Health Secretary Matt Hancock today warned it was "too early" to know if the number of coronavirus cases has fallen enough that the English lockdown will be lifted on December 2nd.
Mr Hancock said "most" positive tests showing across the country likely came from before the national shutdown began.
Health officials said this afternoon "if the lockdown works" they should see the case numbers fall "for the next week."
Today's numbers have shown that the UK's second wave of Covid appears to be flat, with infection numbers increasing only marginally over the past week compared to that time.
Mr Hancock also announced tonight that the UK has now received five million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine after British officials scrambled to close a last-minute deal with the US company.
The health minister said ministers "absolutely hope to be able to replace the national lockdown with a tiered system next month" – but he has ceased to guarantee that it will happen if he puts Christmas in danger.
In other coronavirus developments today:
- Boris & # 39; £ 100 billion Moonshot operation will "fail miserably" and potentially accelerate the spread of Covid as tests are poor. Top experts warn Mr Johnson he could rule the country with Zoom after he hit back on criticism of a mask-free meeting with a coronavirus. infected Tory MP who forced him to self-isolate for a fortnight;
- More than 250 NHS and nursing home workers have joined an "anti-Vaxxer" group that compares Pfizer's Covid shock with "poison" and speaks out against wearing masks.
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed the UK was working "very closely" with Pfizer to bring the drug giant's breakthrough vaccine to market by early December.
- The coronavirus was already circulating in Italy in September 2019 – months before the disease was first discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan, according to a study by the National Cancer Institute in Milan.
- International flights between Australia and the UK will not resume until a vaccine is introduced, claimed Qantas chief Alan Joyce.
- Baby boomers who missed vacations, sports, and friends during the lockdown, according to psychiatrists, spent the money they saved on alcohol instead.
Matt Hancock, pictured on Downing Street this afternoon, said ministers "absolutely hope to replace the national lockdown with a tiered system next month" – but he has ceased to guarantee it
Dr. Susan Hopkins (pictured) said, "If the lockdown works," officials should find that the number of cases will drop "for the next week."
"Long Covid shows that this virus can hit us all … and we have to fight back," says Matt Hancock
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned the "many thousands who suffer from long-term Covid" that the virus does not only affect the elderly.
It is believed that up to 60,000 people of all ages in the UK are suffering from the long-lasting effects of the coronavirus that remain after the original illness has improved.
At the meeting on Downing Street that evening, Mr Hancock said it showed how the virus can hit us all and we must all do our part to fight back.
He said even the young and healthy suffer from symptoms months after their coronavirus illness. These include fatigue, shortness of breath, and brain problems.
Mr Hancock confirmed that at least 43 NHS mini-hospitals will be set up in England to help people with long-term Covid.
The centers will support up to 500,000 people believed to be suffering from the persistent effects of the virus, including shortness of breath, fatigue and anxiety. He said up to 40 of them will open next month,
Ten locations are already planned for the Midlands, seven in the north-east, six each in the east of England, in the south-west and south-east, five in London and three in the north-west.
A person needs a referral from a family doctor or other healthcare professional to access the service.
About five percent of those who contract coronavirus have symptoms that last for 12 weeks or more. This is the result of research by King & # 39; s College London. It is twice as high as for people under the age of 50.
More than two-thirds of those hospitalized for the virus experience debilitating symptoms more than seven weeks after they are discharged, a study reported in the medical journal Thorax.
Mr. Hancock said: “The threat affects not just the oldest and most vulnerable, but everyone of all ages and backgrounds.
"We have already seen the serious impact Covid can long have on people's quality of life, even on fitness and youth."
Symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath, muscle pain, and neurological problems long after they first had the virus. And we know that Covid has long affected thousands of people, many thousands of people. & # 39;
He added: "We have long opened Covid clinics in many parts of the country. I am very pleased to confirm that the NHS will have a network of 40 Covid clinics across England by the end of this month.
