- In the UK, vaccines are found to reduce a person’s risk of being admitted to hospital by as much as 94 per cent four weeks after the first dose, new data suggests. The PHS Lead researcher Prof Aziz Sheikh said the results were "very, very" impressive and both vaccines were working "spectacularly".
- A growing body of evidence suggests the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines do, in fact, cut down on viral transmission. Two recent studies from the UK and Israel show that two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine cut down up to 89.4 percent someone’s chances of developing an infection that they could pass along.
- US regulators have found the single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective. It paves the way for it to become the third Covid-19 vaccine to be authorized in the US, possibly within days. The vaccine would be a cost-effective alternative to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and can be stored in a refrigerator instead of a freezer.
Planning for reopening
- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says it expects its digital Covid Travel Pass will be ready "within weeks". So far, 30 airlines are signed up to trial the tool through March and April. Meanwhile, more places continue to open to vaccinated travelers or plan to do so in the future.
- In Europe, Covid vaccination passports “will be here by summer”, making travelling within the EU possible and could pave the way for further travel from third countries into the EU.” Says Angela Merkel after the EU virtual summit.
- Business confidence has risen to its highest level since the start of the pandemic amid optimism about Britain’s vaccination program, as shows the rise of Lloyds Bank Business Barometer this month.
- As of now, all travel corridors for people arriving in England are suspended. If you arrive in England from anywhere outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man you will need to quarantine for 10 days. For more information, click here.
- A new study has found that administering heparin-based blood thinners to patients with COVID-19 in the first 24 hours of hospital admission reduced the risk of death.
- Medical News summarizes the data point that suggest we are on the right track for recovery: vaccinations race up as new cases drop, and vaccines remain overall effective against new variants.
- Students at English universities who require practical teaching, specialist facilities or on-site assessments will be allowed to return to campus from 8 March.
- GCSEs and A-levels cancelled in England by the pandemic will be replaced by grades decided by teachers. Schools can determine grades this summer by using a combination of mock exams, coursework, and essays.
- Ghana was the first nation to get free Covid-19 vaccines under Covax Plan, with a delivery of 600,000 doses last Wednesday.
- Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration on Saturday granted emergency use authorization for AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine as it prepares to take delivery of its first 200,000 doses of the drug as early as this week. In the meantime, China Airlines acquired the necessary cold chain logistics license to fly vaccines into Taiwan.