies at Arizona School for the Arts in downtown Phoenix. As ASA began to make the switch to online learning, Sauer Anthony, who's since become Arts Director and Vice Principal of Student Services, said the faculty was trying to maintain as much of a sense of normalcy as it could.
United Nations Warns Coronavirus Pandemic Could Push 24 Million Students Out of Schools
The coronavirus pandemic-driven disruption to education worldwide has the potential to cause at least twenty-four million students to drop out of school, according to Henrietta Fore, the executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund. As the novel coronavirus quickly spread around the world earlier this year, many schools began to rely more on virtual educational models to replace in-person learning. Education experts, however, have admitted that virtual learning is still a work in progress and shouldn’t be viewed as a perfect replacement for traditional classroom learning. According to Fore, more than 460 million students around the globe don’t have internet access, computers, or mobile devices to take advantage of virtual learning models.
Coronavirus cases: Milwaukee high school switches to 100% virtual learning
Students switched to 100% virtual learning after several cases of coronavirus surfaced at Pius XI Catholic High School in Milwaukee, but the students are not quarantined. Pius said the shutdown is all part of their reopening safety plan, a contingency that, when and if they had any positive cases they would switch to virtual right away to stop the spread.
Public Policies
The World Is Losing the Vaccine Race
Immunization to COVID-19 is supposed to solve our problems—but it's starting to trigger even bigger ones.
A hostile Covid-19 vaccine race and testing shambles won’t keep the world safe
Some Australians could be forced to wait longer for a COVID-19 vaccine jab Federal Government has locked in deal to receive vaccine as early as January Though only 3.8million doses will be available in the first two months next year Experts have warned the limited supply will lead to priority distribution system
Trump health official says ‘biology independent of politics’ as US nears 200,000 Covid deaths
As the US closed in on 200,000 deaths from Covid-19, Donald Trump’s health secretary and a key member of the White House coronavirus taskforce defended the administration’s handling of the pandemic and insisted the president and a senior public health aide were both correct when they made contradictory statements about the imminency of an effective vaccine.
Russia Strikes Deals to Sell Its Coronavirus Vaccine Internationally
Russia has struck preliminary agreements to sell its Covid-19 vaccine to more than 10 countries in Asia, South America and the Middle East, a development that could give Moscow valuable economic and political leverage internationally. Russian officials say they have secured preliminary deals for the vaccine to be delivered to countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and India. In addition, Russia says it is in various stages of talks with roughly 10 other countries to buy the vaccine. All told, it has received requests or expressions of interest in the vaccine for a total of 1.2 billion doses. The vaccines will be manufactured abroad and distributed world-wide from there as soon as November. The shot will require local regulatory approval before being distributed, officials say.
London should face new coronavirus lockdown by Monday, says mayor Sadiq Khan
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has reportedly warned Boris Johnson that the capital needs new coronavirus restrictions as soon as possible to curb the spread of Covid-19. The Mayor is also said to be preparing to urge people to work from home if possible, despite the government's push to get people back to their offices.
Russia pushes COVID-19 vaccine in Egypt
Russian diplomats have been busy in Cairo, meeting with Egyptian officials and the local media to promote the so-called Sputnik V, a vaccine developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute — even though clinical trials have not been completed on the drug, and the Chinese seem to be spreadheing the race for an greement with Egypt. Following only two months of testing, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin approved the drug in mid-August and the country began to market the medication as “Sputnik V, the first registered vaccine against COVID-19.”
Czech government could declare coronavirus state of emergency, says minister
The Czech government could declare a state of emergency if a recent spike in coronavirus cases continues in the coming days, Health Minister Adam Vojtech said. The Czech Republic’s daily count of new coronavirus cases has reached record highs in recent days and the country of 10.7 million had reported a total of 48,306 cases as of Saturday, Health Ministry data showed. “Should we need to have some deeper measures (against the epidemic), then the emergency state will be necessary,” Vojtech said in a televised debate on Sunday. The government should debate this step on Monday, Vojtech said, added that he would not yet propose declaration of a state of emergency.
