Coronavirus - 19 February


• UK R number 0.6-0.9 from 0.7-0.9 last week
• Pfizer vaccine 85% effective after one dose
• Israel extends its border closure to 6 March
• China donates 200,000 vaccine doses to Algeria
• Hong Kong to begin vaccinations on 26 February

World news

• Israel has said it will extend the closure of its airports and land borders for 14 more days until 6 March.
• The first dose of Pfizer’s vaccine is 85% effective, a study of healthcare workers at an Israeli hospital, The Sheba Medical Center, has found.
• Hong Kong will start its public free vaccination program next week, after authorising emergency use of the Chinese vaccine, Sinovac. Online reservation for the voluntary vaccinations will open on 23 February, with vaccination starting from 26 February. Prioritised groups include people aged 60 or above, people who live or work at care facilities and people with chronic medical problems aged between 16 and 59 years old.
• Four people from two different homes will be able to exercise together from Saturday in Wales.
• Russia has offered the African Union (AU) 300m doses of its vaccine, Sputnik V.
• The R number across the UK is between 0.6 and 0.9, according to the latest government figures. Last week it was between 0.7 and 0.9.
• The British government broke the law by failing to publish details of billions of pounds of spending on PPE, the High Court ruled on Friday.
• Johnson & Johnson said today that it had submitted data to the World Health Organization for emergency use listing of its Covid-19 vaccine.
• 553,000 people in the UK were estimated to be carrying the virus in the week to 12 February, the ONS reports.
• China has donated 200,000 vaccine doses to Algeria.
• According to a new study by ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods, 31.9% of Australians become less willing to get a vaccine between August 2020 and January 2021.