“They will bring doctors, nurses, therapists and other NHS workers such as physical therapists together to help those suffering from the long-term effects of the coronavirus. Long Covid shows that this virus can hit us all and we must all do our part to fight back by following the rules and denying the virus the connections it needs to spread
"I know it wasn't easy."
This is followed by a study by King's College London which found that the elderly, women, and those with a range of different symptoms in the early stages of their illness were more likely to develop long-term Covid.
One in ten was still unable to shake off the side effects eight weeks after being infected.
Covid's research has uncovered a large list of problems including excessive fatigue, shortness of breath, insomnia, muscle pain, chest pain, cough, loss of smell, headache, fever, joint pain, and diarrhea.
Boris Johnson has made it clear that the rules underlying the national lockdown will expire on December 2nd and MPs will have a say in the next steps.
However, there are concerns that the prime minister may be forced to extend the shutdown if the case numbers are still high before the four-week deadline.
That would spark a furious Tory rebellion, and many of the prime minister's backers firmly believe they will not agree to maintain national measures.
At a press conference on Downing Street, Mr. Hancock was asked if the lockdown should be extended if the number of cases continued to rise.
He said, “The answer is that it is too early to know how many cases there will be when we get to the end of the current lockdown.
“But I would say that right now, most of the tests we're getting back and most of the positive cases are from the time the ban came in.
“So we still have to look at the data, and it's too early to see the effects of the second lockdown in the data.
“However, we sincerely hope that we can replace the national lockdown with a tiered system similar to that described above.
"But of course we are looking into this and how we can make sure it is effective."
Dr. Susan Hopkins, a director of Public Health England who advises the government's coronavirus response, said officials should look into the lockdown "next week".
Alongside Mr. Hancock, she said, “The main problem for us is making sure the cases are falling and we expect the lockdown to work and we are all doing our best to reduce social contact with other people for the next week the falls are going down.
"We expect hospital admissions (fall) to be another week or more, but I think as long as the cases go back, we can make a judgment about which decisions we are making right and what are the opening decisions that will be made on Jan. December take place. & # 39;
Dr. Hopkins signaled that if the government decides to reintroduce it, there could be a possible tightening of restrictions on the lower end of the UK tier system.
She warned it might be needed to increase effectiveness until Covid-19 vaccines are widely available.
When asked what could happen after the lockdown ends on December 2nd, she said, “We realized that the country's rating has different implications in each area.
“Tier 3, and especially Tier 3 plus in the north, has had an impact on the reduction in the number of cases in the northwest, and we can see a decrease in the number of cases in the northwest.
“Tier 2 seemed to hold up in some areas and not so well in others. So it really depends on how quickly broadcasts happen and how well the people in the community are taking this advice.
"We're seeing very little impact from Tier 1, and I think if we look at what levels might be in the future, we need to think about bolstering them to get us through the winter months until the vaccine is for everyone is available. "
New numbers seem to show that the UK's second wave of coronavirus has flattened out.
The number of cases rose only 0.06 percent in the last week, as the new numbers showed.
In another sign that the second wave is slowing, the government announced another 21,363 new laboratory-confirmed Covid cases in the UK.
While the number seems high, it's a small increase from last Monday's number of 21,350 new cases.
This brings the total number of cases in the UK since the pandemic started to 1,390,681.
The government also announced that an additional 213 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday – up 9.8 percent from 194 last Monday.
The latest death toll brings the UK to 52,147 since the pandemic began.
In another sign that supports sign blocking measures, new Covid case numbers in the UK were registered at 21,363. That number is new, laboratory-confirmed cases that were recorded at 9 a.m. today
The government also announced that an additional 213 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday – up 9.8 percent from 194 last Monday
However, separate data from the UK statistical authorities shows that there are more than 67,000 deaths from Covid-19 in the UK.
This includes deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, as well as additional data on deaths that have occurred in the past few days.
Meanwhile, Mr Hancock announced tonight that the UK had received five million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine after British officials tried to close a last-minute deal with the US company.
