Health

Coronavirus news live: Latest updates as daily tests could end 10-day isolation rule

Covid could ‘reignite’ despite vaccine success, Mark Walport warns

Secondary school pupils will reportedly be offered Covid-19 vaccinations from September under plans being developed by the NHS.

Health service officials are compiling planning documents which include a measure to offer a single dose of the Pfizer jab to children aged 12 and older when the new school year starts, according to The Sunday Times.

Pfizer has said trials of its vaccine in children aged 12 to 15 showed 100 per cent efficacy and a strong immune response.

The plans, which the Times said it had confirmed with government and NHS sources, are contingent on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) due this summer.

Ministers have also taken steps towards ending the 10-day isolation rule for the contacts of Covid-infected people by authorising a new trial that replaces mandatory quarantine with daily tests.

Up to 40,000 participants identified as contacts will be given daily lateral flow tests then – as long as their result is negative and they display no symptoms – allowed to go about their lives as before.

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‘Very much an open question’ whether pupils will be vaccinated from September

It is “very much an open question” whether secondary school pupils will need to be vaccinated from September, an expert has said.

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation member Professor Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol, was asked by Times Radio if there was a “need” for the plans reportedly being drawn up by the NHS.

“We don’t know the answer to that yet, so this is very much still up in the air,” Professor Finn said.

“I think it’s very much an open question at this point,” he added.

The paediatrician said there were “no definite plans” to begin vaccinating children aged 12 and up from the start of the next school year.

Chiara Giordano2 May 2021 08:43

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Calls for national lockdown as India’s Covid deaths rise by record 3,689

India’s new coronavirus cases have dipped marginally today – but deaths due to the infection have jumped by a record 3,689, with one more state going into lockdown as the nation’s healthcare system struggles to cope with a massive caseload.

Authorities reported 392,488 new cases in the previous 24 hours to push total cases to 19.56 million. So far, the virus has killed 215,542 people.

The Indian Express newspaper is reporting that the country’s Covid-19 taskforce has advised the federal government to impose a national lockdown.

Last month Indian prime minister Narendra Modi said all efforts should be made be avoid a lockdown.

Chiara Giordano2 May 2021 08:27

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Vaccinating schoolchildren could add herd immunity, says expert

A leading public health expert has backed the NHS’s reported plans to begin vaccinating secondary school pupils against Covid-19 from September.

Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, told Times Radio: “I think we are moving in that direction.

“I think the reason to vaccinate children … is really to add to herd immunity.

“If the current trials are promising, then I do think (vaccinating children from September) will happen.”

Chiara Giordano2 May 2021 08:10

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Daily tests for Covid contacts could end 10-day isolation rule

Ministers have taken steps towards ending the 10-day isolation rule for the contacts of Covid-infected people by authorising a new trial that replaces mandatory quarantine with daily tests.

Up to 40,000 participants identified as contacts will be given daily lateral flow tests then – as long as their result is negative and they display no symptoms – allowed to go about their lives as before.

Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick explains more below:

Chiara Giordano2 May 2021 08:00

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Covid vaccinations expected to begin for secondary school pupils ‘from September’

Secondary school pupils will reportedly be offered Covid-19 vaccinations from September under plans being developed by the NHS.

Health service officials are compiling planning documents which include a measure to offer a single dose of the Pfizer jab to children aged 12 and older when the new school year starts, according to The Sunday Times.

Pfizer has said trials of its vaccine in children aged 12 to 15 showed 100% efficacy and a strong immune response.

The plans, which the Times said it had confirmed with Government and NHS sources, are contingent on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) due this summer.

Committee member Professor Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol, told the newspaper: “We need to be in a position to immunise children, particularly teenagers, promptly and efficiently if we need to.

“It is extremely important that education in the next academic year is not disrupted in any way,” the paediatrician said.

But he added: “We should only be doing vaccine programmes when we need to do them.”

Chiara Giordano2 May 2021 07:57

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Follow for rolling updates on the latest news and statistics throughout the day.

Chiara Giordano2 May 2021 07:51


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