After figures were skewed last week for Wales, which did not have figures for Wales, covid cases have risen again for the first nine days. Hospitalisations and deaths also declined.

The Department of Health reported that there were 40.077 positive tests in the UK over the past 24 hours. This was 9.3% higher than the previous week. 

But the week-on-week rise in is because a technical issue at Public Health Wales last Monday, which stopped it from reporting cases and deaths data. 

The number of infections today is lower that the 41,081 average daily infection in the UK during the week.  

Hospital admissions remained flat at 0.9 percent week-on–week, reaching 1,090. Deaths, however, rose 5.3 percentage points to 40. Due to the time it takes to get seriously ill after contracting the virus, both measures are behind the case numbers by a few days. 

But the Covid fatality data reported today will be less than the real figure, because health bosses did not receive any data from NHS England — one of the sources of England’s death numbers. 

The number of booster jabs given in the UK has risen to 8million. 

Official figures have revealed that Covid-infected people are up 32 times more likely die if they catch it than double-jabbed people. 

Experts today praised the results as proof that everyone should get the vaccine. However, some experts warned that the results may have been ‘overstated’ in terms of the power of jabs. 

Official data showed England recorded 31,479 new infections, 2,513 cases were confirmed in Scotland, while 4,983 were spotted in Wales and 948 in Northern Ireland. The trend in cases appears to be downwards across all four countries.

Health chief suggests delaying making Covid vaccinations compulsory for NHS workers to April so the NHS can get through winter 

Making Covid vaccines compulsory for NHS staff should be delayed until the spring because of the ‘very, very’ difficult winter ahead, a health chief said today.

Ministers are currently completing a consultation to determine whether doctors or nurses should be forced for their jabs. Staff members who refuse could be facing the sack.

Last week Health Secretary Sajid Javid admitted he was ‘leaning towards’ the ‘no jab, no job’ policy in England, where 100,000 staff are still yet to get their first dose. 

Chris Hopson is the chief executive of NHS Providers. He said today that any deadline should not be set until April next years so that there are enough workers to handle winter.

Unions fear hospitals could be left even shorter staffed between January and March — their most difficult time of year — if the plans are brought in.

Hopson said that NHS staff should be given the same five-month period before jabs are made compulsory as those in the social care sector.

Ministers stated in June that care home workers would need full vaccinations or risk losing their jobs. However, they gave them until November 11th to get jabbed. 

Louise Akester (36-year-old care worker from Hull) said today that she was prepared to lose her job this week as she was not ready to get the vaccine.

And Mr Hopson claimed that in Cornwall, some homes have already had to draft nurses from nearby hospitals as a result of staffing shortages.  

October 21 was the most recent day of infection, with 52,009 cases being reported.  

Since the outbreak, the UK has seen 9 million positive tests. However, the actual infection rate is much higher because of the limited testing available at the time of the crisis. Also, not everyone who has been infected will be able receive a test.

The number of Covid-infected people admitted to hospital seems to have slowed down. Some 1,090 people sought NHS care last Tuesday — the most recent day the data is available for — a rise of 0.9 per cent on the 1,080 patients admitted last week. 

40 people died within 28-days of being tested positive for the virus. This is a 5.3% increase on the 38 deaths that occurred the same day last year.

In the UK, there were approximately 27,402 first doses as well as 13,449 second doses. This means that 49.9million (12.9%) have had at most one injection and that 45.7million (79.5%) are fully immunized.

163,949 people volunteered for their booster jab, bringing it to 8.1million. Top-up injections and first jabs to 12- to 15-year olds are key components of the Government’s Plan B to reduce infection rates.

It comes as the ONS revealed that people who are not vaccinated are up to 32 percent more likely to die from Covid than those who have been vaccinated.

It found that the mortality rate for deaths from Covid in England among non-jabbed adults was 849.7/100,000. This compares to the 26.2 rate for fully vaccinated persons and 105.3 for those who have just had their first dose.  

The statistics body looked at death figures from January 2 through September 24, this year. This includes the bulk of the second wave, when millions of adults were not eligible for vaccines. 

Because of the amount of time it took for immunity and protection to kick in, people were considered to have been single- or dual-vaccinated after 21 days. 

The report included mortality rates that were age-standardised to account for the fact that different age groups were vaccinated at distinct times. 

The priority was given to older people, who are more likely than others to die from the virus. The over-80s were also invited to receive their first dose of the vaccine in December. Those in their 20s and early 30s had to wait until June before they could be called.

In order to ensure that everyone could be jabbled in the shortest possible time, there was a gap of 12 semaines between the first dose and the second dose. This gap was reduced to just eight weeks in June.

The above graph shows the age-standardised mortality rates for deaths involving Covid in England by vaccination status. They are given as per 100,000 person-years, and are age-standardised to take account of different vaccine roll out times in age groups. They show the unvaccinated are most likely to die if they catch Covid

The graph above shows the age-standardised mortality rates in England for deaths due to Covid. It is based on vaccination status. They are calculated as per 100,000 person years and age-standardised to account for different vaccine rollout times in different age groups. They show that people who have not been vaccinated are more likely to die from Covid.

