Boris Johnson asked families to stay home last night as the Covid-19 death toll hit a new record. The government launched a new campaign blitz to get people to abide by the lockdown rules.
English Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty has appeared in advertisements urging us to stay home as the new variant of the virus is spread across the country.
Two terrifying new posters also show a patient dying in hospital and a health care worker wearing full PPE, warning the British, “If you go out, you can spread them. People will die. & # 39;
Mr Johnson said infections were growing at an alarming rate despite the new national lockdown imposed earlier this week.
And he warned the only way to prevent thousands more deaths is to follow the rules. The Prime Minister said: “I know the past year has taken its toll.
“But your compliance is more important now than ever. I have to say one more time to everyone to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. & # 39;
A further 1,325 Covid deaths were reported today – one per minute and more than the high of 1,224 in the first wave last April.
In response to calls for even stricter restrictions, ministers are considering placing face masks in busy outdoor locations, such as the nightlife. B. in queues in supermarkets to make mandatory.
When London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a serious incident, he said the virus was "out of control" and threatened to overwhelm hospitals in the capital:
- Confirmed coronavirus infections hit a record high of 68,053;
- According to an official survey, one in 15 people in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham may have the virus.
- A new highly contagious variant now makes up 81 percent of the cases in the capital;
- Senior officials warned of its virulence, which meant the current lockdown would likely contain the virus less effectively than the first.
- Other hospitals canceled other treatments, even cancer operations.
- The police were on standby to drive ambulances in London.
- Constabularies initiated action against lockdown breakers;
- One study suggested that the Pfizer vaccine would work against the new strain.
- UK regulators approved a third vaccine, but it won't be available until the spring.
- Vaccination Czar Kate Bingham promised to hit the target of vaccinating the 13 million most at risk by February 15.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked families to make a plea, asking them to stay home to save lives as Britain has its highest death toll since the pandemic began and the NHS launches a new advertising campaign led by Chris Whitty
Everyone in England is told to stay home and act like you have it in a major advertising campaign. including posters (pictured) encouraging the public to control the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives
A commuter wears a face mask as he sits in a bus shelter with signs for "Stay Home, Save Lives" in central London
The health chief warns London of the biggest pandemic to date
London faces the greatest threat from the pandemic as the NHS collapses under the strain of coronavirus cases, experts warned today as a major incident was reported in the capital. The city is one of the main hotspots of the recent wave of the virus, which saw deaths hit a record high today and the spread of the metropolitan area "out of control".
Mayor Sadiq Khan warned that more than 1 percent of the city's nine million residents tested positive for Covid last week. It is estimated that one in 30 residents is currently infected. In the hardest hit counties, the rate is feared to be around one in 20, and astounding figures also show hospital admissions rose by a quarter in the first week of January.
There are currently more than 7,000 NHS beds in the capital occupied by Covid patients – 35 percent more than on the busiest day of the pandemic in spring.
The powerful advertising campaign was launched on television last night and moderated by Chief Medical Officer Professor Whitty. He said while vaccines are "clear hope for the future … for now we must all stay at home".
Professor Whitty, who is the most trusted government figure on Covid, said the rapid spread of the virus has "put many people at risk for serious illnesses and puts great pressure on our NHS".
Dramatic images carry the blatant message: & # 39; Coronavirus. If you go out, you can spread it. People will die. & # 39;
Prof. Whitty says: “Covid-19, especially the new variant, is spreading rapidly across the country. This puts many people with serious illnesses at risk and puts a lot of pressure on our NHS.
“We all have to stay home one more time. When going out is important, remember to wash your hands, cover your face indoors, and keep your distance from others.
"Vaccines give clear hope for the future, but now we must all stay home, protect the NHS and save lives." The campaign also calls on people to "act as you have it" adding that "anyone can spread it".
No. 10 fears Mr Johnson's stay at home order will be disregarded – a suspicion supported by figures from Transport for London.
The number of passengers on the metro was 18 percent yesterday, compared to just 5 percent last April. Bus utilization is 30 percent of capacity, compared to around 18 percent when the bus was first blocked.
And the volume of traffic on the main roads in the capital was 76 percent of normal compared to 30 to 40 percent nine months ago.