Scotland enters race for coronavirus vaccine with £1.4 billion contract
An 'old school' coronavirus vaccine to be manufactured in a small plant in Scotland could offer “better, longer and broader protection levels” to high risk groups compared to its high tech rivals. The research team behind the jab, which is to be made in a plant just outside Edinburgh, signed a £1.4 billion contract with the government this week to provide 60 million doses of its Covid-19 shot by the end of next year, if it proves successful in trials.
Why UK is hurtling toward 'circuit break' second coronavirus lockdown
Britain is hurtling towards a second all-out lockdown as ­figures show the coronavirus epidemic now DOUBLING in size week on week. The Government’s scientific advisers claim the national R rate could now be 1.4 – meaning on average every 10 people infected are infecting 14 others. Nationally, there were a further 4,422 confirmed UK cases of coronavirus recorded on Saturday and 27 deaths – up from 4,322 confirmed cases on Friday, the first time the daily total of positive tests had exceeded 4,000 since May 8. The Government’s original lockdown architect, Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, warned tougher restrictions were needed “sooner rather than later”. The epidemiologist – who resigned from government scientific advisory group Sage in May for flouting his own lockdown rules – said: “Right now we’re at about the levels of infections we were seeing in late February. If we leave it at another two to four weeks we will be back at levels we were seeing more like mid-March.
Brazil reports 33,057 new coronavirus cases, 739 deaths
Brazil recorded 33,057 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 739 deaths from the disease, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. South America's largest country has registered more than 4.5 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, according to ministry data, ranking it as the third worst outbreak in the world after the United States and India. More than 136,000 people have died of the disease in Brazil, which ranks second after the United States in coronavirus deaths.
Coronavirus: Israel marks Jewish New Year with second lockdown
Israel is entering a second nationwide lockdown to curb surging coronavirus cases, just as people begin to mark the start of Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah is traditionally a time for big, family get-togethers. But under the new three-week lockdown, Israelis must stay within 1km (0.6 miles) of their homes, with exceptions, and the number of people allowed in synagogues has been greatly reduced. Israel currently has one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the world. In the past week, new cases have reached daily highs of more than 6,000, and the country's leaders have apologised for their failure to contain the pandemic. Israel has seen 1,169 deaths from Covid-19 and nearly 177,000 confirmed infections, according to a global tally kept by US university Johns Hopkins.
EU to finance 88M coronavirus vaccine doses for poor countries
The EU is willing to invest in some 88 million doses of coronavirus vaccines for poor countries as part of its participation in a global effort to secure and equitably distribute immunizations, the Commission said Friday. The Commission and the EU 27, under the banner of “Team Europe,” will contribute to the COVAX Facility with an initial €230 million in cash through a loan from the European Investment Bank. That sum amounts to reserves or options to buy 88 million doses, and the EU “would transfer these” to eligible low-and middle income countries, a press release said.
Coronavirus vaccine could be ready by March but we will feel impact of pandemic throughout 2021 - Taoiseach
A vaccine for coronavirus could be ready by March or April next year, but the impact of the virus will be felt throughout all of 2021, according to the Taoiseach. Micheál Martin also said that a “huge economic issue” surrounding the pandemic cannot be ignored. Speaking with Brendan O’Connor on RTÉ Radio One this morning, Mr Martin said that the “full impacts” of the virus will be felt throughout next year even if a vaccine is found. “There is a huge economic issue here as well that we can’t ignore. We have a deficit of 8pc, we have €24bn maybe at the end of the year necessary. I think we’re looking at something similar right throughout 2021
Latin American nations plan to join COVAX vaccine facility after deadline
Brazil and Argentina, Latin American nations seeking more time to commit to the global COVID-19 vaccine facility known as COVAX, said they intend to so as soon as possible after missing Friday's deadline. Peru's foreign ministry said on Saturday it managed to sign the binding agreement on Friday and will get access to 12 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX, a scheme for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of eventual vaccines. Argentina asked for more time to prepare the required paperwork but expects to sign on Wednesday its commitment to the vaccine mechanism led by the World Health Organization, a health ministry official told Reuters. The Brazilian government said in a statement late on Friday that it will sign up for COVAX after negotiations with the GAVI Alliance, which is the COVAX secretariat.
