COVID-19: Long Island Resident Diagnosed With South African Mutant Strain

Matt Hancock acted unlawfully over details of Covid contracts, judge rules

- Prof John Edmunds said the vaccine rollout should turn to children "as fast as we can", saying there will "continue to be major disruption in schools until we have vaccinated our children".

"We're doing a lot of work to find out the impact of the vaccine on these new variants - especially the ones discovered in Brazil and South Africa - because, clearly, the answer to that question is critical to understanding how much of a risk the new variants pose".

Mr Hancock said the government would take a "cautious but irreversible approach" to easing COVID measures.

"That's 17,247,442 people who will have protection against coronavirus".

He also told Sky there is evidence the vaccines could reduce transmission by two-thirds, which could be a factor in deciding whether to vaccinate children against Covid-19.

"There's clinical trials under way as to whether children should be vaccinated". One is that it absolutely must be safe, specifically for children, so that is being now investigated.

"The second is - because children very, very rarely get symptoms or serious illness from the disease - the value, the importance, of vaccinating children is to try to stop the spread of the disease".

Mr Hancock said that one in three adults in the United Kingdom has now received a coronavirus vaccine, and that the Government is confident it has the supplies to meet the July 31 target and to vaccinate all adults over 50, and higher risk groups, by April 15.

Johnson will set out his thinking on the easing of lockdown on Monday.

Prime minister Boris Johnson will on Monday announce his government's roadmap to the ending of lockdown in England, after pledging over the weekend to offer the Covid vaccine to all adults by the end of July.

John Edmunds, a member of the government's scientific advisory group, said British hospitals are still treating about 20,000 coronavirus patients, half the January peak but nearly as much as height of the first surge in the spring.

He will then unveil the plans to MPs in the Commons later that afternoon and is expected to lead a Downing Street press conference on Monday evening.

"At the earliest opportunity, SNP Ministers should be clear whether this hope of vaccinations by the end of July will be given to adults in Scotland".

"We've currently seen other new variants that thankfully there's very, very, very few of in this country now, but we've got to protect against them".

"Otherwise we will put the health service under pressure again and we'll get a surge in hospitalisations, and indeed deaths".

Edmunds said it was hard to say how widespread the South African variant was but that, like the rest of the pandemic, it was being held in place by the lockdown.

So far, nearly all care home residents, frontline workers and people aged over 75 have received their vaccine in line with Scottish government targets. Many children will go back to school beginning March 8 and nursing home residents will be able to have one visitor from the same date.

In a statement after the ruling, the Good Law Project said: "This judgment is a victory for all of us concerned with proper governance and proof of the power of litigation to hold Government to account".



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