Apple Mobility Trends shows a 44 percent decrease, a 62 percent decrease and a 68 percent decrease in transit in London
According to Tom Tom, commuters drive to work during rush hour as they stay constant at just 25 percent
It is also important to get key workers to and from their jobs in industries such as healthcare and construction
Most of the seats were taken at Canada Water on the Jubilee Line towards the city center, and some people had to stand
It shows driving, walking and transit data from Apple Mobility for the capital over the past year
Students dab each other while a nurse watches
Students wiped themselves off, while school nurses, despite proven rapid tests, only watch when administered properly. Students at the Oasis Academy in Coulsdon, Surrey were given the kits on Monday and received instructions from the nurses on how to do the tests themselves.
Only children in need of protection or those whose parents are key workers are allowed to attend classes in person during the last national lockdown. According to figures, up to 20 percent of students could still attend schools. But children are now being supervised by nurses, much like some walk-in testing centers operate, rather than having a nurse do the tests themselves.
The idea is that fewer medical experts or volunteers are needed so that more people can be tested more quickly. However, several studies show that lateral flow tests – when self-administered – can miss cases due to the force and depth required to collect a sample. It is because the demand for a limit on the number of children in school is increasing and the number of visitors in some areas has risen to over 50 percent.
The main incident explained by Mr Khan yesterday is a proceeding previously initiated following the Grenfell Tower disaster and major terrorist attacks.
The mayor called for places of worship to be closed and for face masks to be routinely worn outside the home. Downing Street sources said there were "no more lockdowns on the way".
However, the mail is known to Health Secretary Matt Hancock and other ministers investigating the case to expand the use of masks.
Mr Khan said the situation in the capital was dire, an estimated one in 50 Londoners infected. "It's like being in a theater of war," he said. "If we don't reduce the spread, the NHS will run out of beds."
City hall said Covid cases in the capital exceeded 1,000 per 100,000 and there were 35 percent more hospital admissions with the virus than last April.
Professor Kevin Fenton, Regional Director of Public Health England for London, said: “This is the greatest threat our city has faced in this pandemic.
& # 39; The introduction of the new variant means that we are setting the record case rate at almost double the national average. At least one in 30 people (in London) now believes they are carrying the virus.
"Our NHS services are under immense pressure and there are currently another 800 people being admitted to our hospitals every day."
The London Ambulance Service receives up to 8,000 emergency calls a day and in a hospital in east London, patients appeared to be waiting for a bed 24 hours after arriving at A&E.
977 patients were admitted to hospitals within 24 hours, according to the NHS London.
Cases a day in London
People hospitalized in London
Coronavirus deaths in London
He said the NHS had announced 477 deaths in London hospitals in the past three days alone after testing positive for Covid-19 (Piccadilly Circus pictured today).
The nurse catches Covid three weeks after the vaccination as the expert warns that it will take time for immunity to build up
A nurse in Wales caught the coronavirus three weeks after receiving the vaccine and urged experts to warn that it will take time for immunity to build up against the virus.
The nurse, who worked for Hywel Dda University's health department, said she signed Covid-19 while waiting for the second dose of the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNtech.
While the vaccine "reduces your chances of suffering," the health department said, "no vaccine is 100 percent effective."
Experts have warned that vaccines can take weeks to build immunity and that people still need to be careful to adhere to coronavirus rules after the sting.
Speaking to the BBC, the nurse – who chose not to be identified – said she was "angry and heartbroken" for catching Covid at the time.
She said she was initially relieved to be given the opportunity to get the vaccine, and while struggling to get an appointment, she received her first dose of the Pzizer-BioNtech vaccine in December last year.
& # 39; It gave me peace of mind. I felt more secure and did the right thing for my family … but there is a false sense of security, "she told the broadcaster.
The nurse said she was told it would take 10 days for the vaccine to offer some protection against Covic-19 and reduce the risk of transmission.
But three weeks after the bite, she said she was unwell, had "fairly severe symptoms" like a bad cough, high temperature, and shortness of breath, and was "shocked" when she tested positive for the coronavirus – followed by her partner and one of their children.
Vaccinations have been shown to prevent serious infections. Even when people become infected, they are protected from serious ailments.
The virus is spreading rapidly outside the capital as well. Six out of ten hospitals in England are now reporting more Covid patients than in the first wave – a situation that doctors describe as "catastrophic".
There were fewer than 500 in the hospital in early September, but the figure was 28,246 yesterday. That's an increase of more than 11,000 in a fortnight.
A doctor from Merseyside said her hospital was "near the limit" as patients had to wait in corridors or ambulances.
Scientists advising the government believe the current lockdown could lead to a plateau of cases across the UK rather than the dramatic cut in the lockdown in March and April.
They estimate that there are currently more than 100,000 new infections per day and possibly more than 150,000.
