Coronavirus news UK latest – June 21 lockdown lift BACK ON after vaccines test 'highly effective' against Indian variant

ENGLAND'S lockdown WILL end on June 21 say experts after tests proved British vaccines are effective against the Indian Covid variant.

According to Public Health England, the Pfizer vaccine is 88% effective against the symptoms of the variant after the second dose while AstraZeneca proved 60 per cent effective.

Professor Susan Hopkins, PHE’s Covid-19 strategic response director, said the data trend was “quite clear” and heading in the “right direction”.

Some 22 million Brits have had both jabs and the study reveals both are effective against symptoms such as a continuous cough, a loss or change to sense of smell and taste or a high temperature.

Both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose, compared with about 50% against the Kent strain.

Meanwhile, more than 50 million jabs have been doled out in England in a major milestone for the vaccination programme.

More than 70 per cent of the UK's adult population – 31,546,846 – have now received at least one dose of a Covid jab, while 40 per cent – 18,699,556 – have received two, officials said earlier this week.

A total of 50,246,402 Covid-19 first or second doses of vaccinations took place in England between December 8 and May 21.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest news and updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    LOCKDOWN LIFT ‘BACK ON’ AFTER TESTS PROVE VACCINE WORKS

    The UK’s June 21 lockdown lift is “back on” – after “astounding” tests proved vaccines DO work against the Indian variant.

    After weeks of worry, the country looks to be back on track as findings showed Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines both give a high level of protection after two doses.

    Pfizer was 88 per cent ­effective after two jabs while AstraZeneca proved 60 per cent effective.

    Both vaccines were 33 per cent effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose, compared with about 50 per cent against the Kent strain.

    Professor Susan Hopkins, PHE’s Covid-19 strategic response director, said the data trend was “quite clear” and heading in the “right direction”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ALMOST 200 CLIMBERS TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID ON MOUNT EVEREST

    Up to 200 people have tested positive for Covid on Mount Everest amid a shocking outbreak on the world’s highest peak, it’s claimed.

    An expert mountain climber says the killer virus has already infected swathes of intrepid adventurers and Sherpas at the South Base Camp.

    The claims come from Austrian Lukas Furtenbach, who last week became the only prominent guide to halt his latest expedition due to virus fears.

    However, Nepalese officials insist there has not been an outbreak at the site where some 1,500 people are currently located.

    They instead blamed any symptoms on other illnesses like altitude sickness.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MORE THAN 1M SIGN UP FOR NHS APP ‘VACCINE PASSPORT’

    More than 1.3 million people have registered with the NHS app since it was announced users will be able to show if they have received the Covid-19 vaccine.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the “unparalleled pace” in which the vaccine status function was added to the app, since its announcement on May 7.

    The app enables users to show proof they have received the vaccine, should it be required for international travel.

    It has more than 4.8 million registered users and also enables people to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view GP and hospital records, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

    Since May 17 – when the vaccine status function was added – people have logged into the app more than four million times.

  • Joseph Gamp

    KATE GARRAWAY SAYS HUSBAND DEREK IS 'DEVASTATED BY COVID AND STILL CAN'T MOVE'

    Kate Garraway says husband Derek is ‘devastated by Covid and still can’t move’

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK ROADMAP ON TRACK

    The UK is on track to freedom after a new study revealed the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines both give a high level of protection against the Indian variant after two doses, a new study shows.

    Some 22 million Brits have had both jabs and the study reveals both are effective against symptoms such as a continuous cough, a loss or change to sense of smell and taste or a high temperature.

    Pfizer was 88 per cent ­effective while AstraZeneca proved 60 per cent effective.

    Both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose, compared with about 50% against the Kent strain.

    The vaccines are also likely to be much more effective when it comes to stopping hospitalisations and deaths.

  • Joseph Gamp

    JENNY HARRIES SAYS 'IT'S STILL VERY EARLY DAYS' DESPITE RISING INDIAN VARIANT CASES

    The figures comes as the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency said the possibility of restrictions being eased on June 21 was "looking good".

    However, Dr Jenny Harries urged the public to be cautious to avoid another lockdown, warning that the new Indian variant has become the "dominant strain" in some parts of the country.

    She told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show: "It's looking good if people are continuing to observe all of the safety signals, so we should not stop doing what we're doing, particularly in areas where we have that variant of concern, the B1617.2, in the north-west and around London. It's really important that people continue to do hands, face, space and work from home, have their jabs and go for tests as well.

    "The cases of the B1617.2 variant are rising, they have risen very steeply and much of the media have reported a 160% rise in cases over the week period but they seem to be slightly levelling at the moment. It's still very early days."

    Dr Harries added: "We all need to be very cautious and I think we all don't want to go back to the sort of lockdowns that we've had, it doesn't matter whether you're on Sage or out in the public, none of us want to return to that sort of restriction."

  • Joseph Gamp

    CONTINUED…RECORD DAILY NUMBER OF SECOND DOSES ADMINISTERED IN UK

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Shortly after vaccinating over 70% of adults in the UK with a first dose, we have hit yet another incredible milestone with over 60 million doses delivered in total.