Coronavirus: Two-week national lockdown in October proposed by top scientists - report
The UK's top scientists have proposed a two-week national lockdown in October to stem the recent increase in coronavirus cases, according to a newspaper report. A second lockdown would coincide with the October half-term to create minimal disruption to schools, experts on the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-m) have proposed. One SAGE scientist said that if the R number continues at the same rate, it would "break the NHS", the Financial Times reports.
Coronavirus vaccine: Emergency powers to allow rollout of unlicensed vaccine being considered by Government
The Government is considering using emergency powers to allow the rollout of a vaccine to the public, even if it is unlicensed. In an open consultation document, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has floated the possibility of authorising the supply of an unlicensed vaccine if there is "sufficient evidence to demonstrate the safety, quality and efficacy of the vaccine". The DHSC adds that "unlicensed" does not mean "untested", and that any unlicensed vaccine will have gone through several safety trials before being used by the general public. The document, first reported in the I newspaper, says that the "preferred route" of deployment of a Covid-19 vaccine is through the "usual marketing authorisation (product licensing) process".
Boris Johnson unveils £10,000 fines for those breaking self-isolation rules in strict new restrictions as coronavirus infections soar and battle rages among Ministers over a ...
People suffering with coronavirus could be fined £10,000 if they fail to self-isolate when told to do so. The Prime Minister announced he was creating a new legal duty for people to self-isolate if they test positive. Plans will offer £500 to up to four million people on low incomes who cannot work from home if self-isolating The news comes as the number of daily cases reached 4,422, the highest level since early May. But large crowds were still seen around markets and bars on Saturday, signalling little care for the rules
Global report: Covid cases pass 30m worldwide as Biden offers vaccine reality check
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide passed 30 million on Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, as the World Health Organization said daily case numbers were growing at an “alarming rate” in Europe. The global death toll stands at 943,203 people and is expected to pass 1 million by 1 October. The US accounts for than 22% of global cases, at 6.67m, and nearly 200,000 fatalities. The Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, again criticised the President Trump’s handling of the pandemic as “close to criminal”, in particular Trump’s supposedly intentional downplaying of the severity of the virus.
China and Russia are ahead in the global coronavirus vaccine race, bending long-standing rules as they go
China and Russia have begun a mass rollout of their coronavirus vaccines before clinical tests are complete, in what is emerging as an unexpectedly complex geopolitical challenge for the United States. China's Sinopharm announced this week that it would provide emergency doses of one of its two trial vaccines to the United Arab Emirates, prioritizing the U.S. ally over the vast majority of Chinese. China is now the sole supplier of coronavirus vaccine to the Middle East. Meanwhile, Russia's sovereign wealth fund signed a deal this week to supply India with 100 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.
UK joins initiative for Covid-19 vaccine discovery, manufacture and distribution
The UK has joined Covax, the international initiative to support discovery, manufacture and fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines for one billion people by the end of 2021. Covax is the vaccines pillar of the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a global collaboration to speed up the development, production, and equitable access to coronavirus tests, treatments, and vaccines. It is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Covax is looking to invest six billion US dollars (£4.56 billion) to secure access to a diverse portfolio of vaccine candidates.
Chinese hackers accused of stealing information from Spanish centers working on Covid-19 vaccine
Chinese hackers have stolen information from Spanish research centers working on a Covid-19 vaccine, according to sources familiar with the situation. The cyberattacks were conducted against Spain and several other countries competing to develop a coronavirus vaccine, said Paz Esteban, the head of Spain’s National Intelligence Center (CNI). The CNI director said that “sensitive sectors such as health and pharmaceutics” had been targeted, and that there has been “a particularly virulent campaign, and not just in Spain, against laboratories working on a vaccine for Covid-19.”