They believe that this estimate brings the current number of daily cases to a higher level than it was during the first wave of the pandemic. Hospitals are now seeing a lot more younger people than they did during the first wave.
There are also growing concerns about the implications for general public health.
Experts estimate that this wave will result in thousands of deaths as a result of an interruption in cancer surgery. Some patients had vital operations stopped even after going to the hospital.
Campaign group catching up with cancer: “If you have Covid, you can have a bed, but if you have cancer you cannot have an operation. These cancer patients die at home and will be for the next five years. & # 39;
However, there was light at the end of the tunnel when a third vaccine in the fight against the coronavirus was approved for use in the UK on Friday.
The stab from the US biotech company Moderna was given the green light by the MHRA – along with the vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Oxford / AstraZeneca.
The approval of the Moderna vaccine means the UK should use three vaccines when it goes live in the spring.
The government has increased the order of the vaccine to 17 million doses – enough to vaccinate 8.5 million people – with batches expected to be released in phases.
It has been shown in clinical studies to be 94 percent effective against Covid-19. Mr Johnson tweeted: & # 39; Excellent news that @MHRAgovuk has approved the use of the @ moderna-tx vaccine.
"Our national vaccination efforts are accelerating to vaccinate priority groups with our existing two vaccines and the Moderna doses will help when they become available in the spring."
The Bureau of National Statistics found in its mass testing program that nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of the positive tests found in England appeared to be related to the new variant of the virus. In some regions – particularly London and the south – the number was higher but in others it was lower
In this week's ONS data, picked up at a press conference earlier this week by Professor Christ Whitty, positive cases in London, east and south-east England seemed to be falling or settling down
The new variant of the coronavirus (blue line) has become the dominant strain in England, but is not yet more common than other virus types in the rest of the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to ONS tests
The Kent variant of the virus (blue line) has become dominant in London, east England and the south east, but not yet in other parts of the country, although it narrows the gap in most places
A graph presented by Professor Chris Whitty this week showed that the number of people who tested positive for the new variant of the coronavirus (blue line) appeared to be falling in London and the South East towards the end of December, although it did in others Countries has risen regions
The Covid Symptom Study, which uses reports from around a million people who have the app on their phones, has shown cases have increased steadily since the effects of the second lockdown in England ended in early December
Prince William thanks frontline NHS staff on a video call with Homerton University Hospital staff
Prince William has paid tribute to NHS staff on the Covid frontline and thanked them for their continued efforts during a particularly challenging time.
The 38-year-old Duke of Cambridge spoke on a video call with staff at Homerton University Hospital on Jan. 7 to learn about their experiences in responding to the pandemic over the past few weeks.
Last week, Homerton University Hospital received the most patients since the pandemic began. Over 200 Covid patients are currently being cared for and employees are being transferred to new roles within the hospital to cope with the ongoing pressure on the frontline staff.
During the call, William heard from the staff what significant challenges they are facing now and how this time compares to their experience of previous spikes in transfer rates.
He said to the staff, “You are all on my mind and Catherine and I and all the children talk about you all every day.
"We make sure the children understand the sacrifices you all make."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted, "This is fantastic news and another weapon in our arsenal to tame this terrible disease."
Almost 1.5 million people in the UK have been vaccinated with the Pfizer / BioNTech and Oxford University / AstraZeneca vaccines. The government plans to stab 15 million of the most vulnerable people by mid-February.
With the current lockdown and rollout of vaccines, coronavirus deaths are expected to decline in February while hospital admissions should decline.
Coronavirus cases are expected to decline in the spring due to vaccinations and the fact that people spend more time outdoors, making it harder for the virus to spread.
Research published on Friday suggests that Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine appears to protect against mutation in two coronavirus variants.
The pharmaceutical company and researcher from the University of Texas Medical Department performed laboratory tests on the strains from Great Britain and South Africa.
Both variants contain mutations, including N501Y, an alteration in the virus' spike protein that is a target for vaccines.
In the non-peer-reviewed study, subjects administered the Pfzier shock had neutralizing antibody levels that appeared to be effective against N501Y in the new strains.
However, one of the mutations in the South African variant called E484K has not yet been investigated and continues to be a cause for concern for experts.
While scientists at the top of government are increasingly believing that the British variant can be combated with existing vaccines, there is concern that the South African variant has the potential to make it less effective, despite studies being conducted.
In the coming years, it is assumed that the Covid-19 vaccines will have to be adjusted annually, similar to the winter flu vaccination.
