Vaccine cuts hospitalizations, England maps relaxation – 22/02/2021 – Worldwide

An accelerated vaccination program and strict containment have reduced severe cases of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom and already allow some openness to be considered. International travel to England is unlikely to return to normal until May 17, however, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.

The British were pioneers in approving vaccines and setting up a massive program, which has already given at least the first dose to the most sensitive groups. All adults should be vaccinated by the end of July.

In Scotland, the results of a national study showed that four weeks after the first dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines, the risk of hospitalization was reduced by 85% and 94% respectively. “There seems to be a difference between age groups, but the reduction in hospitalizations for the elderly is still impressive,” said Arne Akbar, president of the British Society for Immunology.

The survey, conducted by researchers from five universities in consortium with the Scottish Health System, is the first to report the effect of vaccination across a country, and compares hospitalization rates among those who received and n have not received the first dose of the vaccine. . .

Data was collected from December 8 to February 15 this year, in which 21% of the 5.4 million Scots received the first dose – 1.14 million injections were given, 650,000 from Pfizer and 490,000 from Oxford / AstraZeneca.

“The results are important because we have moved from waiting to have strong evidence of vaccine benefits,” said Jim McMenamin, national incident director for Covid-19 in Scotland.

According to Aziz Sheikh, director of the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh (one of the study participants), “the vaccines allow a very substantial reduction in transmissions in the hospital from the seventh day”.

According to the team responsible, they are applicable to other countries that use the Pfizer and Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccines. The results, however, are preliminary and should be interpreted with caution, said Adam Finn, a professor at the University of Bristol, who nonetheless found the study “encouraging”.

“But we must not be complacent. There is always a need to ensure that the virus does not spread, ”said Josie Murray, public health consultant for the Scottish government. Government data shows that people-to-people contacts continued to decline at the end of January, dropping from an average of 3.1 people to 2.9. The study did not assess the effect of vaccination on virus transmission.

RETURN TO ENGLAND CARD

In England, the government has reported an around 70% drop in infections among healthcare workers who received the first dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.

The reduction in pressure on health systems led Boris Johnson to announce today a plan to ease the lockdown imposed on England (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland make their own decisions). Steps will come at five week intervals, to allow for data analysis of the impact of each.

The schools will reopen on March 8, when two people from different families can meet again. From March 29, it will be possible to meet family members in the parks and enjoy outdoor sports.

Hairdressers and non-essential shops and places serving al fresco dining will reopen from April 12. Restaurants and pubs will be able to serve indoors since May 17th. Up to six people from two families will be able to meet inside.

Non-essential international travel remains prohibited until at least May 17. The government expects all restrictions on social contact to be lifted on June 21, when nightclubs can reopen.

Currently, passengers scheduled to travel to the UK from Brazil and 32 other countries are to be quarantined in hotels for ten days, during which they will undergo two tests. The cost, at least 1750 pounds (just over R $ 13,000), is paid by the traveler.

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