Maintaining Services
Coronavirus: A quarter of Brits worried about their ability to pay rent
A quarter of tenants in the UK are concerned about paying rent in the upcoming months, according to a study. About 13% of tenants have already missed rental payments due to COVID-19 or had to make alternative arrangements in order to pay their rent, as lettings agents report a rise in rental arrears, a survey of 2,750 UK renters by property technology company Goodlord found. Meanwhile, an additional 12% are “concerned” about their ability to pay their rent going forward. Over a quarter (28%) of tenants believe their current income isn’t secure, or are “unsure” about its security, with those aged 18 to 24 being under the most financial strain. Only two in five tenants “definitely agree” their income is secure, the research found.
Sixty-nine percent of Americans have no confidence in Trump on coronavirus vaccine, poll reveals
Despite president Donald Trump’s claims that a coronavirus vaccine will soon be available, new polling shows that a majority of Americans have no confidence in him to confirm that it is safe. An ABC News/Ipsos poll released on Sunday shows that 69 per cent of Americans do not have confidence in the president vouching for the effectiveness of a vaccine — 53 per cent saying they have no confidence at all in him doing so. Conversely, just nine per cent of Americans have a great deal of confidence in the president to confirm the effectiveness of a vaccine, and just 18 per cent have “a good amount” of confidence.
UK 'faces six months of coronavirus restrictions' - with 'on-off' lockdowns likely
Brits could face six months of restrictions - with "on-off" lockdown measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. Yesterday the Prime Minister warned the country is just six weeks behind France and Spain - where the daily death toll rose to 239 this week, and admitted a second wave was "inevitable". He is now considering six months of "circuit breaker" lockdowns - which would see strict restrictions introduced for around two weeks, and then eased slightly. Ministers hope this approach can avoid a full UK-wide lockdown like the one that was introduced on March 23. The on-off restrictions could see limits placed on social contact and hospitality venues such as bars and restaurants made to close.
Russia Is Slow to Administer Virus Vaccine Despite Kremlin’s Approval
In one example of the limited scope of distribution, the company financing the vaccine pointed to a shipment sent this past week to the Crimean Peninsula. The delivery contained doses for 21 people in a region with two million. The Russian Ministry of Health has not said how many people have been vaccinated in all of Russia. The minister, Mikhail Murashko, said last weekend that the first small shipments was being delivered this past week to the Russian provinces.
Madrid braces for partial lockdown as virus surges
Nearly a million Madrid residents were bracing Sunday for a partial lockdown as Spanish authorities seek to put a brake on a second wave of Covid-19. The restrictions, which kick off Monday for two weeks, affect 850,000 people living mainly in densely-populated, low-income neighbourhoods in the south -- or 13 percent of the population in and around the capital. Like many countries in Europe, Spain is battling a coronavirus surge and, once again, Madrid is the worst-hit region.
Headteachers share frustrations as thousands of pupils sent home amid Covid cases at schools
Headteachers in Greater Manchester have shared their frustrations at having to send pupils home amid the ongoing pandemic. Following months of planning to get children back in the classrooms for the new academic year, it's come as a huge blow for many to have to send classes and even entire year groups home. The Manchester Evening News has been keeping an up-to-date list of the schools impacted by closures and more and more positive cases are being confirmed each day.