Meanwhile, government-released papers by the Pandemic Influenza Scientific Group on Conduct (SPI-B) advising ministers suggest that communication campaigns will be needed to ensure that those who are vaccinated continue to follow the lockdown rules adhere to.
There was evidence that "some of the vaccinated people show a decrease in personal protective behavior due to a lack of mitigation measures," such as wearing masks and social distancing.
It is not yet known whether vaccination can prevent people from transmitting the virus to other people.
Problems of the poor … but we're finally saving lives with Pfizer's & # 39; Pizza Boxes From Heaven & # 39 ;: Thousands of phone calls and up to a fifth of patients who refuse pokes – a medical professional reveals the reality behind all the rhetoric
It's the logistical challenge of your life: rolling out essential Covid-19 vaccines at a rate that will hopefully help free the country from endless cycles of lockdowns.
With 1.5 million doses dispensed so far – and the promise of two million a week – Louise Kyle, a director of nursing at a large inner-city practice, shares a glimpse into the gigantic effort it takes to add just one vaccine hub play his part.
Monday December 7th
The usual Monday morning business is compounded by the news that our proposed vaccine hub has received OK to go live in eight days.
We had volunteered from the moment we were able to be an active "Wave One" site for the Pfizer jab. Now we were at the forefront of this historic exercise.
Louise Kyle, a nursing director at a large inner-city practice (pictured), shares a glimpse of the gigantic effort it takes to make only one vaccine hub play its part
It's exciting, but daunting given the great challenge that lies ahead. The extent will become apparent almost immediately if, within a day of receiving our news, NHS England changes its policy to require all vaccinated patients to stay 15 minutes after receiving the shock in the event of an allergic reaction – something given on the website we prepared the need for social distancing just isn't possible.
This means a hasty move to a new regime. In our case we are asking our district nurses to vacate their clinical rooms – the best we can do with a week's notice. Even so, it gives us some practice in thinking on our feet, which is sure to come in handy in light of the developments ahead.
Wed, December 9th
After our vaccination site has been confirmed, the focus is on logistics. Given the strict shelf life of the vaccine once it comes out of the freezer, we have a 90-hour window to vaccinate 1,000 people. This means that around 2,000 registered patients in our region who are older than 80 years will be reached in order to reach those who want to accept the booked offer.
Time constraints mean we don't have time to reach them in the mail. Since we cannot rely on the mass text system with which we reach younger patients, we have a team of 12 employees in our practices who give patients solid calls from morning to evening. I'm even recruiting my 19 year old son who is now home from university to manage the lines.
It's a complex business, not least because some of our patients don't have English as their first language, while others are lonely and want to chat for hours.
This is one reason why we give our team a script to adhere to. Fortunately, most patients are just too eager to take their offered appointment, but it's dismaying that one in five either refuses to get a sting at all or says they'd like to wait a little longer before making their decision.
It's the logistical challenge of your life: introducing essential Covid-19 vaccines. Pictured: Delivery of the first batch in a take-away box
Is Britain's Great Covid Vaccine Adoption Finally Taking Off?
The sluggish rollout of the UK's coronavirus vaccine could finally gain momentum as images surfaced today of dozens of elderly residents lining up in the freezing cold to get their thrusts after Boris Johnson called in the army to bring the delivery to 200,000 Doses per day increase late next week.
Retirees lined up outside a vaccination center in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire today as they waited patiently for their first dose.
However, many still have to be invited to an appointment. The 99-year-old RAF veteran Arthur Clark, who is classified as extremely vulnerable to Covid due to his age, says that despite all attempts to get a slot since Christmas, the NHS has not yet offered him a trick.
The widower and great grandfather of four told MailOnline from his home in Beckenham, southeast London, "It's very annoying, I thought I was lost in the system." He added, "I know it takes a while to reach everyone, but I would have thought they tried to prioritize people my age."
And in an even more chaotic state, an 89-year-old widow in the house was asked to drive 16 miles to a vaccination center even though she couldn't drive. Her daughter claimed the 80-minute drive from her home in rural Harleston, South Norfolk was excluded.
An elderly British woman in her nineties also claims that she has not yet been vaccinated because health bosses are going through the list in alphabetical order instead of age priority.
It comes when a patient rights group warned that some elderly Britons may be missing their Covid puffs due to AWOL reminder letters and text notifications, while people are reportedly not showing up to get the Pfizer / BioNTech sting because they've been waiting for the English one & # 39 ;.
Fri, December 11th
Two days of our first three-day vaccination schedule are now fully booked. More than 600 patients are to receive a stitch next Tuesday and Wednesday, so that sorting only has to be done on Thursday.
