Covid: Jab preparation for 12 to 15-year-olds and vial shortageson August 26, 2021 at 6:51 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 could join the likes of the US, Canada, France and the Netherlands, which are vaccinating children aged 12 and over against Covid-19. NHS organisations in England have been told to prepare for a possible rollout to all 12 to 15-year-olds as experts on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation look at whether to recommend this course of action. Some children in that age group can get the jab but only if they live with a vulnerable adult or have certain health conditions. But the Department of Health says no decisions have been made on a wider rollout, but it is planning for a range of scenarios.

Girl receiving Covid vaccination in the Netherlands in July 2021

image sourceGetty Images

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A shortage of collection tubes – or vials – have meant the NHS has temporarily stopped some blood tests for certain conditions like screening for pre-diabetes and allergies. Becton Dickinson, which makes the vials for the NHS, blames unprecedented demand driven by testing Covid patients and also the resumption of routine testing that was delayed due to the pandemic. NHS England is urging doctors to stagger regular blood tests if clinically safe. NHS Wales has also issued similar advice.

A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample in one of the tubes.

image sourceGetty Images

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There is growing evidence immunity through vaccination is waning, but that was always expected to happen. Experts have been clear we should expect to be infected repeatedly over our lifetimes, but each reinfection should be milder. With infection rates rising again, how concerned should we be? Health correspondent Nick Triggle has taken a closer look.

Chart shows fall in protection against infection for Pfizer and AstraZeneca
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Japan has suspended the use of the Moderna vaccine after “foreign materials” were found in some doses. About 1.63 million of them will not be used after some doses in a batch of roughly 560,000 vials were contaminated. Takeda Pharmaceutical, which sells and distributes the vaccine in Japan, says Moderna had put three batches on hold “out of an abundance of caution”, adding an issue at a manufacturing contract site in Spain was the likely cause.

A staff of Japan's supermarket group Aeon receives a dose of the Moderna vaccine

image sourceReuters

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“Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore, let it go, let it go…” That’s the song you will have heard (time and time again) if you’ve watched Disney movie Frozen, and now the stage adaption is about to hit the West End. The cast has had extra time for rehearsals after the pandemic froze the theatre industry but will the stage musical recreate the film’s magic?

Government statistics show 132,003 people have now died, with 149 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 6,590,747 people have tested positive, up 35,847 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 6,874 people in hospital. In total, 47,792,552 people have received their first vaccination

With evidence that immunity through vaccination wanes, what’s the best way to top it up? Find out here.

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

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