How coronavirus will change the university experience for ever
ndergraduates starting degrees this term are facing a first year like no other as universities try to keep their students and staff safe while offering the best experience they can amid the coronavirus pandemic. There will be none of the usual parties or nightclubs for the freshers of 2020, most of whom will live in small household bubbles in halls of residence and, for the first semester at least, have lectures online and much less face-to-face time on campus than normal. Every aspect of university life in the UK has been impacted by the government guidelines aimed at reducing the spread of the virus, from teaching and accommodation to access to support services and sport, where Covid-19 has halted the British Universities & Colleges Sport
How COVID spreads on longhaul flights: Single passenger infects 15 others on 10-hour trip to Vietnam
The unidentified woman, 27, unknowingly spread the virus back in March She infected 14 passengers and one crew member out of the 217 on board 'The risk for on-board transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during long flights is real and has the potential to cause COVID-19 clusters of substantial size', the report adds In the coming days, the number of U.S. COVID deaths is set to hit 200,000
Coronavirus: 'Increasingly likely' London will face tougher lockdown restrictions
It is "increasingly likely" further lockdown restrictions will be required in London, the city's mayor has warned - and says he does not want to wait. Sadiq Khan said: "The prime minister has said that we are now seeing the start of a second wave of COVID-19 across the UK. "Londoners should also know that I am extremely concerned by the latest evidence I've seen today from public health experts about the accelerating speed at which COVID-19 is now spreading here in London.
Coronavirus: New local lockdown rules announced in parts of North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire
Parts of the North West, West Yorkshire and the Midlands have been placed under further localised coronavirus restrictions. The new measures, prompted by a fast rise in COVID-19 cases, have been confirmed by the Department for Health following consultation with local councils and MPs. Lancashire, Merseyside, Warrington and Halton are now being classed as "areas of intervention", and fresh restrictions will come into force in Wolverhampton, Oadby & Wigston, and parts of Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale.
A&E boss fears being overwhelmed by second coronavirus wave & effects of lockdown
A hospital A&E chief has said she fears being overwhelmed not just by a second wave of coronavirus — but also by the knock-on effects of the first. Dr Ann-Marie Morris, of the Royal Stoke University Hospital, said she was seeing a rise in patients with alcohol-related conditions as well as more victims of violent crime.
Engagement with anti-vaccine Facebook posts trebles in one month
Engagement with anti-vaccine posts on a sample of UK Facebook pages trebled between July and August, analysis by the Guardian has found, triggering calls for a major new push to tackle conspiracy theories. Interactions on posts expressing scepticism or hostility towards vaccines on six UK Facebook pages increased from 12,000 in July to 42,000 in August, according to the analysis, conducted using the social media analytics tool CrowdTangle.
Coronavirus: Van Morrison lockdown protest songs 'dangerous'
Northern Ireland's health minister has described three new songs by Sir Van Morrison that protest against coronavirus lockdowns as "dangerous". In the lyrics, Sir Van claims scientists are "making up crooked facts" to justify measures that "enslave" the population. "The new normal, is not normal," he sings. "We were born to be free". Health Minister Robin Swann said if Sir Van had scientific facts he should present them.
Healthcare Innovations
NUS medical school developing Covid-19 vaccine with Monash University
Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Monash University in Australia are developing a Covid-19 vaccine that could be ready for clinical trials by the end of next year. The vaccine, modified from a cancer drug, has undergone animal studies, and researchers are hoping to conduct clinical trials in Singapore and Australia. Called Clec9A-RBD, it is the third coronavirus vaccine that Singapore is involved in developing.
Only one in 10 to be protected from coronavirus in first year of vaccine being made available, experts claim
Just one in 10 of the world's 7.8 billion population is likely to be protected against coronavirus in the first year of a vaccine being made available, it has been reported. Experts told Sky News that with seven of the nine prototype vaccines in late-stage clinical trials requiring two doses, there is likely to be enough doses to immunise just over 12 per cent of the global population. Ministers and experts working on vaccine trials have said a treatment could be given approval by Christmas.
Moderna sees 20 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidate...
