Covid-19: Virus origins may never be known, says reporton October 30, 2021 at 6:46 am

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

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

US intelligence agencies say they may never be able to identify the origins of Covid-19, but they have concluded it was not created as a biological weapon. The Office of the US Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said an animal-to-human transmission and a lab leak were both plausible hypotheses for how the virus spread. The report also said Chinese officials were unaware of the existence of the virus before the initial outbreak of Covid-19 in Wuhan, in late 2019. But it said China was continuing to hinder the global investigation. China has criticised the report.

A man wears a mask while walking in the street on 22 January 2020 in Wuhan

Image source, Getty Images

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Some people will be able to get their Covid vaccine booster earlier than expected in order to help bolster more people’s immune systems before the winter. Most people will get their third dose six months after their second jab. But a change to clinical guidelines in the UK means some, such as care home residents, will be able to have their next dose after a gap of five months. So far, seven million people in the UK have been given the booster. This is what those giving and receiving the booster jab think. Meanwhile, when can you get your jab?

Preparing a vaccine

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Millions of five to 11-year-olds in the US could soon be getting a coronavirus vaccine after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency approval for Pfizer for them. The FDA determined that the benefits of vaccinating them outweighs any other health risks. The decision awaits final approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Pfizer vaccine is already approved for US adults and adolescents, but it has not yet been fully approved for most school-aged children.

A child receives a vaccine

Image source, Getty Images

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As the COP26 climate talks fast approach, Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has asked people to follow Covid rules amid fears the event could lead to a rise in cases. Safety measures, such as daily testing and face masks, will be in place at the host venues. But experts believe the greatest virus risk will come from protests or other activist events, which could attract an estimated 100,000 people. Ms Sturgeon urged protesters to respect Glasgow and the emergency services, after activists said they were planning high impact “deliberate disruption” during the summit.

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In a career spanning more than 50 years, Sir Elton John has proven that he’s still standing at the top of the UK charts. The pop icon has achieved his eighth number one album with his surprise release The Lockdown Sessions. Collaborations with Dua Lipa, Stevie Nicks, Gorillaz and Lil Nas X feature, with many duets being forced to take place over Zoom and others under strict safety regulations in the studio.

Sir Elton John

Image source, Rocket Entertainment

Graphic showing UK Covid statistics

The morning coronavirus briefing is being paused for two weeks to tell you five things you need to know about the COP26 climate summit.

The UK is rolling out booster jabs for some people – find out who is eligible here.

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

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