Coronavirus - 17 June


• German CureVac vaccine only 47% effective in late trials
• Greece secures €19.5bn in EU aid
• 20.8% of pupils in England now qualify for free school meals
• 25% of severe Covid-19 infections result in PTSD
• US jobless claims rise to 412k

World news

• The German CureVac vaccine has had disappointing clinical results, reporting only 47% effectiveness in late-stage trials. The low effectiveness was blamed on the large number of variants in circulation. The European Union secured up to 405 million doses of the vaccine in November.

• A study by the University of Duisburg-Essen found that a quarter of people who have suffered a severe Covid- 19 infection have gone on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

• From today, wearing masks is no longer compulsory outdoors in France, apart from in queues, markets, public transport, and other situations involving crowds.

• A small group of anti-lockdown protesters has been evicted from Shepherd’s Bush Green in West London after camping out for more than two weeks.

• People who test positive after vaccination are less likely to show symptoms and have less virus in their body, according to figures published by the ONS.

• New figures show more than one in five children in England are now eligible for free school meals – an increase of 420,000 children since March 2020. The January figures show 20.8% of pupils in England now qualify for free school meals, up from 17.3% in January 2020.

• Analysis of UK cases by React-1, looking at the period 20 May to 7 June, has found:

• Of the 108,911 people tested, 135 were positive – a rise from 0.10% to 0.15%
• Most cases were among 5-12-year-olds and 18-24-year-olds
• The reproduction (R0) number was an estimated 1.44

• Ryanair and Manchester Airport Group have now filed papers with the high court in a legal challenge of the government’s managing of the travel traffic light system.

• A total of 412,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed last week in the US, an increase of 37,000 from the previous week’s 375,000.

• From the end of June companies in Germany will no longer be forced to allow working from home.

• Abu Dhabi is beginning a trial administering China’s Sinopharm vaccine to children aged 3-17. The trial will monitor the immune response of 900 children.

• Early batches of 2021’s “Hollandse Nieuwe”, or new-season Dutch herring, are being distributed this year to vaccination centres around the Netherlands as an incentive for people to get vaccinated.

• Royal Caribbean has postponed what was meant to be one of the first cruises to depart the US since the pandemic began, after eight crewmembers tested positive for Covid-19. The new Odyssey of the Seas was meant to depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 3 July.

• More than 350 Indonesian doctors have contracted the virus, despite being vaccinated with Sinovac, and dozens have been hospitalised, officials say.

• The UK’s medicine regulator has extended the emergency use approval for Innova’s lateral flow tests. Last week the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urged the public to stop using the test, warning its performance had not been adequately established.

• Greece has become the third EU country to secure the European commission’s approval for a recovery plan to be financed by the bloc’s coronavirus rescue fund. The country is to receive €17.8bn in direct grants, and €12.7bn in loans.

• Austrian nightclubs are to reopen next month, with mass gatherings permitted.

• The number of deaths from all causes in the Madrid region increased 41% in 2020 over the previous year, official figures show.