Covid live: Government yet to decided whether to vaccinate 12 to 15-year-olds - minister

·9-min read
The JCVI has not recommended Covid-19 vaccines for all healthy 12-15 year-olds (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Archive)
The JCVI has not recommended Covid-19 vaccines for all healthy 12-15 year-olds (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Archive)

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said the Government is yet to decide whether to vaccinate healthy 12 to 15-year-olds against coronavirus.

He told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “We have not made any decisions, so we haven’t decided not to listen to the experts.

“On the contrary, all four ministers, the Secretary of State Sajid Javid and his fellow ministers in the devolved administrations have agreed to ask the chief medical officers to convene expert groups, including the JCVI being in that, to be able to recommend which way we should go on healthy 12 to 15-year-olds.”

UK records 37,011 cases and 68 deaths

16:05 , Leah Sinclair

The UK has recorded 37,011 cases of Covid-19, official figures revealed.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 cases in the last 7 days to 249,169.

Government data showed 68 deaths were recorded within 28 days of a positive test, bringing the 7 day total to 792.

Israel to reopen for small foreign tour groups

15:53 , Leah Sinclair

Israel will allow small foreign tour groups from selective countries to visit from September 19 under a pilot programme to kick-start tourism, the government said on Sunday.

Tour groups of between 5 and 30 people from countries on Israel’s green, yellow and orange lists will be allowed to enter the country provided all group members have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the tourism ministry said.

Individual tourists, who have not been allowed to visit Israel since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic there in March 2020 unless they are visiting family members, will still not be allowed to enter outside of a tour group.

Under the new plan, there will be no restrictions on the number of tour groups that Israel will let in, the ministry said, but groups from countries on Israel’s red list - which currently comprises Bulgaria, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey - will not be eligible.

Foreign tourists must show proof they have received a second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine within the last six months or a booster shot in order to qualify for entry.

Vietnam sets September 15 deadline to vaccinate biggest cities’ adults

15:08 , Leah Sinclair

Vietnam’s coronavirus epicentre, Ho Chi Minh City, and capital Hanoi must vaccinate all of their adult residents with at least one shot by September 15, the ministry of health said on Sunday.

Vietnam has one of the lowest coronavirus vaccination rates in the region, with only 3.3 per cent of the country’s 98 million people fully vaccinated with two shots, and 15.4 per cent with one shot.

The country is battling a worsening Covid-19 outbreak that has infected more than 520,000 people and killed 13,000, the vast majority in the past few months.

Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s business hub, accounts for half of the infections and 80 per cent of the fatalities.

Scotland: NHS faces ‘most significant challenge in history’, says health secretary

14:50 , Leah Sinclair

Scotland's NHS is facing the "most significant" challenge in its history as a result of the pandemic, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has said.

However, he denied the health service was in crisis ahead of winter.

The Health Secretary told BBC Scotland's Sunday Show the Government had been making progress in reducing waiting lists before the pandemic hit.

Asked if the system was in crisis, he said: “No, it’s the most significant challenge the NHS has ever faced.

“In the entire history of the NHS this crisis, this pandemic, this virus, caused the most significant pressure.

“Never has there been a time when so many procedures, surgeries and diagnostic pressures have been paused for so long.”

Scotland: NHS faces ‘most significant challenge in history’, says health secretary

14:50 , Leah Sinclair

Scotland's NHS is facing the "most significant" challenge in its history as a result of the pandemic, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has said.

However, he denied the health service was in crisis ahead of winter.

The Health Secretary told BBC Scotland's Sunday Show the Government had been making progress in reducing waiting lists before the pandemic hit.

Asked if the system was in crisis, he said: “No, it’s the most significant challenge the NHS has ever faced.

“In the entire history of the NHS this crisis, this pandemic, this virus, caused the most significant pressure.

“Never has there been a time when so many procedures, surgeries and diagnostic pressures have been paused for so long.”

Scotland records 6,368 Covid-19 cases

14:29 , Leah Sinclair

Scotland has recorded 6,368 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the latest figures show.

No new deaths were reported in Sunday’s figures from the Scottish Government, though registrar’s offices are usually closed at weekends.

