The number of new coronavirus infections in the UK reached almost two months on Friday, as British regulators authorized the use of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine.
The latest authorization, which brings the number of vaccines in the UK armory to four, comes on growing speculation that the new variant of the virus first identified in India could push the British government to delay its next reduction. planned blockade restrictions in England.
Government figures showed that 4,182 new confirmed cases were recorded across the UK, the highest daily figure since 1 April. The cases bring the total number of confirmed infections reported over the past seven days to 20,765, 24% more than the previous week. The increase prompted scientists to say the UK is now in the midst of a third wave of pandemic.
The number of cases remains well below the daily high of nearly 70,000 recorded in mid-January, during the peak of the second wave, but the upward trend has raised questions about the UK government’s plan to remove all remaining social restrictions on 21 June. The government, which has lifted restrictions in stages and allowed pubs and restaurants to resume domestic service last week, has said it will make a decision on the next planned relaxation on June 14th.
The variant identified in India is thought to be responsible for up to 75% of new cases in the UK and is more transmissible than the previously dominant strain of the virus.
Critics argue that the Conservative government is to blame for planting the variant in the UK. Officials say they acted too slowly to impose stricter quarantine requirements on anyone arriving from India, which is in the midst of a catastrophic resurgence of the virus.
Many scientists say the increase in cases is not a surprise, but that the rapid introduction of vaccines will provide a firewall in a country that has recorded the highest number of 127,500 virus-related deaths in Europe. While the most risk population should have vaccine protection against the virus, there are concerns that the virus may spread widely among younger adults.
As of Friday, 58% of the British population has received at least one dose of vaccine and around 35% have received two shots. The UK vaccination program began with older age groups and aims to have offered a puncture to all adults by the end of July.
“It seems almost certain that we will face a third episode of growing COVID-19 infection,” said James Naismith, a professor of structural biology at Oxford University. “It seems likely that the Indian variant is mostly limited to the younger unvaccinated population. It is much less likely to cause serious disease in this group. However, it is less likely than zero. With a sufficiently large number of infections, appreciable the numbers will get seriously ill “.
Also Friday, the Agency for the Regulation of Medicines and Health Products said Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine met “expected safety, quality and effectiveness standards.” The regulator previously authorized the two-dose regimens developed by Pfizer / BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Oxford and Modern University.
The regulator said the vaccine developed by J&J Janssen’s subsidiary has been shown to be 67% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection and 85% in preventing serious illness or hospitalization. It can be stored at temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 47 F), which according to the regulator make it “ideal for distribution to homes and other places of care.”
Details of which groups will get the vaccine have yet to be determined. It was speculated that it could only be administered to older adults after being linked to reports of rare blood clots.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine looks set to be used as part of the country’s planned booster program in the fall. The British government has changed its order last year from 30 million doses of J&J to 20 million.
“Because Janssen is a single-dose vaccine, it will play an important role in the coming months, as we will redouble our efforts to encourage everyone to get their shots and potentially start a booster program later this year,” he said. Secretary of Health Matt Hancock.
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Citation: Rising UK coronavirus cases sparked concerns over third wave (2021, 28 May) recovered on 28 May 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-uk-coronavirus -cases-stoke-3rd.html
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