    "Our trailblazing vaccination programme, the biggest and most successful in NHS history, is another great British success story and a testament to what can be achieved when all four corners of the country comes together to defeat this virus."

    Some 762,361 first and second doses were administered on Saturday, the highest daily combined total since March 20.

  • Joseph Gamp

    RECORD DAILY NUMBER OF SECOND DOSES ADMINISTERED IN UK

    The number of Covid-19 vaccine second doses administered in the UK hit a record daily high on Saturday, new Government figures show.

    Some 556,951 jabs containing people's second dose were given on May 22, surpassing April 24 when 547,636 were administered.

    The increase comes as the Government continues to urge people to get their second dose in order to stay protected from new coronavirus variants.

    Around 60.6 million first and second vaccine doses have now been administered since December 8, according to figures published on Sunday by the Department of Health and Social Care.

    It includes 37.9 million people who have received their first dose, 72% of the UK population, and 22.6 million who have had both (43%).

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: COVID-19 VACCINATIONS IN THE UK

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK ROADMAP TO FREEDOM ON TRACK AFTER STUDY REVEALS PFIZER COVID JAB’S 88% EFFECTIVE AGAINST INDIAN VARIANT AFTER 2 DOSES

    UK roadmap to freedom on track after study reveals Pfizer Covid jab’s 88% effective against Indian variant after 2 doses

  • Joseph Gamp

    LOCKDOWN LIFE ‘BACK ON’ AFTER TESTS PROVE VACCINE WORKS

    The UK’s June 21 lockdown lift is “back on” – after “astounding” tests proved vaccines DO work against the Indian variant.

    After weeks of worry, the country looks to be back on track as findings showed Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines both give a high level of protection after two doses.

    Pfizer was 88 per cent ­effective after two jabs while AstraZeneca proved 60 per cent effective.

    Both vaccines were 33 per cent effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose, compared with about 50 per cent against the Kent strain.

    Professor Susan Hopkins, PHE’s Covid-19 strategic response director, said the data trend was “quite clear” and heading in the “right direction”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ALMOST 200 CLIMBERS TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID ON MOUNT EVEREST

    Up to 200 people have tested positive for Covid on Mount Everest amid a shocking outbreak on the world’s highest peak, it’s claimed.

    An expert mountain climber says the killer virus has already infected swathes of intrepid adventurers and Sherpas at the South Base Camp.

    The claims come from Austrian Lukas Furtenbach, who last week became the only prominent guide to halt his latest expedition due to virus fears.

    However, Nepalese officials insist there has not been an outbreak at the site where some 1,500 people are currently located.

    They instead blamed any symptoms on other illnesses like altitude sickness.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MORE THAN 1M SIGN UP FOR NHS APP ‘VACCINE PASSPORT’

    More than 1.3 million people have registered with the NHS app since it was announced users will be able to show if they have received the Covid-19 vaccine.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the “unparalleled pace” in which the vaccine status function was added to the app, since its announcement on May 7.

    The app enables users to show proof they have received the vaccine, should it be required for international travel.

    It has more than 4.8 million registered users and also enables people to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view GP and hospital records, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

    Since May 17 – when the vaccine status function was added – people have logged into the app more than four million times.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

  • Katie Davis

    UK ROADMAP ON TRACK

    The UK is on track to freedom after a new study revealed the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines both give a high level of protection against the Indian variant after two doses, a new study shows.

    Some 22 million Brits have had both jabs and the study reveals both are effective against symptoms such as a continuous cough, a loss or change to sense of smell and taste or a high temperature.

    Pfizer was 88 per cent ­effective while AstraZeneca proved 60 per cent effective.

    Both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose, compared with about 50% against the Kent strain.

    The vaccines are also likely to be much more effective when it comes to stopping hospitalisations and deaths.

  • Katie Davis

    MILLIONS ‘UNWITTINGLY TRACKED’ AFTER JAB

    Millions of Brits have been unwittingly tracked by their mobile phones after getting the Covid jab, it’s reported.

    Health chiefs wanted the data to see if vaccinated people are moving about more after they have their inoculations.

    And Government scientists admitted in an official report that one in ten jabbed Brits were tracked via their phones in February without their knowledge, the Telegraph reports.

    The figures were then handed to researchers at Oxford University, who carried out studies for the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B).

    The committee advises Sage.

  • Katie Davis

    LATEST COVID CASES & DEATHS

    Britain reported on Sunday 2,235 more cases of Covid and five further deaths within 28 days of a positive test, official data showed.

    The total number of people to have received a first vaccine dose reached 37,943,681, the data also showed.

  • Katie Davis

    THOUSANDS OF JOSBLESS YOUNGSTERS NOW IN WORK

    Thousands of jobless youngsters are now in work — thanks to the help of a Sun on Sunday- backed campaign.

    We launched a drive two weeks ago to help the half-a-million 16-24 year-olds unemployed due to Covid-19.

