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  • There's been a concerted effort today by government and by scientific advisers to reassure people about the efficacy of the vaccines being used in the UK It follows growing concern about the performance of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine specifically in the context off the South African variant of the virus.

  • Boris Johnson said he was very confident that the current vaccines delivered a high degree of protection against serious illness on Professor Jonathan Van Tam, whose England's deputy chief medical officer said it was unlikely in his view that the South African variant would become dominant here in the short term.

  • Now tonight in England, people aged 70 or older who haven't yet being called for their vaccination are being asked to contact the NHS to book an appointment.

  • Our medical editor, Fergus Walsh, has the latest.

  • There is huge public enthusiasm for covert immunization.

  • Elland Road, home of Leeds United Football Club, is now a mass vaccination hub.

  • Joshua is 25 has very severe asthma.

  • He's bean shielding at home and has only come out toe have his jab.

  • It was like being locked up.

  • In a way.

  • It was like being kept in a cage on Ben.

  • Having this is like getting the key to get out from today.

  • Margaret's husband has Bean in intensive care with co vid for nearly a month.

  • I just wish this had come earlier so my husband could have had it.

  • Visiting a covert testing kit supplier in Darby, the prime minister said.

  • Vaccines are the way out of the pandemic for all of us.

  • We're very confident in alot vaccines that we're using on board.

  • I think it's important for people toe bear in mind that a lethem, we think are effective in delivering a high degree of protection against serious illness on death.

  • That was in response to a small study in South Africa which suggested the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine offered only limited protection against mild to moderate infection from the main variant there.

  • 147 cases off the South African vary it have been detected in the UK on people in several areas like Worcester are being tested in a bid to prevent it spreading further.

  • Do you think it will be possible to keep the South African variant largely suppressed in the UK?

  • The early modeling data do not suggest a transmissibility advantage for this virus on.

  • Because of that, there is no reason to think the South African variant will catch up or overtake our current virus in the next few months on.

  • That's good news because vaccines are highly effective at protecting against the Kent variant, which is dominant here.

  • My advice.

  • She was very simple.

  • Do not delay.

  • Have the vaccine that will protect you against the current threat.

  • And don't worry, you can be re vaccinated.

  • Anyone over 70 in England who's not yet had their vaccine is being asked to contact the NHS Online or by calling 119 as the UK looks well on track to have given around 15 million people in the highest risk groups.

  • Their first dose by the middle of February.

  • Focus on BBC News As we've been reporting, new vaccines are already in development to protect against the new South African variant off coronavirus, the next phase of the pandemic could increasingly become a game of catch up.

  • As more new variants emerge on new vaccines are developed to tackle them, our science editor, David Sugarman, considers what might lie ahead around the world.

  • There's now a race between the virus and the vaccines between the threat of new variants on efforts to stay ahead of them on the outcome matters to us all.

  • While the first wave of countries, including the UK, should see the majority of their populations vaccinated this year, others won't reach that stage till next year, and many will have to wait for the year after or even longer.

  • This is a global virus.

  • It's a global pandemic.

  • Until we're all protected, then then it could be that a variant in another country mutates so the current vaccines are no longer effective, and that will come back.

  • So even those people who are vaccinated they're still going to be a risk of these future future variance.

  • The virus is changing all the time, and when it infects human cells, it takes over and gets them to make millions of copies.

  • But they won't all be the same.

  • Each batch may have some random genetic mistakes, mutations that air usually unimportant, but a few might prove dangerous.

  • So the first task is to track these changes, and that's done by studying the genetic code of the virus Since December 2019, when it was first confirmed in Wuhan, scientists have monitored what's effectively a family tree with hundreds of different branches.

  • Each of these lines represents one of the many different variants that's emerged over the course of the past year.

  • And it's only by doing this genetic research that we can spot the variants that are worrying.

  • In the UK, Brazil and South Africa, half a million British Corona virus samples have gone through genetic screening So far.

  • Thes machines are among those that have done most of the analysis, but few countries could work on this almost industrial scale.

  • So there's a lot we don't know about how the virus is changing.

  • Worldwide.

  • There are thousands of millions of cases globally.

  • There are undoubtedly other variants of co vid that are spreading quickly, but which is blind?

  • Thio Andi.

  • Any one of those additional strains around the world could confer on advantage for the virus, allow it to reinfect people even though they've been vaccinated on.

  • That's what we want to protect against.

  • One answer is to have a global screening operation in West Africa.

  • Five years ago, Mobile Lab studied the Ebola virus.

  • Something far larger is needed now, and alongside that, the faster the vaccines could be rolled out and adapted.

  • As new variants emerge, the safer will all be.

  • David Shankman, BBC News.

  • Time to look at the latest government figures now.

  • Then they showed there were 14,104 new infections recorded in the latest 24 hour period.

  • That means an average of 17,740 new cases per day in the past week.

  • Across the UK, 29,326 people are in hospital right now with coronavirus.

  • Another 333 deaths were reported.

  • That's people who died within 28 days off a positive co VID test.

  • On average, in the past week, 891 deaths were announced.

  • Every day on the total number of UK deaths is now ah 112,798.

  • Let me give you the latest on the vaccination program.

  • 278,988 people had a first dose off one of the three approved vaccines in the latest 24 hour period on that takes the overall number of people who've had their first job to 12,294,000 on six.

  • With that, let's bring in our medical editor, Fergus Walsh, and, I suppose, Fergus, I ask you to comment on that remarkable figure of over 12 million at the take up off.

  • The covert vaccine here is extraordinary.

  • Hugh.

  • 91% of those over 80 have had their first dose.

  • 95% of those age 75 to 79 have had one.

  • Now that's way above what was expected on.

  • Whenever I talk to people at immunization centers, there is a genuine sense of optimism on relief that they're getting immunized.

  • The Pfizer and the AstraZeneca vaccines are both highly effective against the dominant Kent variant here.

  • So that's why it's vital people continue to come forward.

  • We should soon see on impact in terms of reduction in hospital numbers and deaths from the vaccination program.

  • In the longer term goal is to offer a first dose toe all those over 50 and with underlying health conditions, 32 million people by May.

  • Now there's news tonight of another new variant of concern in Manchester, with extra Serge testing there, but we're gonna have to get used to that new variants will emerge ALS the time, but the vaccines can be fairly easily tweaked on a bit like flu.

  • We may need a booster, perhaps this autumn.

  • Maybe later.

  • Fergus.

  • Good to talk to you.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Fergus Walsh there with the latest analysis.

  • Our medical editor.

There's been a concerted effort today by government and by scientific advisers to reassure people about the efficacy of the vaccines being used in the UK It follows growing concern about the performance of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine specifically in the context off the South African variant of the virus.

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UK insists AstraZeneca vaccine is effective against South African variant of Covid - BBC News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/09
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