The team is noticeably excited.
When I go home to have a well-deserved glass of wine, I hope this is the moment we turn the corner to fight Covid in our area where it is widespread.
Along with many of my colleagues, I caught the virus in March – before the first national lockdown – and although I got through well, it was still a pathetic experience. For others, of course, it can be a matter of life or death.
I have lost several popular patients to this cruel disease in the past few months.
So, December 13th
I spoke too early! My peaceful Sunday morning is overturned by an email telling us that the arrival of the vaccine has been delayed by 24 hours. Make a hasty fight to get coworkers to work to contact all patients on Tuesday and tell them to come on Friday instead.
Since many of them had relatives or friends who took the time to bring them in, this is a major inconvenience, but luckily most understand that it is not our fault.
Monday December 14th
Our "phone terriers" phoned again to book the remaining slots on Thursday while I visit a local hospital to see the vaccine bottles arrive and mix to ensure the correct dosage.
The answer to the former is how I find out they come in an oddly small pizza box – very different from the science fiction cube that emits dry ice clouds that I half expected.
In ähnlicher Weise sind wir von der Ankunft des Lagerkühlschranks, den wir uns alle als futuristische Nummer vorgestellt hatten, in der Basis ebenfalls überwältigt, aber in Wirklichkeit ist es wie eine kleine rezeptfreie Angelegenheit, in der Sie Ihre Getränke möglicherweise zu Hause aufbewahren: "Ein G & T oder eine Dosis Pfizer, Liebling?" Mit der Lieferung aller Schürzen, Spritzen und Tücher, die wir brauchen werden, rüsten sich die Dinge, obwohl ich befürchte, dass wir nur noch wenige Stunden bis zum 'V-Day' auf das nationale Protokoll warten, das es erlaubt Unsere Gesundheitshelfer und andere Nachwuchskräfte oder Laienimpfstoffe helfen uns bei der schnellen und sicheren Verabreichung.
Ralph Evans, 88, receives the vaccine in Merthyr Tydfil. He is among the 1.5 million given the NHS push
Wissenschaftler warnen vor einem Anstieg der Infektionen im Vergleich zur Regierung, sodass Ankünfte „weniger genaue“ Querflusstests wählen können, um zu beweisen, dass sie infektionsfrei sind
Coronavirus-Fälle könnten an der britischen Grenze übersehen werden, nachdem die Regierung beschlossen hatte, Reisende „weniger genaue“ Querflusstests wählen zu lassen, um zu beweisen, dass sie frei von Coviden sind, haben Wissenschaftler gewarnt.
Diejenigen, die in Großbritannien ankommen, können negative PCR- oder Lateral-Flow-Covid-Tests vorlegen, um nachzuweisen, dass sie kein Coronavirus haben.
Grant Shapps hat erklärt, dass niemand mit dem Flugzeug, dem Zug oder der Fähre nach Großbritannien abreisen kann, es sei denn, er legt beim Check-in ein "anerkanntes" Testergebnis zusammen mit einem gültigen Reisepass und einem Visum vor, falls erforderlich. Schottland, Wales und Nordirland werden die Maßnahme ebenfalls annehmen.
PCR-Tests können länger dauern, da sie in ein Labor geschickt werden, um nach Covid zu suchen. Einige Kritiker sagen, 72 Stunden könnten zu knapp sein. Schnelle "Lateral Flow" -Tests können innerhalb von Minuten durchgeführt werden, aber Fehlfälle und falsch positive Ergebnisse sind häufiger.
The difference has sparked concerns that Covid-positive travellers could present a negative test at the border to gain entry to Britain.
Professor Jon Deeks, a testing expert at the University of Birmingham, said: 'The lateral flow test, we know, is not very sensitive so it will miss cases and it isn't suitable.'
He added: 'Other countries are using PCR and I would be concerned if we didn't. There are alternatives, but we need something with similar accuracy to PCR.'
Dr Alex Edwards, a pharmacy researcher at the University of Reading, told MailOnline: 'Given that this is a screening programme particularly for asymptomatic people, you want the most sensitive tests available, and PCR tests are the most sensitive available.
'But even different manufacturers have varying levels of accuracy and not everyone is positive if they're infected, which can cause enormous problems.
'I think the problem is that, in general, the lateral flow tests are almost always less sensitive. If you have a really good PCR tests you might catch 80 per cent of people so you can reduce the number cases coming in five-fold.
