PPE upgrade success, no more beds needed, Chris Whitty harassed – .

PPE upgrade success, no more beds needed, Chris Whitty harassed – .

These are the UK coronavirus stories you need to know today.

PPE upgrades reduce infections by up to 100%

Upgrading PPE from Fluid Resistant Surgical Masks (FRSMs) to Facepiece Filter Respirators 3 (FFP3) has reduced COVID-19 infections by up to 100%, according to a trial at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.

Dr Chris Illingworth, Cambridge MRC Biostatistics Unit, said: ‘Before face masks were improved, the majority of infections among healthcare workers in COVID-19 wards were likely due to exposure direct to patients with COVID-19.

“Once FFP3 respirators were introduced, the number of cases attributed to exposure in COVID-19 wards decreased significantly – in fact, our model suggests that FFP3 ventilators may have reduced infection in wards to zero. ”

NHS “needs 16,000 more beds”

New analysis from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine suggests the NHS in England needs an additional 16,000 beds to meet potential winter demand.

President Dr Katherine Henderson said: ‘We are currently seeing record levels of emergency room attendance and if this continues into the winter – an extremely likely situation – the NHS will have too few beds to cope.

“The consequences of having too few beds could be disastrous. If we don’t have the capacity to admit patients to hospitals then A&E wait times will increase, patients will end up being treated in the hallways – a very real threat to their safety before the pandemic, but now with the added risk of hospital-acquired infection – and the elective backlog will increase further as beds reserved for surgery are used for emergency patients. “

Antibody study

Two doses of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine generate 2.5 times lower antibody levels against the Delta variant than the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, according to a laboratory study led by the Francis Crick Institute published in a research letter in The Lancette.

Commenting via the Science Media Center, Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, said: “It is not clear whether these lower antibody levels are due to differences in the delivery system of the drug. vaccine – where AZ uses a chimpanzee adenovirus and Pfizer uses mRNA – or in the form of the coronavirus spike protein used to increase immunity.

“What this type of laboratory study doesn’t tell us is how well vaccine immunity continues to protect people against serious illness and death. Immunity is not limited to high levels of virus killer antibodies, and it may well be that as far as protection against serious disease is concerned, there is still a lot of immunity left in the reservoir. So far, the evidence suggests that in most people vaccines continue to work well. “

Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines can provide protection against the virus for months – and much longer for those who have been infected and subsequently vaccinated, according to a US study conducted in Nature. Either vaccine provided robust protection for at least 12 weeks after a second dose and could provide low level protection for at least a year.

Jabs et myocardite

Two American articles have just appeared in Jama Cardiology examine MRI-confirmed myocarditis after COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.

One study looked at seven patients at Duke University Medical Center, four of whom had recently received a jab. The authors concluded: “Further investigation is needed to determine the associations between COVID-19 vaccination and myocarditis. “

A second article examined 23 previously healthy male military patients who had been recently vaccinated, and the authors wrote: “The potential for rare vaccine-related adverse events must be considered in the context of the well-established risk. morbidity, including heart damage, following COVID-19 infection. “

Commenting via the Science Media Center, Sam Mohiddin, Professor of Cardiology, Barts Heart Center & Queen Mary University of London, said: “These reports do not add much new.

“The most convincing evidence for a causal association remains the observation that cases most often occur a few days after a second dose of one of the two mRNA vaccines. It is also evident that myocarditis, in all its forms, remains poorly understood in terms of cause, diagnosis, and treatment. We need large-scale association studies to tell us if there is an association between the vaccine and myocarditis, as well as more basic research details to tell us why. Until then, balancing the value of vaccination against the scarcity / mildness of this form of myocardial inflammation seems strongly in favor of vaccination. ”

Cases that come home?

Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf told the BBC that an increase in the number of cases to 3,285 yesterday could be in part due to football fans traveling to London for the Euro.

“If we look at the data that is presented, it is very clear that it is disproportionately biased in favor of young men, those under the age of 40.

“A number of people, public health experts and others, have said that this association is likely the result of a larger indoor rally which could be an effect of watching Euro and football. “, did he declare.

Twenty cases have been identified in a single trainer.

Jabs “saved 27,000 lives”

The latest modeling from Public Health England and the Cambridge MRC Biostatistics Unit suggests that COVID-19 injections have so far prevented around 7.2 million infections and 27,000 deaths in England.

Senior Senior Modeler Dr Paul Birrell said: “The number of infections and deaths averted by the immunization program is not only incredibly high, but continues to grow exponentially as the immunization program continues. . ”


Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that deaths in England and Wales recorded in the week ending June 18 were 0.4% above the 5-year average.

COVID-19 accounted for 1.1% of all deaths.

Data from Public Health England released last week shows that out of 117 Delta variant deaths, 50 people had received both doses of a vaccine.

Police investigate Whitty’s harassment

Police are investigating the alleged harassment of Chief Medical Adviser Professor Chris Whitty in St James Park, London.

Video of the incident was shared on social media where he was grabbed by two men who wanted a photo.

“The officers spoke to everyone involved at the time and their contact details were collected. We are in contact with the victim and the circumstances continue to be investigated, ”Met police tweeted.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that he was “shocked to see the heinous harassment of Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.

“I condemn the behavior of these thugs. Our hard-working public servants should not face this kind of bullying on our streets and we will not tolerate it.

School bubbles

The Guardian reported that the automatic isolation of schoolchildren in England after bubble-positive cases will be removed for the autumn term.

If a child is positive, the whole bubble, which can last a whole year, should be isolated.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb told Sky News: “We are running daily contact testing trials as a possible alternative to self-isolation. “

Commenting via the Science Media Center, Russell Viner, professor of child and adolescent health, UCL, said that reopening schools with bubbles and tests “now appears to have very significant unintended consequences in terms of lost education. and social isolation, with impacts on children’s mental health ”.

He added: “Now is the time to undertake an evidence-based reassessment of our school testing system for September. We will then have a nearly fully vaccinated adult population – which undoubtedly alters the balance of risk for the controls we place on our children and young people in schools. “

Business trip

Senior executives can temporarily leave quarantine in England if they are involved in business activities that will bring “significant economic benefits” to the economy.

“This exemption is designed to enable activity that creates and maintains jobs and investment in the UK, while taking steps to ensure that public health risks are minimized,” according to the Department for Business.

See more global coronavirus updates in Medscape Coronavirus Resource Center.


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