Wednesday 3 February 2021

UK Coronavirus Briefing 3rd Feb 2021

UK Coronavirus Briefing 3rd Feb 2021

Cases: 3,871,825 (+19,202)
Loss of life: 109,335 (+1,322)
In hospital: 32,851 (1st Feb)
Using a ventilator: 3,638 (2nd Feb)
1st Dose Vaccine: 10,021,471
Fully vaccinated: 498,962

We've vaccinated over 10m people (whoot!), with 1 dose (ahhh). It is really impressive, far beyond the rest of Europe.

Scotland have said that some of their youngest children will begin a phased return to school after the half term break. 

030221 slides UK press briefing mortality by age

Boris started by talking about Captain Sir Tom Moore.
He says the NHS were the right choice for Sir Tom to support. In order to get the vaccines into the arms of people in the UK, we need the support of masses of people, but in the end, it is the NHS we need.
We have now vaccinated over 10m people across the UK, including offering jabs to every eligible care home, and vaccinating almost 90% of the people aged 75% in England. 

New research out today supports other data and looks good. The vaccine kicks in by around 3 weeks, and lasts well through to 3 months when people have their 2nd jab.
Excitingly the data suggests that among vaccinated populations transmission to others really seems reduced by quite a high amount - possibly up to 2/3 less. 

No vaccine can give 100% protection to everybody, but it will help the overall situation, as well as bringing down mortality in vaccinated groups. We should begin to see this over the next 2-3 weeks. 

Boris says he will tell us more about the UK roadmap out of restrictions on Feb 22nd. 

Reopening of English schools to more pupils is planned for March 8th. The level of infection and loss of life is still very high, we have a way to go yet. 

A bit late for this, I couldn't type any quicker:
"And so tonight, lets clap together, for Captain Tom at 6pm, and lets clap for the spirit of optimism that he stood for. Lets also clap for all those he campaigned for. Our brilliant NHS staff and care workers. Lets do everything we can to carry on supporting them. Because if we stay home, protect the NHS and save lives then, in the words of Captain Tom, "tomorrow will be a good day"."

030221 positive tests UK

Chris with the slides - the numbers are going down really beautifully. The slide is exactly what you would want to see.
There are still a very large number of people in hospital, still more than at the peak last year, but it is finally beginning to go down.
The number of people who succumb to COVID is also coming down. The effect of vaccination should be most clear most quickly in these numbers (you CAN see it clearly in Israel's data already).

He has a chart showing clearly the outcomes for 52,000 hospital admissions to COVID in the UK. It shows proportions of people who survive for each age group, and why vaccinating older people will have the biggest impact on overall mortality. (It's the first image above.)

Public asked about data on vaccinated people - are we checking to see if any are hospitalised or die? Chris says we are. We check all hospital admissions for COVID, to see if they have been vaccinated. We want to find out these answers. 

Public asked about 'normal life' after vaccination. Chris said he really wants to stress 2 points again. Firstly, it takes 2-3 weeks before your vaccine protects you. Secondly, it will be a long time before everyone is vaccinated - we need to protect the people you mix with. We can see transmission is reduced, but we don't know how much, and levels of COVID in the community are still very high. Stick with restrictions and social distancing for now. It isn't yet safe.  

030221 positive tests UK

Schools won't be reopening earlier. Boris says it's prudent to keep schools closed until 8 March, to allow the most vulnerable people at least three weeks after their vaccination to acquire protection.

The priority vaccination order for those over 50 should be announced during the week commencing 15th Feb.

Press asked about people who still don't appreciate just how serious and big this is? Chris says the overwhelming majority understand it, and if they don't, they should go and talk to a doctor or nurse who works in a hospital - they'll put you right.

Back tomorrow with the usual report...

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