    Since then, Kickstart, one of the schemes we have partnered, has employed 400 youngsters a day up and down the UK.

    Among those back in a job is Forester Hirst, 24, who was a hotel entertainer.

    Now, thanks to the Prince’s Trust, one of three back-to-work initiatives we are supporting, he has a job in a cafe.

  • Katie Davis

    FAMILIES WHO REFUSED TO ISOLATE AFTER INIDA TRIPS BLAMED FOR COVID RISE IN BOLTON

    Families who refused to quarantine after trips to India have been blamed for the rise in variant cases in Bolton.

    Locals think people travelling home from the Covid-ravaged country may have brought the Indian variant to the town, before it became a hotspot.

    Some have suggested some of those returning to the UK didn’t carry out the ten days self-isolation, to stop the spread of the virus.

    Mohammed Khan, owner of a travel agency in the Greater Manchester town, told the MailOnline: “It’s very selfish. People just think about themselves and their own pleasure. 

    “Just because you can’t go to a restaurant or a cinema for a few months, you want to go to a completely different country. I don’t want a third lockdown. It’s a team effort. We all have to be in it together.”

  • Katie Davis

    DOCTOR URGES PUBLIC TO BE CAREFUL TO AVOID ANOTHER LOCKDOWN

    The possibility of all coronavirus restrictions being lifted next month is "looking good", the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency has said.

    Under the Government's road map, the final stage of the unlocking is due to take place on June 21 at the earliest.

    However, Dr Jenny Harries urged the public to be cautious to avoid another lockdown, warning that the new Indian variant has become the "dominant strain" in some parts of the country.

    She told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show: "It's looking good if people are continuing to observe all of the safety signals, so we should not stop doing what we're doing, particularly in areas where we have that variant of concern, the B1617.2, in the north-west and around London.

    "It's really important that people continue to do hands, face, space and work from home, have their jabs and go for tests as well.

  • Katie Davis

    LOCKDOWN LIFT 'BACK ON'

    The UK's June 21 lockdown lift is "back on" – after "astounding" tests proved vaccines DO work against the Indian variant.

    After weeks of worry, "Freedom Day" is set to go ahead as findings showed Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines both give a high level of protection after two doses.

    Pfizer was 88 per cent ­effective after two jabs while AstraZeneca proved 60 per cent effective.

    Both vaccines were 33 per cent effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose, compared with about 50 per cent against the Kent strain.

    Professor Susan Hopkins, PHE's Covid-19 strategic response director, said the data trend was "quite clear" and heading in the "right direction".

  • Katie Davis

    CUMMINGS BLAMES INCOMPETENT LEADERSHIP FOR ‘LOCKDOWN CONFUSION’

    Boris Johnson’s former senior aide has blamed incompetent leadership for a year of “lockdown confusion”.

    In a brutal attack on his ex-boss, Dominic Cummings said thousands of lives were needlessly lost to Covid by “awful decisions” and delays.

    He said the “shocking truth” was that at the outbreak of the pandemic the PM planned to let the nation build up herd immunity.

    And he accused Health Secretary Matt Hancock of talking “bulls**t” by suggesting otherwise.

    Mr Cummings tore into the Government days before he is due to appear before a committee of MPs to give evidence about the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

  • Katie Davis

    MORE THAN 1M SIGN UP FOR NHS APP 'VACCINE PASSPORT'

    More than 1.3 million people have registered with the NHS app since it was announced users will be able to show if they have received the Covid-19 vaccine.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the "unparalleled pace" in which the vaccine status function was added to the app, since its announcement on May 7.

    The app enables users to show proof they have received the vaccine, should it be required for international travel.

    It has more than 4.8 million registered users and also enables people to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view GP and hospital records, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

    Since May 17 – when the vaccine status function was added – people have logged into the app more than four million times.

  • Katie Davis

    WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR WEDDINGS AFTER JUNE 21?

    Couples across the country have had their wedding plans kiboshed over the last year due to the pandemic.

    Although weddings are now allowed to be held, a number of restrictions remain in place – but they began to ease on May 17.

    The number of attendees has been increased but many wedding traditions are still not permitted to take place.

    Guests and staff must wear face coverings apart from when eating or drinking unless they are exempt.

    The government hope to scrap all restrictions on weddings, civil partnerships and receptions on June 21.

  • Katie Davis

    SURGE TESTING IN WEST LONDON OVER INDIAN VARIANT FEARS

    Coronavirus surge testing has been deployed in West London to stop the spread of the Indian variant.

    Residents in parts of Harrow, Ealing, Hillingdon and Brent will be advised to take a PCR test even if they do not have any Covid-19 symptoms.

    Local authorities will “shortly confirm” the areas where additional testing will be offered within those boroughs, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

    NHS Test and Trace is increasing testing in the four boroughs, following the identification of the B1617.2 strain – which has been categorised as a “variant of concern”.

    Those who tested positive for the variant have been told to self-isolate and their contacts are being identified.

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