UK Covid news LIVE: Researchers working towards one vaccine for many variants

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wo separate research teams have reported results of antibodies from SARS survivors which could help towards developing a vaccine that protects against a broad range of Covid variants.

One study, published on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, identified “high-level, broad-spectrum” antibodies in blood samples from survivors of the original SARS outbreak in 2003 who recently received the Pfizer vaccine for Covid.

In test tube experiments, the antibodies of the survivors could neutralise all of the current Covid variants of concern and five viruses that have been identified in bats and pangolins.

The findings from these studies could be a step toward developing new antibodies that would be effective against multiple different coronaviruses, the teams say.

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Live updates

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Nicola Sturgeon to give briefing in 15 mins as Covid worsens in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon will deliver the latest update on the Covid-19 pandemic in Scotland in her next briefing today.

She will address the rise in coronavirus cases in Scotland and across the UK, which on Tuesday morning prompted health experts to admit they are “concerned” about the situation.

It comes as the Scottish Government is inviting views on the draft aims and principles of an independent public inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The COVID-19 Inquiry Establishment Aims and Principles paper is intended to shape its terms of reference with input from stakeholders, including bereaved families.

The proposed inquiry would be established by the end of the year, to scrutinise decisions taken in the course of this pandemic, and learn lessons for future pandemics.

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Highest number of excess deaths since March

A total of 571 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending August 13 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics – up 8% on the previous week.

It is the highest total since 719 deaths in the week to March 26.

Around one in 18 deaths registered in the week to August 13 (5.5%) mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate.

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Slipknot’s Corey Taylor details Covid-19 battle urges fans to get vaccinated

Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor has posted a video update saying he’s “out of the woods” in his battle with Covid-19.

Corey went on to praise the vaccine, saying he believes it helped him beat Covid-19.

“I also wanna say that because I was vaccinated, I truly believe that is what helped me get over the break,” Corey continued.

“I mean, this is the worst I’ve ever been sick in my life. Had I not been vaccinated, I shudder to think how bad it would have been. But because I had that extra little bit of protection, man, it definitely helped me get through it. So — go, go, go. If you’re still on the fence (about getting the jab), I’m telling you right now it’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

“Count the days down, and hopefully I will see you guys soon. All right? Take care of yourselves. Stay safe.”

47-year-old Corey fell ill after completing a solo tour across the US in support of his solo album ‘CMFT.’

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57 deaths in care homes

Some 57 care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales were registered in the week to August 13, up from 50 the previous week.

In total, 42,805 care home residents in England and Wales have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.

The ONS figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.

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ONS update latest Covid-19 deaths

A total of 156,958 deaths have occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

The highest number on a single day was 1,484 on January 19.

During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 on April 8 2020.

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New Zealand records highest Covid jump since April 2020

New Zealand on Tuesday recorded its highest increase in COVID-19 cases since April 2020, as authorities warned this current outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus was like dealing with a whole new virus.

The South Pacific nation’s virus-free run since February ended last week after an outbreak of the Delta variant erupted in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, and quickly spread to the capital Wellington.

Authorities reported 41 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the total infections in the country to 148, the Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said at a news conference. That was the biggest increase in cases since April 10, 2020, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

Of the new cases, 38 are in Auckland and three are in Wellington. So far, eight people associated with the current outbreak are in hospital, the ministry said.

“Delta is unlike our previous experience. It is, as we know, highly infectious and transmissible and, as we have seen, spreads rapidly,” Bloomfield said at a news conference.

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Sean Penn only wants vaccinated to see his movie Flag Day

Sean Penn has urged only the vaccinated to go see his newest movie Flag Day as it opens in theatres.

The actor made the request on a US talk show overnight.

“But I do always feel at this point in time that I have to say that I hope, I’d ask, that as much as I want people all to go to the theatre, I really only want people who are vaccinated and are safe to themselves and each other to go”, Sean told Seth Myers.

“And it will stream but most of the people who aren’t vaccinated probably aren’t interested in my movies anyway,” he added.

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Boris Johnson issues warning to young people to get vaccinated

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London Ambulance Service encourage Londoners to continue to wear masks

The warning on masks comes as higher education minister has said that it will be up to Irish colleges to determine how they can hold lectures safely in the coming academic year.

On Monday, Simon Harris indicated that the Government would not be prescribing a set of specific rules for how lectures should be held when students return to college in several weeks’ time.

“Going back to college will no doubt not be without challenge. Of course it won’t. But we can’t not get people back to college. And then we can’t have another year like we’ve had with our young people staying at home doing college at the corner of the kitchen table or in the box room,” Mr Harris said.

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Expert warns of Covid-22 sparking Twitter meltdown

Twitter reacted in horror after an expert warned that a new variant dubbed “Covid-22” could be more lethal than the Delta variant.

Professor Doctor Sai Reddy of the federal technology institute ETH Zurich, an immunologist, believes that combination of existing strains could result in a new and more dangerous phase of the pandemic.

“It is very likely that a new variant will emerge and that we will no longer be able to rely on vaccinations alone,” immunologist Sai Reddy said.

Prof Reddy told the German newspaper Blick that Delta, dubbed COVID-21, was the most contagious variant of all.

“If Beta or Gamma becomes more contagious, or if Delta develops mutations, then we could be talking about a new phase of the pandemic,” said Reddy. “This would become the big problem of the coming year. Covid-22 could be even worse than what we are experiencing now.”

Evening Standard – News