But the sting, which was known today to be 94.5 percent effective at preventing people from getting Covid-19, has to be taken in two shots, meaning the five million doses are only two and a half Vaccinate millions of British people.
Speaking at a press conference on Downing Street tonight, Hancock said the vaccine won't be available in the UK until next spring as the Massachusetts-based company needs to drastically expand its supply chain.
But Americans are likely to get their hands on 20 million cans before the New Year.
The UK has already received 40 million doses of a vaccine other than Pfizer, which uses the same technology as Moderna and was 90 percent effective last week.
Speaking at a press conference on Downing Street tonight, Hancock said the vaccine won't be available in the UK until next spring as the Massachusetts-based company needs to drastically expand its supply chain
Moderna's vaccine works just like the one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, using genetic material called RNA from the coronavirus to induce the body to make the "spike" proteins that the virus uses to attach the virus to cells in the body binds
WHAT DO MODERNA'S TEST RESULTS MEAN?
H.How big is the clinical study?
Moderna's final phase three study will be conducted in approximately 30,000 people. Due to the large number of people involved, the results can be more specific and the tests can be carried out on a wide variety of groups of people.
Half of the group received two doses of the real Covid vaccine called mRNA-1273, while the other half received two doses of a placebo (a fake vaccine). The doses are administered 28 days apart.
The experiment is being carried out in the USA and began in July with the last recording in October.
How many people in the study contracted coronavirus?
So far, 95 people in the study have tested positive for coronavirus.
Five of them – 5.2 percent – were in the group who received the real vaccine.
Ninety of them – 94.7 percent – were in the group that received the placebo.
Rounding out this suggests that the vaccine is 94.5 percent effective.
If it were zero percent effective, you would expect 90 people to test positive in both groups, and if it were 100 percent effective it would be 90 in the placebo group and none in the vaccine group.
D.Does anyone get seriously ill?
There were 11 cases of severe Covid-19 in the placebo group but none in the vaccine group, suggesting that it protects against severe Covid-19.
The numbers remain relatively small, however, and longer term follow-up is needed to improve estimates and demonstrate the effectiveness of the sting.
Who was the vaccine tested on?
The study was commended for the diversity of people who participated in the study, which includes thousands of groups at greatest risk of severe Covid-19 or death.
Of the 30,000 participants, 7,000 are over 65 years of age; 5,000 are younger but have serious illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease; 6,000 who are Hispanic or Latino American descent; and 3,000 are black or African American.
According to Moderna, 42 percent of participants are at high medical risk – these are the groups likely to be given vaccines first and those who will benefit the most – while 37 percent are from so-called "color communities."
However, the government did not simultaneously place orders for Moderna's batch, although it was cheaper and easier to stock than Pfizer's.
This meant the UK government was left flat when the company announced its first results this morning. Mr Hancock dodged questions about why the UK had not pre-purchased Moderna's vaccine, insisting that it was "really good news" that No10 had managed to get one in the first place.
He also recognized the UK Vaccine Taskforce, chaired by Kate Bingham and Business Secretary Alok Sharma, for their “great job” in dealing with the biotech company at the last minute.
Mr Hancock said he was "delighted" that No10 had expanded its vaccine portfolio from six to seven and said repeatedly that the vaccine would not be manufactured in Europe until the spring. Labor MP Bill Esterson said the failure to pre-order doses of the Moderna vaccine was "mistake after mistake after mistake by the UK government".
The Minister of Health welcomed the results of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine study as a "candle of hope" but warned of the high rates of infection and death in the UK, which "made it painfully clear that the virus remains a major threat" – 25,000 people fall ill every day of the disease and 413 die.
Moderna's results show that 95 out of more than 25,000 participants caught the coronavirus in the study.
Only five out of 95 had actually received the vaccine, while the other 90 were in a placebo group and received a false push.
