Covid-19: ‘Enough vaccines’ for under-30s, and the future of workon April 8, 2021 at 7:15 am

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Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday morning.

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday morning. We’ll have another update for you this evening.

The UK has more than enough supply of the Pfizer and Moderna jabs to vaccinate all adults under 30, the health secretary says. It comes after the UK drugs regulator advised that people aged 18 to 29 should receive an alternative vaccine due to evidence linking the AstraZeneca jab to rare blood clots. Matt Hancock said the vaccine programme remained “on track” despite the change. The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said there was no proof the vaccine had caused the clots but the link was getting firmer, while the European Medicines Agency have said the benefits of the jab outweighed the risks.

An NHS staff member prepares to administer the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in London

image copyrightPA Media

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The UK’s vaccination programme is beginning to break the link between Covid-19 cases and deaths, scientists tracking the epidemic say. A study found infections had fallen by roughly two-thirds since February, before beginning to level off. While the decline in cases has stalled – probably because people are beginning to mix more – deaths did not follow the same pattern. After a significant fall between February and March, cases were “just about flat”, says Prof Stephen Riley at Imperial College London, one of the study’s authors.

nurse preparing vaccine

image copyrightGetty Images

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A public health worker who cared for her mum before she died with bowel cancer in April last year, aged 74, says doing so during lockdown was hard as “the system was just under so much pressure that we had to manage largely on our own”. Susan Lowe, from Solihull, says she struggled to get the right pain relief medication for her mother Sheila in her final weeks, telling the BBC: “My biggest regret is that my mum died in pain.” Her story reflects a survey that has found unpaid carers struggled to access pain relief during the pandemic. The government says it had taken action to support unpaid carers.

Sheila Lowe

image copyrightFamily handout

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China’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak has been scrutinised since the virus was first detected in Wuhan. In response, Beijing has tried to take greater control of what is said about its role in the pandemic – sometimes with questionable tactics. Radio 4 and BBC Monitoring’s Krassi Twigg look at events that have shaped Beijing’s experiment with global misinformation. Have a look at what they found.

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I don’t really like working from home, says the BBC’s Tim McDonald from Singapore. Sure, there are advantages, but I find it isolating. I’m sick of sitting in my apartment. I prefer to interact with colleagues face-to-face. In preparation for this, Tim tried out a new type of workspace. It’s a pay-by-the-minute desk in a booth at a shopping centre. The pods cost less than four Singapore dollars ($3; £2.15) per hour and have been created by a local company called Switch.

Switch booths in Singapore

image copyrightTim McDonald

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Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page. We’ve had a look at how the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine works, after under-30s in the UK are to be offered an alternative jab.

Government statistics show 126,927 people have now died, up 45 in the latest 24-hour period. In total 4,367,291 people have tested positive, up 2,763. while there are 3,536 people in hospital. In total 31,707,594 people have received their first vaccination, up 85,227 in the latest 24-hour period. Updated 7 April.
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