The above graph shows that people who have received two doses of the vaccine (green line) are least likely to die if they catch the virus. They are followed by those who have got just one dose (purple line). The unvaccinated are most likely to die if they catch Covid (blue line)

The graph above shows how people who have received two doses are less likely to contract the virus. They are closely followed by those who only received one dose (purple). If they get Covid (blueline), the unvaccinated are more likely than others to die.

To determine who had received the vaccine, the ONS used data from the Public Health Data Asset Database. This database includes people in England linked with the 2011 census and GP records in 2019. It covers less than 80 percent of the country’s population. 

The report also included data on deaths from all causes — such as heart disease and cancer, not just Covid.

It was found that the unvaccinated were still three-times more likely to die between January and December (2,187 per 100,000) compared to those who received two doses of vaccine (783.6). 

JCVI is accused of being ‘anti-vaxist’ by ‘zero Covid absolutists’ according to newly published minutes. Panel considered herd immunity in ChildreN as part of its decision making process.

‘Zero Covid’ scientists have slammed the Government’s coronavirus vaccine advisory panel as being ‘anti-vax’ for considering the benefits of herd immunity over vaccination in children.

Members of Independent Sage, a vocal group of experts who have clung on to the idea of eliminating Covid, accused the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation of using youngsters as ‘human shields’ to protect adults.

Newly-published minutes from JCVI meetings show that the group first looked at whether letting 12 to 15-year-olds get Covid naturally was better than vaccinating them in spring, months before the rollout was expanded to teens.

Echoing the view of many independent experts, the JCVI accepted allowing the virus to circulate naturally could give youngsters strong immunity and also protect adults — without the risk of side effects from vaccines. 

The panel stressed that Covid posed a small threat to children and raised concerns over a heart inflammation condition linked with the jabs for young people. 

‘Children rarely die from severe disease or contract Covid; even children who have underlying comorbidities have a very small risk,’ the JCVI stated at its 32nd meeting on April 13.

“There is not much data available on Covid vaccination use in children. We need to consider the mild transient illnesses of Covid and possible rare adverse events that could be associated with vaccination.

“There are arguments for allowing the virus circulation among children, which could increase immunity and boost immunity in adults.  

The group also thought that it might be better for children to catch Covid early, when they have a low risk of contracting the virus, so that they are less susceptible in adulthood.

Dr Kit Yates is a University of Bath math biologist and Independent Sage member. He quoted excerpts from JCVI minutes in a long Twitter thread, writing: Anti-vax, JCVI? 

His colleague Professor Alice Roberts from the University of Birmingham was critical of the views expressed at meetings. Other Independent Sage members described them in an ‘upsetting’ way. 

John Roberts, a member of the Covid actuaries response team, commented on the data on Twitter: “The difference between the two groups (1.403.5) is greater than the difference in Covid death (823.5).

“That is almost certain because the demographic profile of unvaccinated people experiences higher mortality usually.

“We know that the uptake of vaccines has been lower in ethnic minorities than in more deprived areas. So in fact, I would be surprised if we didn’t see this difference. The 32-fold increase in vaccine uptake might seem to overstate the effect, but it will still be substantial.

Chris Snowdon of the Institute for Economic Affairs is the head of lifestyle economics. He warned that the statistics may have ‘gilded some lily’ due to the time period.

He tweeted: “This is a troubling statistic considering that very few people were fully immunized until March.” This is the evidence, and it’s not necessary to exaggerate.

Almost 50million Britons — or 86.9 per cent of over-12s — have got at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, and 45.7million have received both doses.

In December, the NHS began providing vaccines to over-80s, the most vulnerable and health and care workers.

Following a recommendation by No10’s vaccine advisors back in September it is now offering them to 12-15-year-olds, though uptake has been slow.

In order to boost immunity for what is expected to become a very difficult winter for NHS, booster shots for over-50s are offered six months after their second dose.

The evidence suggests that Covid vaccines can reduce hospitalisations and deaths among those who contract the virus and its variants.

A report by the UK Health Security Agency — which replaced the now-defunct Public Health England — found last week that jabs work just as well against the more transmissible Delta offshoot as they do on its ancestor.

Scientists believe vaccines have cut the risk of someone infected by AY.4.2 from developing symptoms by 81 percent.

For comparison, two doses are believed to block approximately 83% of all people who fall ill with the ancestral strain.

UKHSA admitted that preliminary results did not show a significant drop in vaccine effectiveness for AY.4.2 as compared to Delta, but that it could have been due to chance.

The strain has been detected in nearly 24,000 cases in Britain. However, the actual number could be 10 times greater because laboratories only sequence a fraction from all confirmed samples.

Separate surveillance data shows the variant has now been found in all but a dozen parts of England and makes up one in ten new cases — with its proportion having doubled in the space of a month.

Despite the fact that it outcompetes its ancestor, some experts now question how transmissible this subtype really is. Initial estimates by scientists indicated that the strain was 10 to 15% more infectious.

Figures show that although the cases of this mutant strain continue to rise, their curve is flattening. It is growing slower that its predecessor, which was sequenced at the same time, at this point.