Coronavirus deaths soar to 170 in UK as 26,852 new infections recorded

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Coronavirus deaths have climbed to 170 in UK on Tuesday in the latest government data.

This is the highest number of daily reported deaths since March 12 when 175 were reported.

As of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 26,852 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK, the Government said.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 156,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Government data up to August 16 shows that of the 88,211,389 Covid jabs given in the UK, 47,369,418 were first doses, a rise of 35,716 on the previous day.

Some 40,841,971 were second doses, an increase of 138,390.

The figures came as the Moderna coronavirus vaccine was approved for use in children aged 12 and over by the UK medical watchdog.

It is the second Covid-19 jab authorised for those aged between 12 and 17.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said that it is up to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to advise the Government on whether children in this age group should be given the Moderna jab.

The MHRA said that the jab – also known as the Spikevax vaccine – is “safe and effective in this age group”.

At present, some children aged 12 to 15 are only offered the Pfizer Covid-19 jab if they are considered to be clinically vulnerable.

This week it was announced that all 16 and 17-year-olds in England will be offered the chance to book in for their first jab before August 23.

Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: “I am pleased to confirm that that the Covid-19 vaccine made by Moderna has now been authorised in 12 to 17-year-olds. The vaccine is safe and effective in this age group.

“We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all UK-approved Covid-19 vaccines and this surveillance will include the 12 to 17-year age group.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We welcome the news that Moderna’s vaccine has been approved as safe and effective for people aged 12 and over.

“As has been the case with all other approvals, we will now be guided by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and have asked for its formal recommendation on whether to administer this vaccine to people aged 12 to 17.

“All young people aged 16 to 17, clinically vulnerable children aged 12 to 15 and people who live with adults who are immunosuppressed will be offered a first dose of a Pfizer jab by Monday 23 August.”

There has been much speculation as to whether the vaccination programme will be extended to include all children aged 12 and over.

Other countries have successfully been vaccinating children for some time, but the UK has taken a more cautious approach to routinely offering the jab to younger children.

Officials have only recently confirmed 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to get the Pfizer vaccine.

The target of a first dose by August 23 will mean that they have built up some level of protection before the school year starts in September.

The Moderna jab had already been approved for use in children aged 12 and over in Northern Ireland.

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