Moderna said Friday it can make 20 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine by the end of October. By the end of 2021, the company anticipates it can manufacture as many as 500 million doses. CEO Stephane Bancel said this week that the company will likely know if the shot works by November. President Trump has expressed optimism that coronavirus vaccines could be ready before the November 3 election
Moscow takes part in 3rd phase of COVID vaccine trials
The global number of COVID-19 patients passed 30 million this week, and the virus is expected to pick up momentum with the arrival of the fall season as scientists, including Russia's, are striving to develop an effective vaccine against the disease. On Aug. 11, Russia issued a temporary conditional registration to a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. This kind of registration is issued for medicines which are vital to protect the public health in an emergency such as the coronavirus pandemic. The Russian coronavirus vaccine, named as Gam-COVID-Vac (Gamaleya COVID Vaccine) by the developers and with the trade name Sputnik V (V for the vaccine), has a valid registration until Jan. 1, 2021 and suggests holding a third phase of trials involving up to 40,000 people as well as post-clinical research.
Covid-19: Phase-III trial of Oxford vaccine to begin in Pune next week
The phase-III human clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) will begin at the Sassoon General Hospital in Pune next week Read more at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/78207558.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
Covid-19 vaccine tracker, Sept 19: India Novavax trials may begin in October
The India trials of a vaccine candidate being developed by American company Novavax is likely to begin in late October, the government said in Lok Sabha on Friday. The Novavax vaccine candidate is currently undergoing phase-2 clinical trials in South Africa. Global phase-3 trials are expected to begin next month. In India, Novavax has entered into an agreement with Pune-based Serum Institute of India for production of 100 million doses of the vaccine. It is expected that at least 50 per cent of this would be meant for supplies within India. “ICMR and SII (Serum Institute of India) have partnered for clinical development of a glycol-protein sub-unit nanoparticle adjuvanted vaccine developed by Novavax from USA. The trial will be initiated in the second half of October after the vaccine is manufactured by Serum Institute. The trial is led by ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in Parliament.
Moderna says it is on track to make 20 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by year-end
Moderna said Friday it can make 20 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine by the end of October. By the end of 2021, the company anticipates it can manufacture as many as 500 million doses. CEO Stephane Bancel said this week that the company will likely know if the shot works by November. President Trump has expressed optimism that coronavirus vaccines could be ready before the November 3 election
Push is underway to test COVID-19 vaccines in diverse groups
In front of baskets of tomatoes and peppers, near a sizzling burrito grill, the “promotoras” stop masked shoppers at a busy Latino farmers market: Want to test a COVID-19 vaccine? Aided by Spanish-speaking “health promoters” and Black pastors, a stepped-up effort is underway around the U.S. to recruit minorities to ensure potential vaccines against the scourge are tested in the populations most ravaged by the virus. Many thousands of volunteers from minority groups are needed for huge clinical trials underway or about to begin. Scientists say a diverse group of test subjects is vital to determining whether a vaccine is safe and effective for everyone and instilling broad public confidence in the shots once they become available
'So far, so good': The view from inside a coronavirus vaccine trial
‘It's very exciting and very motivational, but there is a lot of pressure,’ she said. Dr Oostvogels is steering the human trials of a coronavirus vaccine for German biopharmaceutical firm CureVac, where she is head of their infectious diseases programme and leads its development of vaccines and therapies. Back in January, after returning from Christmas holidays, CureVac’s infectious diseases team started to discuss the outbreak in Wuhan and whether they could work on a vaccine.
Secret blueprints for Covid-19 vaccine trials revealed by Moderna and Pfizer
Moderna and Pfizer revealed their complete blueprints for the late stages of clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday. The move added pressure for the other companies developing a vaccine to do the same. In its 135-page document, Moderna estimated they could find a successful vaccine by the end of the year The secret blueprints were released in the hopes that the companies will win the trust of the public. Concerns have been raised that the quick discovery of a vaccine has become too much of a political issue to be deemed safe
Pharma company drastically boosts its potential coronavirus vaccine production
German pharmaceutical company BioNTech, which is currently developing a possible vaccine against the novel coronavirus together with US drug giant Pfizer, announced Thursday it was buying a new production plant in order drastically to increase its production capacities. BioNTech said the acquisition of the vaccine plant in Marburg, Germany, from the pharmaceutical firm Novartis, would allow it to produce tens of millions more vaccine doses a month -- pending regulatory approval -- from next year.