Coronavirus - 18 March


• OU study suggests vaccines are more effective against variants than previously thought
• 47% protection in the over 65s after infection
• Tokyo to lift state of emergency
• UN says global economy has lost US$10trn this year
• Kyiv to go into lockdown from 20 March

World news

• The AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines might be more effective against the Brazil variant than previously thought, a new Oxford University study suggests.

• Delaying the winter lockdown caused up to 27,000 extra deaths in England, a report by the Resolution Foundation thinktank has found. However, it has praised the vaccine roll-out saying it is saving lives and is behind the economics upgrades by both the OECD and Office for Budget Responsibility. Link

• A study carried out in Denmark and published in the Lancet has found that 80% of under-65s are protected from reinfection for at least six months; however, the over-65s had only 47% protection.

• The Japanese government’s advisory panel on coronavirus countermeasures today approved a plan to let the state of emergency expire in the Tokyo area on 21 March, as scheduled.

• The Bank of England’s MPC has said “the outlook for the UK economy, and particularly the relative movement in demand and supply during the recovery from the pandemic, remains unusually uncertain.”

• The global economy will have suffered US$10tn of losses by the end of the year, according to the UN.

• Bulgaria will close schools, restaurants and shopping malls for 10 days from 22 March.

• A batch of fake doses of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine have been discovered and seized by authorities in Mexico.

• The Ukrainian capital Kyiv is to go into a strict lockdown for three weeks from 20 March.

AstraZeneca vaccine developments

• UK’s medicine regulator (MHRA) has said that the benefits of the coronavirus vaccine far outweighs the risks, and that evidence does not suggest that the AstraZeneca vaccine causes blood clots.