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Headlines

• In the UK, 89.6% of the population has had a single dose of the vaccine

• Pfizer and AZ vaccines are effective against the Delta variant

• The US will offer booster vaccines from September

• The NHS app pings are down 18% week on week

• First case of Covid-19 in the Paralympic village



World news

• A study led by Oxford University and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found obtaining two vaccine doses remains the most effective way to ensure protection against the Delta variant. The Pfizer -BioNTech vaccine had 93% effectiveness against symptomatic infection two weeks after the second dose, compared with 71% for Oxford -AstraZeneca ’ s vaccine. However, after 4 - 5 months, the effectiveness of the two vaccines is similar.

• The number of patients in hospital with Covid -19 in England is at its highest level in five months. In total, 5,514 patients were in hospital on 18 August, according to the latest figures from NHS England.

• The latest government figures show 89.6% of the adult population has had one vaccine, while 77.5% has had two.

• The DVLA has warned driver s that license applications could be delayed by five months. The agency said it is now dealing with applications sent in ten weeks ago – and they could take another ten weeks to process.

• Official figures from NHS Wales show s 624,909 people are on a waiting list in June, up by 41% since before the pandemic. Those waiting more than nine months rose to 233,210.

• The first case of Covid -19 has been detected in the Tokyo Paralympics villag e. The Paralympic Games are due to begin on 24 August.

• UK car traffic on weekends has consistently been over 100% of February 2020 levels, reaching a high of 111% on 15 August. Meanwhile, bus use outside London this summer was c .60% during the week and less than 80% on weekends , while national rail use is still less than 60% .

• There were 261,453 NHS app pings (255,474 in England and 5,979 in Wales) sent out in the week ending 11 August – an 18% decrease from the previous week. The peak in July was c .650,000.

• According to ONS data, an estimated 92.8% of 75 -79 year olds in England had Covid -19 antibodies in the latest week, down from 94.4% a month earlier. For people aged 70 -75, the figure has dropped from 94.9% to 92.9% over the same period. For those aged 80 and over it has fallen from 92.9% to 92.4%. • In the last two weeks, 125,000 16 -17 year olds in England have received a vaccine.

• In Israel 60% of hospitalised patients with Covid -19 have been fully vaccinated.

• US President Joe Biden says vaccine booster shots will be available to all Americans, starting on 20 September.

• According to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, a lack of exercise is linked to an increased risk of severe Covid -19 and associated complications.

• France has added Algeria and Morocco to its list of countries deemed high - risk zones. Fully vaccinated adults can carry virus levels as high as unvaccinated people if infected with the Delta variant, according to analysis of UK data by Oxford University researchers in partnership with the ON and the Department of Health and Social Care.