Wednesday 23 June 2021

UK COVID Briefing 23rd June 2021 - NOT with Boris...

UK COVID Briefing 23rd June 2021 - NOT with Boris...

UK Cases: 4,667,870 (+16,135)
Losses of Life: 128,027 (+19)
In Hospital: 1,508 (Monday 21st June)
Using a Ventilator: 227 (Monday 21st June)
At least 1 vaccine dose: 43,448,680 (82.5% of UK adults)
Two vaccine doses: 31,740,115 (60.3% of UK adults)

3 out of every 5 UK adults have now had both doses of a COVID vaccine.

Some extra surge testing Bingo winners today, and they're over the border from me, in Yorkshire. From 24 June, all adults living in these areas should take a PCR test:
Wakefield North, South & East
Pontefract North & South

3out of every 5 adults have had 2 doses of a vaccine text only

There was a UK (England) Briefing today, and Boris wasn't in the mood, so we had a trio of terrified baby rabbits standing on the overly expensive podiums. Nadhim Zahawi, the Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment led. Alongside were Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at Public Health England, and Dr Nikki Kanani, Medical Director of Primary Care and NHS England. 

Nadhim started by telling us the excellent news that 3 in every 5 UK adults has had their second dose of vaccine. 82% of all adults in the UK.
He reminds us ANY adults in the UK can now book their first dose.
When they opened appointments to 18+, there were 6 being booked every second.
We've now given 1st doses to almost half of all 25-29 year olds in England
Only a week since it opened, 1/3 of all people aged 18-24 have already had their first dose.
He says "A HUGE thank you. You've protected yourself, you've protected your families, and you've protected your community."

Latest data shows the vaccination programme in the UK has already saved over 14,000 lives, and it has prevented a whopping "44,500 hospitalisations in England alone. That's 2,500 in the last 2 weeks".

You can clearly see from hospital admissions that the vaccination programme is working. Slides (we've seen similar before) show that the vast majority of people in hospital now are younger.
Public Health England looked at around 500 hospital admissions with Delta Variant.
324 (over 60%) were Unvaccinated
87 had 1 dose
40 had 2 doses (fewer than 1 in 10)
(Remember we've given all of our oldest and most vulnerable people 2 doses - they would have made up over 80% of the total 6 months ago).
"We're going to use these 4 weeks to give our NHS that bit more time, so that we can get those remaining jabs in arms."

European CDC advice lovely image of lady with syringe handled umbrella, shielding others from the weather with her

2 weeks ago there were over 2m people over the age of 50 with a single dose, that's now down to 900,000 (that includes my partner now he's 50!).
They have reduced the interval between jabs to only 8 weeks for anyone over 40.

Nadhim thanks everyone involved and says how brilliant communities have been, then started rambling a bit. Then he collects his thread and talks about Black and Asian communities starting to take up vaccination at greater levels because of community education. Hesitancy has halved in the last few weeks.

He reminds us that where we are throwing everything at it, we are bringing down rates of COVID, including in Blackburn and Bolton. There will be a special meeting on Friday about what to do next in London.

He tried hard, got a bit repeaty, and eventually tagged in Mary (and then drank about 3 gallons of water when he thought we weren't looking). Bless him...

Daily vaccination stats UK 230521

Dr Mary talked about the vaccinations offering over 90% protection from severe illness after 2 doses. She also talked about other vaccinations.
If your baby or child is due a vaccination, or missed one because they were off school or you were isolating - book it.
If you have a young person off to Uni this year, they need a Meningitis jab (Meningitis is more common in young people in their first years of uni than any other group.)
If you are older, you may be due a Shingles jab soon - don't forget it. 

Latest 7 day average for cases is 11,354 per day. There has been a lot of surge testing in Scotland which has added to the figures this week.
Hospitalisations are rising far more slowly than in previous waves.
Latest 7 day average is 14 deaths per day. 

When its your turn take your vaccine the World Health Organisation

Over to Dr Nikki, who described the slide showing vaccinations as "heartwarming". She talked fondly about Maggie Keenan being vaccinated 200 days ago, and how far we have come since then. She also especially thanks young people.
She says some people are still anxious about coming forward, and they are trying to get education out in a way people can understand it. They are working especially hard with BAME communities, and have created a 'toolkit' with community leaders, to inform people and give them more confidence in the vaccines, and make vaccination accessible - it can just be about helping people book.

It is never too late to come forward - as soon as you feel able, you can book. There'll always be a vaccine for you.
If you are over 40, please come forward for your 2nd dose after 8 weeks - double vaccination makes all the difference with Delta Variant. 

Public asked about people in hospital who weren't vaccinated. She wants to know if they refused or are young. We have already been told around 70% are under age 65, so they are mostly younger.
Nadhim reminds us that vaccines are never 100%
'If we get to 85% of adults double vaccinated, and the vaccinations are 85% effective, that's only 72%, so still leaves 28% of the population that could be affected.'
Nikki adds "none of us are safe until we're all safe".

Public asked why some COVID vaccination centres are closing? Nadhim explains some teams go and give a boost to one area and then move on. Vaccine availability, using mobile sites and walk-in centres etc all means changes. Some staff give up time or are redeployed, and then return to their day job. Basically, there are only so many staff!

Press asked about Delta Variant having different main symptoms, should the UK website be updated say "headaches, runny nose and sore throat"?
No real answer today, but they're really too vague - everyone gets these symptoms at times, so it's little help. It's also exactly how people with hayfever feel...
Use your common sense. Look for symptoms which are unusual to you, or persist when you wouldn't expect them to.

Nadhim answers more questions on reaching groups who are taking up vaccination at lower levels. He reminds us that vaccination won't be alone. We will continue to test, surge test and genome sequence to track variants. 

It's important to get vaccinated quickly and get back to our lives World Health Organisation

One of the press had a big banner behind him showing a photo of seats in the house of commons. I dread to think what he had hastily hidden behind that because it was a bit 'last minute', pinned up higher in the middle than the edge, and had a sponsor almost folded out of the way. (It looked like First News, which is a brilliant kids news magazine, but apparently it was UK24.)
Anyway, I digress, he asked about fake information. It's all grim.
He mentioned some bizarre hoaxes by text message, which are as bad as chain letters, and can only be started by someone attempting to cause harm. Preying on the fears of a specific group of people is pure racism.
(Telling people lies about what is in vaccines and what vaccines will do, in order to prevent them taking vaccinations, and therefore increase their chance of harm, is actually already illegal.)
Here's your reminder that COVID vaccines are vegetarian, contain no pork or beef products, and are grown in egg yolk.
The Vegan Society, the Pope, Tom Jones, the Dalai Lama, Dolly Parton, and all of the world's major religions say greater good comes from being vaccinated.

Back tomorrow with the usual report.... stay well... 

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