And no one in the vaccine group got seriously ill with Covid-19 compared to 11 in the placebo group who were given a fake vaccine to compare it to the real one.
The results suggest that the vaccine significantly reduces the risk of people who test positive for coronavirus or get Covid-19.
The US has already signed a $ 1.5 billion (£ 1.16 billion) deal for 100 million cans, while the EU has an "unsigned" deal for 160 million cans.
Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Qatar and Israel have also signed deals as the company continues "talks with a number of countries".
Moderna is projected to manufacture 20 million cans for the US this year before shipping worldwide next year.
The bump is expected to cost $ 15.25 (£ 11.57) per dose, which is $ 30.50 (£ 23.14) per person, which is slightly cheaper than the $ 19.50 (£ 14.79) ) per dose that Pfizer charges the USA.
Moderna may be cheaper to distribute, however, as it can be refrigerated for up to a month and transported in regular freezers at -4 ° F (-20 ° C). Nations don't need to buy expensive specialty freezers or the global supply of dry ice, which experts warned would be a disadvantage of Pfizer's shock, which must be kept at -70 ° C (-94 ° F).
Moderna said it will apply for a license from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration within a few weeks, but it's unclear whether it will apply to the UK.
The UK Medicines Agency MHRA is in the middle of an ongoing review of the vaccine. MEPs today criticized No10 for not buying the vaccine and accused ministers of "mistake after mistake after mistake".
Moderna is the second high profile company to confirm interim clinical trial results of its coronavirus vaccine, claiming the sting is nearly 95 percent effective
After a joint venture between Pfizer and BioNTech last week, Moderna is the second pharmaceutical company (picture left, scientist in the company's laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts) to publish interim results of a test with its coronavirus vaccine
Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland's lockdown could be tougher to save Christmas
Nicola Sturgeon warned Scotland's coronavirus hotspots as she tries to save Christmas.
The Prime Minister said some areas where cases remain "persistently high" could be placed in Level 4 if a decision is made tomorrow that would close all non-essential businesses and services.
In her daily television press conference, she said such a move would be a short, sharp hit to reduce the number of cases. This would better adapt parts of Scotland to the lockdown currently in progress in England.
"A stubbornly high prevalence means we may have less flexibility to cautiously relax restrictions over the Christmas season, which we love to do," she said.
"Moving to Level 4 restrictions for a limited period of time in some areas is not a decision we would ever make lightly because of its greater economic and social impact, but it would help address both of these concerns."
The First Minister said her cabinet would make decisions on changes tomorrow morning before making a statement to Holyrood that afternoon.
Ms. Sturgeon said officials are considering whether the current restrictions are bringing coronavirus rates down fast enough in some areas, "particularly in parts of west Scotland where the virus is stable but still persistent".
She spoke of the problem when she revealed that Scotland has had six coronavirus deaths and 717 positive cases in the past 24 hours.
The Prime Minister told the Scottish Government's coronavirus briefing on Monday that the persistently high rates are a cause for concern as it does not provide the level of security that regional hospital and critical care services can cope with over the course of the winter.
She said it was her "aim and intention" to keep schools open, adding, "We don't take school safety issues lightly."
The Prime Minister said she has asked adults to wear more restrictions to ensure schools can stay open for face-to-face teaching.
She added, "Young people have already had months outside of school this year and if we can avoid this at all we want to make sure they don't have any more time outside of normal full-time school."
Ms. Sturgeon also announced that a local authority will have fewer restrictions in Tuesday's announcement.
Urging people to adhere to local policies, Ms. Sturgeon said, “Every time we stop someone, especially someone who is older and more vulnerable, we give them the chance to live into the era that is on the horizon and where there are better therapies, vaccines, tests and treatments will be available.
“I think it's important to consider motivation as we are currently living under these limitations.
"The end is not quite with us yet, but we can see hope on the horizon now as we couldn't see it just a few weeks ago."
She gave another update on the daily coronavirus numbers, saying the number of positive cases in the past 24 hours is lower than expected and is currently being investigated.