'We've seen huge variations in accuracy (of lateral flow). Accuracy is always compared to PCR and when they were used in the real world, for example the study in Liverpool, it showed it was only capable of picking up half of the PCR cases, and that's half of 80 per cent, so you can't even reduce the number of people coming in by two-fold.'
Dr Edwards added that using lateral flow tests would prevent scientists from being able to detect or monitor new strains being brought into the country from abroad.
The negative Covid test for all travellers to the UK will be imposed 'next Wednesday or Thursday' as stars including Amanda Holden slammed the Government's plan as too little too late as mutant strains from countries like South Africa entered the country.
Tuesday, December 15th
It's here! The vaccine arrives mid-morning, and given all the fuss, I'd been braced for an elite squad of specialists, bearing it forth with all the awe of a holy relic. Instead, it's a man-in-a-van: more Amazon delivery than Indiana Jones. Nonetheless we're all excited to have what one colleague quips is the 'Pizza Box from Heaven'.
Inside there are 195 valuable vials of five doses each, i.e. 975 separate vaccines.
We're all keenly aware that every second now is vital, as the countdown to beat the strict five-day expiry date has already begun, starting from the moment they leave the laboratory freezer.
Unlike the vintage pots of hummus in my fridge back home, there's no wriggle room on 'best before' dates here.
Our schedule is based on three vaccines that work from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and give a prick every five minutes. On paper, this looks doable until you think about the reality of dealing with older, sometimes frail, patients who need time to move around, remove their layers of winter clothing, and so on.
If you adhere to the strict social distancing requirements, it becomes even more difficult, especially when you factor in the additional staff in the building required by the guidelines: in addition to our three vaccines, there must be an on-site GP, two health professionals and one Team be present of five marshals to guard the patients.
Wed, December 16, V-Day One
The big day is coming. My job is to take the vials and convert them into syringe-dosages, following a labyrinthine series of procedures which require such delicate handling we have taken to calling them our little 'V-babies'.
First, the vials are taken from the refrigerator into a light-tight bag – they are both light-sensitive and heat-sensitive.
I then take out the first six vials, mark them with a special time label, and let them sit for ten minutes to bring them to room temperature before turning each vial ten times, adding 1.8 milliliters of sterile saline, and venting the same amount of air .
They then need to be inverted ten more times before another date and time label is added.
With over 20 years' experience, I'm used to this kind of painstaking procedure, but I can't help thinking that for many of the groups proposing to join the 'vaccine army' it would be somewhat daunting and time-consuming. Unlike the flu jab, which comes 'arm-ready' as it were, this is more complicated. If the Government's going to hit its targets, there will need to be some swift training factored in.
I'm intrigued by the instruction to only take five 0.3 millilitre doses out of each vial and throw away what's left.
Out of interest, I pulled the last dose out of a vial and found it was 0.5 milliliters, which strikes me as a wasted dose. But rules are rules.
The day passes quickly, and it's heartening to learn from my vaccinating colleagues that every single one of their patients was so grateful to receive it, although some of them expressed guilt at being at the front of the queue and said they felt key workers and teachers should have been vaccinated first.
The day ends on a happy note when we learn that the traffic warden we'd spotted hovering outside wasn't handing out tickets, but helping our elderly patients out of their cars and taxis.
It's a Christmas miracle!
Thursday, December 17th
Another change from NHS England: Overnight they decide that we can now take six doses from each vial. That means we suddenly have 65 extra doses left and can vaccinate more patients. Our team called again. Each dose used is a different life protected.
One step forward. . . two small hiccups back. Our IT system flashes for an hour and a half while we learn that one of our marshals has called in sick with Covid.
Fri, December 18
Another busy day, and by 4pm, as we count the number of patients left waiting, with a handful of no-shows through the day, we realise we'll have a few vaccine shots left over.
But as the clock runs down, we're nearing the use-by deadline. Fast! We're on the phone to gather local health professionals within a mile radius who, unlike older patients, can get here quickly. We want to make sure that no precious drop is wasted.
We finish at 9 p.m. after a grueling 12-hour shift: everyone had fitted the equivalent of a normal full NHS work week into three days.
Rishi Sunak examining plans for a £3billion scheme to help a MILLION small business owners
Rishi Sunak is examining plans for a £3billion scheme to help a million small business owners who have fallen between the cracks of other coronavirus help programmes.
The Chancellor is looking at proposals for a Directors Income Support Scheme that would pay sole directors up to 80 per cent of lost profits for three months, up to a ceiling of £7,500.
The scheme, targeting those earning less than £50,000 a year, would help entrepreneurs as well as plumbers, engineers and musicians.
