Covid news – live: England eases ‘Plan B’ restrictions as US hospital defends denying heart transplant

Omicron sub-variant found in Santa Clara County

England will today revert to its plan A measures, lifting some mask-wearing requirements, as the government said that its vaccine booster rollout has successfully reduced the risk of serious illness and hospitalisations with Covid-19.

Under the earlier plan B measures, people were required by law to wear masks indoors in public venues, recommended to work from home where possible and required Covid passes for entry into nightclubs and other large venues.

The curbs were put in place in December last year to stop the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

They were removed as cases declined from the peak of 200,000 infections a day around New Year to under 100,000.

Meanwhile, in the US, a hospital is defending itself after a man’s family claimed he was denied a heart transplant surgery for refusing to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

The family of DJ Ferguson said that officials at Brigham and Women’s Hospital told the 31-year-old father of two that he was ineligible for the procedure because he had not been vaccinated.

While the hospital declined to comment on the case specifically, it said that the Covid vaccine is one of the several immunisation requirements stipulated by most US transplant programmes.


These experts say Joe Rogan is ‘extraordinarily dangerous’ to society – here’s why

The 54-year-old podcast host has unique influence, scientists and physicians tell Andrew Buncombe

Emily Atkinson27 January 2022 01:15


How to look after your mental health if you test positive for Covid and need to self-isolate

The government has announced that all “Plan B” measures will be removed from Thursday 27 January. The return to “Plan A” will see the work from home mandate lifted and face coverings will no longer be required in indoor venues.

Plan B measures were first announced on 8 December, 2021 as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 caused high case numbers across the country. As a result, many found themselves self-isolating over Christmas and separated from their families.

Read Laura Hampson’s advice here:

Emily Atkinson27 January 2022 00:30


Yale scientists invent wearable Covid detector that can tell you how infectious your workplace is

Keys and wallet? Check. Face mask and hand sanitiser? Check. Wearable Covid monitor? Not yet – but maybe soon.

The coronavirus pandemic has only increased the list of essential items we mustn’t forget whenever we leave the house. Now scientists hope to add a tiny clip-on device that detects coronavirus in the air around its wearer.

A team of researchers at the Yale School of Public Health in Connecticut, US have developed a lightweight virus detector called the Fresh Air Clip that requires no power source and is easy to 3D print.

Emily Atkinson26 January 2022 23:45


Watch: LA father regrets not getting vaccinated as he dies of Covid

LA father regrets not getting vaccinated as he dies of Covid

Emily Atkinson26 January 2022 23:00


Lower vaccine take-up linked to greater risk of Covid death among Black people, study suggests

Lower vaccination take-up among some ethnic groups contributes to an increased risk of Covid-19 death, particularly for people from black African and Caribbean backgrounds, new research has indicated.

Most ethnic minority groups have continued to experience greater rates of death involving Covid-19 during the third wave of the virus compared with people identifying as white British; these differences have been attributed mostly to social and demographic factors, such as occupation, geography and health.

However the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found that levels of vaccination coverage are now contributing to the elevated risk of death observed in some groups in a study linking vaccination take-up with estimates of mortality rates for the first time.

Nadine White has the story:

Emily Atkinson26 January 2022 22:15


US donates 400 million Covid vaccine doses to low-income nations

The US has sent around 400 million Covid vaccination doses as part of its pledge to donate 1.2 billion jabs to low-income countries, the White House today announced.

The country’s Covid-19 Coordinator, Jeff Zients, told Reuters: “Today, we will hit a major milestone in our global effort: 400 million vaccine doses shipped to 112 countries … for free, no strings attached.”

The shipment includes 3.2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine for Bangladesh and 4.7 million for Pakistan, according to CNN.

Emily Atkinson26 January 2022 21:30


NHS seeks volunteers for Covid antiviral study

Emily Atkinson26 January 2022 20:45


Coronavirus vaccines reduce risk of long Covid, study suggests

The risk of developing long Covid appears to be significantly reduced after vaccination, new research suggests.

In a study of more than 6,000 people, run by the Office for National Statistics, those who were double-jabbed with Pfizer or Moderna were 41 per cent less likely to report persistent symptoms 12 weeks after testing positive for Covid.

This figure dropped to 37.7 per cent for people vaccinated with doses of AstraZeneca.

Our science correspondent Samuel Lovett has the details:

Emily Atkinson26 January 2022 20:00


Watch: Anti-vaxxer Alex Berenson says ‘dangerous’ vaccines should be ‘withdrawn’

Anti-vaxxer Alex Berenson says ‘dangerous’ vaccines should be ‘withdrawn’

Emily Atkinson26 January 2022 19:15


German parliament to debate mandatory vaccination proposal

Germany reported a record-breaking 164,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday.

It comes as parliament made preparations to debate proposals around vaccination – whether to make the jab a legal requirement or make extensive efforts to encourage people get get the vaccine.

One option under consideration is to make the vaccine a requirement for all adults – or all residents over 50-years-old.

An alternative is for all those yet to be vaccinated to receive counselling.

Emily Atkinson26 January 2022 18:30


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