Coronavirus - 8 January


• UK authorises the Moderna vaccine
• Major incident declared in London
• UK R value between 1.0 and 1.4
• Early research shows Pfizer’s vaccine is effective against new variants
• China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine 78% effective in Brazilian trials

World news
• The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is authorising the Moderna vaccine, which is 94% effective in preventing disease, remains stable at -20°C for up to six months, and can be kept in a standard fridge for up to a month. The government says it has agreed to purchase an additional 10 million doses of the Moderna vaccine following its approval, on top of its previous order of 7 million, taking the total to 17 million. As agreed when the UK originally pre-ordered the vaccine, supplies will begin to be delivered to the UK from spring.
• Travellers to the UK, including UK nationals, will have to present a negative Covid test before they board a plane, train or boat heading to the UK, taken up to 72 hours before their journey began. Some travellers, including hauliers, children under 11, and people coming from the Common Travel Area (the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man) will be exempt.
• New research from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston suggests that Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine can protect against a mutation found in two more contagious variants of the coronavirus that erupted in Britain and South Africa.
• A vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech was 78% effective in a late-stage Brazilian trials.
• London Mayor Sadiq Khan has formally declared a ‘major incident’ in the capital.
• UK cases rose by almost one-third between 26 December and 3 January, reaching 70,000 per day, according to a major study by ZOE Covid Symptom Study app.
• Several regions in Northeast China have confirmed new, symptomatic cases within the last 24 hours: the provinces of Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Hebei, and Beijing.
• The EU has reached a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech for 300m additional doses of their Covid-19 vaccine, doubling the amount of doses previously ordered.