Known as the #forgottenltd they pay themselves through dividends rather than a salary – a tax move that is legally allowed.
But it has left them unable to claim furlough or business loans.
A source told the Sun that the Treasury was examining a plan put forward by the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forgotten Ltd campaign, former Office for Tax Simplification adviser Rebecca Seeley-Harris and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
'It's under active consideration,' they said.
Lib Dem MP Tim Farron said it was 'encouraging news', but added: 'After 10 months of broken promises it's vital the Chancellor now delivers. 'The small business owners that make up the #ForgottenLtd and all of the three million #excluded are crucial to our economic recovery. We won't stop fighting until they are ALL supported.'
We've administered 1,031 doses, we're all knackered, and my knees hurt, but there's a real buzz.
I spend much of Saturday morning trying to catch up on the Christmas shopping I've had no time to do, only to discover that afternoon that my area is to be plunged into Tier 4 rules, meaning non-essential shops will have to close. Sorry, kids, Santa's been a bit busy.
Monday December 21st
It's a return to normal business, as I try to catch up with all the patients I've had to cancel from my usual clinics to work on the vaccine roll-out.
That means everything from smear tests to 'frailty reviews' — managing elderly patients' end of life plans, and whether or not they would like to be resuscitated in the event of cardiac failure. There's a slightly grim irony in undertaking the latter with a patient who, just a few days earlier, had been given a life-saving jab.
It feels like saying: 'We've helped save your life, now how would you like to die?'
Wed, December 23
I thought I was off for Christmas, a time to recharge the batteries, but lo and behold the holiday's interrupted with another goalpost-moving missive from NHS England, this time informing us they are going to extend the period between the two vaccine doses from three weeks to 12 weeks.
This means that any department that started giving their vaccines on or after Wednesday 16th will have to cancel those patients due to their second push and instead book a thousand new patients for their first.
Oh, and we can't even tell the first thousand when they should come back, as the vaccine supply is so patchy at the moment we can't make plans that far ahead.
How on earth can we make those 2,000 calls on time? On a good day, one 'telephone terrier' working flat out can reach about 120-150 patients a day.
There are hectic discussions between health managers until a pragmatic solution is found. Great relief!
Despite the media coverage, we still have to call every 1,000 patients to assure them that their appointments are happening.
Tue, January 5, 2021
Alleluia! The second batch of vaccines arrives on time. This time I'm at least expecting a man-in-a-van, not the Messiah.
Wed, January 6th
The second round begins. It feels calmer this time as we've established a good working rhythm. With a fair wind, we'll pick up speed, but the fiddly nature of the Pfizer jab means it's surely going to be a huge challenge to scale-up on a national level.
The government promises to have given 12 million doses by mid-February.
As my obvious teenager would say, good luck with that.
Fri, January 8th
Another day of mixed news. Our final batch of Pfizer shocks is being affected by the IT system that keeps track of all the vaccinations – called pinnacles – that are out for most of the morning.
Now all 480 due patients have to be registered manually and entered into the database at a later time.
I worry the system is struggling to cope with this as more and more hubs join the national roll-out.
On the plus side, we get the first arrival of 400 doses of the alternative 'Oxford' or AstraZeneca vaccine, which are to go to local care homes as they're more transportable and require less gentle care than our Pfizer V-babies.
On paper, this is good news — if only we weren't all so hampered by NHS England's obsession with running all vaccinations through specific designated 'hubs' like ours.
The reality is that the maximum number of front-line vaccines we can have from the hub at one time is four. However, if we could also drop them off at our usual local family doctor offices, I could have two vaccines working on each of our ten locations – up to 20.
That's a huge potential to upscale, if only NHS England would listen. Overnight we received another letter from them stating that the Oxford vaccine can at least be delivered to different locations, but it is still not clear whether it can also be administered there.
If it can't, then I'm afraid Boris's pledge of delivering two million doses a week doesn't stand a chance, especially given the baffling reality that by the time you read this, our hub will stand empty and unused.
At the time of writing, no further vaccine shipments are planned. And so we wait. . .
After all our efforts, it's disheartening. And very worrying.
Now police ban SNOWBALLS! Officers threaten to fine people £200 for playing in the snow – after swooping on friends for driving just SEVEN miles to go for a walk in the park – and claiming their cups of tea counted as a picnic
Police today faced criticism they were taking the lockdown crackdown too far after a force threatened to fine people £200 for playing in the snow – while elsewhere officers swooped on two friends for driving just seven miles to go for a walk at a beauty spot.
