With the number of infections tripling, the British are changing their vaccination strategy. That could endanger the vaccination protection itself.
The second corona wave has Great Britain hit with all its might. Infection numbers are high almost every day, and many hospitals are overcrowded.
On Saturday, the authorities reported more than 57,000 New infections within 24 hours, a new high. Almost 24,000 people are in the hospital – that is also a record. So far, almost 75,000 people have died of Covid-19.
According to health workers, the situation could escalate. Doctors and nurses warn the NHS health service may be overwhelmed in the coming days. The chairman of the NHS in England, Simon Stevens, said his staff are “again in the eye of the storm”.
Coronavirus – The most important news at a glance
New coronavirus variant also defies lockdown
A government medical adviser warned that the UK was “a very dangerous new phase in the world pandemic enters “; without further activities a “catastrophe” threatens to contain the virus. The new one is responsible for the extent of the crisis Mutation the coronavirus, which is significantly more contagious than the original virus.
“There is a huge difference in the speed at which the new virus variant spreads,” said Professor Axel Gandy of Imperial College London. A new study by his university has shown that the transmission this variant even during the Lockdowns tripled in November. The spread of the original virus, however, could be slowed down during this time.
Queues ahead Hospitals, no place for patients
The south-east of England, including London, Essex and Kent, was particularly hard hit by the second wave. Several hospitals in this region have already exceeded their capacity – there is a lack of nurses to cope with the increasing number of Covid patients take care of.
Some patients had to be transported to hospitals in other regions because of a lack of beds. A London emergency doctor reported that before the Ambulances at many hospitals Queues form; “Patients often have to wait hours to be admitted because there is simply no room for them.” He called on the government to come up with a plan on how to deal with the coming weeks.
Another London paramedic emphasized that his staff “have to make incredibly difficult decisions about who to send the ambulance to first and who to wait longer”.
Corona – More information on the topic
British are turning around in vaccination strategy
The government responded to the massive increase in Infections with a U-turn in vaccination strategy. Initially, the two doses of the two vaccines that have already been approved should be administered three to four weeks apart. But in view of the corona drama, the authorities announced shortly before the turn of the year that patients would receive the second dose of the vaccine to be injected only after about three months.
The UK’s chief medical officials argue that the first Dose the vaccine offers “considerable protection”. Because the virus is spreading so quickly, the second dose must be included delay given so that enough people can get the first shot. Some Virologen critically see this change of strategy as a pragmatic step. Others, however, fear that the effectiveness of the vaccine could be impaired.
The American pharmaceutical company Pfizerwho worked together with the German company Biontech Developed the first approved vaccine, announced that the “safety and efficacy” of the compound relates to the administration every three weeks. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) was also skeptical. Evidence of effectiveness was based on a study in which doses were given 19 to 42 days apart, according to the EMA. If it were six months it would not be in line with the regulations.
Oxford University and the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant Astrazeneca on the other hand, see no disadvantages due to the time extension. Reason: Already the first vaccination dose ensures full protection. The second dose only has the effect of increasing the duration of immunity. In tests, the vaccines developed by the University of Oxford and Astrazeneca offered around 70 percent protection, while those from Biontech offered 95 percent protection.
Johnson criticized for corona policy
But the Prime Minister also stands beyond the controversy surrounding the vaccination program Boris Johnson in criticism. The accusation: he hesitated too long. As the pandemic progressed, epidemiologists chalked the government for restricting public life too late, then the government Relaxations allowed too early.
These mistakes threatened to repeat themselves now. Johnson introduced stricter rules shortly before the Christmas break. But obviously they are not enough to massively contain the second wave. Many politicians are calling for a nationwide Shutdown. Premier Johnson declines. With a view to the escalation of the pandemic, he said on Sunday morning that stricter restrictions are to be expected soon. “It will be bumpy,” he said. Nevertheless, he opposed the demands of teachers to open up the schools to delay two weeks.
Their union had asked all members to stay away from schools this Monday, otherwise they would be their own security would endanger. The Association of Rectors went even further. He made an effort Legal proceedings against the Ministry of Education to prevent schools from opening.
Corona – More on the topic