The daily positivity rate for tests is 8.3 percent versus 7.2 percent on Sundays. Of the new cases, 220 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 136 in Lanarkshire and 101 in Lothian.
There are 1,227 people in the hospital who have been confirmed to have the virus, a decrease of 14 in 24 hours.
Of these patients, 98 are in intensive care, two fewer.
The death toll of people who tested positive for the virus for the first time in the past 28 days is now 3,286.
The company's share price rose 15 percent on the news and rose to $ 101.53 (£ 77.04) in pre-market trading by 8 a.m. ET (1 p.m. GMT), according to US director of infectious diseases Anthony Fauci had anticipated today's results last week.
Moderna's study will continue until 151 people are infected, and the company admitted that its estimate of how effective the bump is could change by the end.
Scientists today hailed the news as "hugely exciting" and "a second dose of very encouraging news" and, as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said today, Britain is preparing to start distributing Pfizer's vaccine from December 1st.
To temper expectations, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the global pandemic still had a long way to go.
It warned that the virus will still have "plenty of freedom of movement" as the very vulnerable will gain access to a sting, with the majority of people waiting to get one well into next year.
University of Reading virologist Professor Ian Jones told MailOnline, “Another set of vaccine dates with a protection of 90 percent plus.
& # 39; The poor antibody response seen with some natural Covid infections clearly does not apply to targeted vaccination, which in turn means that we can be sure of reducing the pandemic if the vaccine is introduced.
'For the Moderna vaccine, the logistics of the process can also be aided by their stability data, which shows a less stringent cold chain requirement than some. With three studies reported and no major safety issues identified, the vaccination program can now focus on the use and access to vaccines for those who need them. & # 39;
And Dr. Andrew Preston, a biologist at the University of Bath, told MailOnline: “That two vaccines based on this new vaccine platform (mRNA vaccine) offer such a similar level of protection gives real confidence in the vaccine's effectiveness.
& # 39; As in the Pfizer study, the vast majority of registered cases of Covid occurred in people who received the placebo vaccine, demonstrating the Covid vaccine's ability to protect against disease.
& # 39; The study included people in the most at-risk categories (age and certain comorbidities (diseases)).
'While this important inclusion is highlighted in the press release, it lacks a detailed explanation as to whether the experimental data can indicate the level of protection for each of these key subsets.
"While the overall protection headline is extremely encouraging, there are still a few important questions that need to be answered."
He added that the fact that the vaccine does not need to be stored in extremely cold temperatures like Pfizer's and is therefore easy to store is "a second dose of very encouraging news".
Dr. Preston said it wasn't necessarily a government failure not to order the push as it works in the same way as Pfizer's. So if one of them failed, the other would likely fail. Britain bought 40 million Pfizers vaccine.
He said: “The mRNA vaccine is a new platform. The Covid vaccines will be the first licensed use of an mRNA vaccine.
As such, it could have been considered the riskiest of all vaccines.
"Investing in mRNA vaccines at the expense of a more traditional vaccine would therefore have been seen as a high risk."
Dr. Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, added, “We have six vaccines that we bought in millions of doses, so assuming we get plenty of Pfizer Jab and Oxford that works too. & # 39;
A government spokesman said this afternoon: "The news from Moderna appears to be good and represents another important step towards finding an effective Covid-19 vaccine.
As part of the ongoing work of the Vaccines Task Force, the government is in advanced talks with Moderna to ensure the UK has access to their vaccine as part of the broader UK portfolio.
& # 39; Moderna is currently expanding its European supply chain which means these cans won't be available in the UK until spring 2021 at the earliest.
& # 39; So far, the UK government has secured early access to 350 million vaccine doses through agreements with six different vaccine developers.
This includes 40 million doses of Pfizer / BioNTech's vaccine, which is based on the same platform as Moderna's vaccine and, if approved by the Medicines Agency, is expected to start shipping as early as December 2020. "
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