The Broseley and Much Wenlock division of West Mercia Police tweeted last night: 'There have been two reports of snowballs being thrown last night between 11 and 11.30pm.
'This is obviously not a justifiable reason to be out of your house, this behaviour is likely to result in a £200 Fixed Penalty Notice for breaking the lockdown rules.'
Meanwhile, Derbyshire Police fined beautician Jessica Allen and her British Airways flight attendant friend Eliza Moore £200 each for driving for a socially distanced stroll at Foremark Reservoir, which despite not being her nearest park is only 10 minutes from her house.
Ms Allen, 27, said she assumed 'someone had been murdered' when she saw a police van, a police car and several officers at the entrance of the open space.
Neighbourhood officers for the Broseley and Much Wenlock tweeted on Thursday night: 'There have been two reports of snowballs being thrown last night between 11 and 11.30pm'
Jessica Allen (left) and Eliza Moore were stopped by Derbyshire Police officers while they were enjoying a socially distant stroll at a Derbyshire beauty spot
Ms. Allen (left) and Ms. Moore (right) were taking a walk in Foremark Reservoir as they were surrounded by Derbyshire police, reading their rights and fined £ 200 each
Ms. Allen, a beautician from nearby Ashby-de-la-Zouch, said she assumed "someone was murdered" when she saw a police van, a police car and several officers at the entrance to the open space. This map shows the proximity between your home and the reservoir
"It was a short journey and only took about ten minutes," she said. I really thought someone had been murdered or a child had disappeared. The place is usually so quiet.
“Next, my car is surrounded. I got out of my car and thought, "There's no way they're coming to talk to us." They question us immediately. One of them started reading my rights and I looked at my friend and thought, "This must be a joke."
I said we came in separate cars, even parked two spaces away, and even brought our own drinks. He said ''You can't do that as it's classed as a picnic''.
'Crossing into a different county seems to have caused the issue but the border into Derbyshire is only a minute away from my house.'
Ms Moore, who is 27 and alongside her work for BA runs a make-up business, said she was 'stunned at the time' so did not challenge police and gave her details so they could send a fixed penalty notice.
"Seeing just one policeman is pretty scary for some people, and we really didn't expect to be approached and to find out that we'd done anything wrong," she said.
"We don't want to get away with breaking the rule, but it seems a little unfair that you can be punished for something so vague."
The pair were also told their cups of Starbucks peppermint tea, which they bought at a drive-thru, were not allowed because they were 'classed as a picnic'.
All parking spaces in Snowdonia National Park are now closed to visitors. Pictured is a police car that was patrolling the beauty spot last night
A police officer stopped a group of three walkers as they headed through Birmingham City Centre amid lockdown
A police officer took a picture of one man, as others crowded around another person while they were out walking in Birmingham City Centre despite coronavirus lockdown
The Met has vowed to stop warning people and punish them with fixed charges of £ 200 for initial violations, and these officials also stopped cars
The guidelines for the current lockdown state that people can exercise "while they are close" but do not specify how far people can travel.
Derbyshire Police insisted that the distance was "at the discretion" of each officer and that the trip was "not in accordance with the rules".
It later said all fixed penalty notices issued during the new national lockdown will be reviewed after it received clarification about the coronavirus regulations.
The force, previously criticized for its persistent approach to enforcement, released drone footage of dog walkers in the Peak District in March to "shame" them.
And in March, the troop threw black dye into a famous blue lagoon in Harpur Hill, near Buxton, to prevent Instagrammers from posing for snaps during the lockdown.
It comes as police forces stepped up enforcement of Covid regulations across the country.
In Aberdeen, two police officers knocked on a family's front door following complaints from a neighbor and stormed in when a woman shouted "This is my house, get out of my house" and children screamed in the background.
Two women, ages 18 and 48, and a 43-year-old man were charged in connection with assaulting police officers and threatening and abusive behavior.
The footage immediately sparked controversy. Critics accused police of "suppressive" behavior of storming into a private home – while others argued they were just trying to enforce the Covid rules.
Officials were seen in Euston this morning stopping passengers to ask where they were going. Barrister Alex Wright tweeted, "Good to see Lockdown being taken seriously, but a sad sight that I would have dreamed of seeing in London."
Snowdonia National Park has now closed all of its parking spaces to visitors to "protect our communities and the NHS" as officials beat up the public for "disobeying" the law.
In an attempt to clarify the guidance, Leicester City Council's public health director Professor Ivan Browne today urged residents to visit 'your nearest park, not your nicest park', Leicester Live reported.
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