Covid-19: Fourth jab not yet needed, and is this NHS crisis worse than ones before?on January 8, 2022 at 4:49 am

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

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

1. No need for a fourth Covid jab yet, say UK advisers

UK vaccine experts have said that a fourth Covid jab is not yet needed as booster doses continue to provide high protection against severe disease from the Omicron variant among older adults. Three months after boosting, protection against hospitalisation remains at about 90% for those aged 65 and over, UK Health Security Agency data shows. Find out how you can book a booster jab.

older black man being given vaccine

Image source, Getty Images

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2. No 10 drinks may have broken Covid rules – Cummings

Downing Street continues to face allegations of breaking coronavirus rules, with the latest claim coming from former Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings. He has alleged that a social event took place in No 10 on 20 May 2020, potentially breaching Covid rules. Writing in his blog, Mr Cummings said that a “senior No 10 official” invited people to “socially distanced drinks” in the garden. Mr Cummings said he and another adviser had warned that this could be against the rules but were told the event had gone ahead. Downing Street has been approached for comment. The BBC understands the alleged event will be investigated by a senior civil servant. Read more about which Downing Street gatherings are being investigated.

Dominic Cummings
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3. Is this NHS crisis really worse than ones before?

Traditionally winter would see around 1,000 hospital admissions a day for all types of respiratory infections. Currently the NHS is seeing more than double that with Covid alone – although a chunk are people who are ill with something else, such as broken arms, strokes and cancer for example, and may well have come in anyway. But the truth is the past decade has been a story of lengthening waits and declining performance. In the last bad flu season, in the winter of 2017-18, more than 300 people a day were dying from the virus at one point. So, is this crisis really worse than ones previously? Here’s how the NHS in your area is coping. Meanwhile, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said he is concerned by the rising number of Covid hospital admissions, particularly among the older age groups.

A&E department, Glasgow Royal infirmary

Image source, Getty Images

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4. Canada party plane ‘idiots’ fly home to face music

Members of a group of influencers slammed by Canadian Justin Trudeau as “idiots” and “barbarians” have been flown home to face an inquiry following their rowdy behaviour on a flight. The group were stranded in Mexico after Sunwing Airlines cancelled their 5 January return trip. Video footage shows a party taking place on the charter plane without masks, with some passing around bottles and vaping. In a briefing, a top health official said that 27 had returned and were screened at the airport. Some of the group could face stiff punishments.

The group was stranded in Cancun, Mexico, after airlines refused to fly them back to Canada

Image source, Getty Images

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5. I’m unvaccinated and can’t get fertility treatment

Fertility treatment has been deferred for all patients who are not fully vaccinated in Scotland – unless they are waiting to become eligible for a booster. For Jemma McDonald, the news is devastating. The 25-year-old was due to begin IVF almost five years after she and her partner started trying to have a baby. On 23 December, she found out she could no longer receive treatment as she was not vaccinated. “I’m not anti-vaccine, I’m just in limbo,” she told the BBC’s Drivetime with Fiona Stalker. “I was unsure of why or even when to get them [the vaccine]. I hadn’t had a chance to speak to any doctors or nurses regarding this with fertility treatment. At first they were saying if you’re planning on being pregnant when the vaccines first came out it was advised not to get them. It all seems so quickly changed around.” Read our fact-check on fertility and miscarriage claims regarding the Covid vaccine.

Jemma McDonald
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And don’t forget…

… if you’re struggling to remember the rules on self-isolation, you can check our explainer.

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Coronavirus data chart
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