Covid-19: Autumn booster jab call, and some change for rail commuterson June 21, 2021 at 6:47 am

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

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

Amid the final push to get as many people over the age of 18 vaccinated before 19 July – England’s anticipated date for lockdown easing – doctors and NHS trusts are already thinking about planning for coronavirus once the summer’s over. “We cannot carry on as we are, with an emergency response,” they say, and the government must start planning for the autumn booster jab now. A senior government source says a plan for boosters will be published “in due course”.

Rosi Stamp, aged 25, receives a Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at an NHS Vaccination Clinic at Tottenham Hotspur"s stadium in north London

image copyrightPA Media

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There’s a new flexible season ticket if you travel by train two or three days a week. The move is part of the government’s shake-up of rail services which comes into effect from 2023 – but as there’s a trend for more home-working, accelerated by the pandemic, this part of the reform is being introduced from today. The new tickets can be used for eight days in a month and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says they will offer “greater freedom and choice… simpler ticketing and a fairer fare”. While the changes will persuade some people to choose rail travel, the independent watchdog Transport Focus warns the new flexible tickets won’t be the best option for everyone.

Commuters at Leeds station

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A “science superpower” is what Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to see the UK become – following the success of the Covid vaccine rollout. He said the programme had proven what the UK could achieve at scale and speed, adding: “With the right direction, pace and backing, we can breathe life into many more scientific and technological breakthroughs that transform the lives of people across the UK and the world.” Mr Johnson announced how increases to the research budget would be spent and that he would chair a new National Science and Technology Council. Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser to the government, will lead a new Office for Science and Technology Strategy.

Boris Johnson

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Covid capacity rules in music and comedy venues have been relaxed in another minor easing of Wales’ lockdown restrictions. The changes mean groups of six people from six households can attend music and comedy venues, as they already can for pubs and restaurants. The number of guests attending wedding receptions and wakes also changed on Monday, allowing venues to host as many people as they can safely. Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said he would pause major relaxations for four weeks due to the start of a third Covid wave.

Goldie Lookin Chain

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As the vaccine rollout continues at pace, we’ve caught up with Margaret Keenan, 91, who received the world’s first Covid jab.


As people queued at the weekend to get their jabs as part of a push to get all adults vaccinated by 19 July, do you know how soon can you have your second dose?

Find further information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Government statistics show 127,976 people have now died, with six deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 4,630,040 people have tested positive, up 9,284 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 1,316 people in hospital. In total, 42,964,013 people have received their first vaccination.
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