A total of 48,033 tests were carried out, of which 14.2 per cent were positive.

There were 719 people in hospital with recently-confirmed Covid-19 and 61 in intensive care.

A total of 4,121,962 people have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and 3,726,769 have received their second dose.

China reports 28 Covid-19 cases on Sept 4, unchanged from a day earlier

12:59 , Leah Sinclair

Mainland China reported 28 new Covid-19 cases on September 4, the same as a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Sunday.

None of the new infections were locally transmitted, the National Health Commission said.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, stood at 23 on September 4, versus 22 the day before, the commission said.

Total confirmed Covid-19 cases in mainland China stands at 95,010, with the death toll unchanged at 4,636.

Australia reports 1,684 new Covid-19 cases but planning a merry Christmas

12:34 , Leah Sinclair

Australia reported 1,684 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday as authorities race ahead with vaccinations in a bid to end lockdowns on the populous southeast coast.

More than 15 million people in Victoria state, neighbouring New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory have been under stay-at-home orders as officials struggle to quell Australia’s worst wave of the coronavirus infections, driven by the Delta variant.

New South Wales reported 1,485 cases of Delta and three further deaths on Sunday. Victoria had 183 new cases, while the Australian Capital Territory had 15.

There was also one new infection reported in Queensland, which is not under a lockdown.

China administered total 2.1004 billion Covid-19 vaccine dose as of Sept 4

12:22 , Leah Sinclair

China administered around 8.2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses on September 4, bringing the accumulated total to 2.1004 billion, data from the National Health Commission showed on Sunday.

Russia’s coronavirus cases surpass 7 million mark

12:06 , Leah Sinclair

Russia’s coronavirus cases tally hit 7 million on Sunday, with the country reporting 18,645 new infections in the past 24 hours and 793 more deaths.

The latest figures took the total number of cases to 7,012,599, with the overall death toll at 187,200.

Russia’s state statistics service Rosstat keeps a separate count and said in August that 365,000 people died from COVID-19 or related caused between April last year and last July.

The number of excess deaths, which some epidemiologists say is the best way to measure the death toll during a pandemic, reached 528,000 in July, Rosstat data showed.

Government plans to extend some outdoor regulations for hospitality industry

11:02 , Leah Sinclair

Street markets could open all year round under Government plans to make permanent some of the changes for outdoor hospitality introduced during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants would also be able to keep new structures such as marquees and additional seating on their grounds, following a consultation launched on Sunday.

The hospitality sector welcomed the plans, but urged ministers to go further to promote and retain outdoor seating in the streets by restricting traffic in town and city centres.

The consultation will consider only some of the changes introduced during the pandemic in order to promote customers dining outdoors to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

But an announcement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government did not include the al fresco dining on streets, with councils starting to wrap up the relaxations.

Zahawi: I will do “everything in my power” to avoid another lockdown

10:23 , Leah Sinclair

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said he will do “everything in my power” to avoid another lockdown and is focused on making sure the booster programme is delivered.

Mr Zahawi said he wants to continue the transition of the virus “from pandemic to endemic status” so that people can enjoy what they want to enjoy with the economy fully open and “get life back to as normal as we can make it as quickly as possible”.

He told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “Nobody enjoys, by the way, in this government, certainly not this Prime Minister, having restrictions on people’s freedoms.

“It goes against the DNA of this government to do that.”

Checking people’s vaccine status is the ’right thing to do’, says

10:07 , Leah Sinclair

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said checking people’s vaccine status is the “right thing to do” to ensure the whole economy remains open.

Asked if he has made up his mind about vaccine passports, Mr Zahawi told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “We are looking at, by the end of September when everyone has had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated, for the large venues, venues that could end up causing a real spike in infections, where we need to use the certification process.

“If you look at what the FA have done, they’ve done so brilliantly in terms of checking vaccine status to reopen football.

“That is the sort of right thing to do and we are absolutely on track to continue to make sure that we do that.”

Coronavirus will ‘come back to haunt the west’, says Gordon Brown

09:55 , Leah Sinclair

Coronavirus will come back to haunt the west unless vaccination rates in Africa are improved, former prime minister Gordon Brown has said.

Mr Brown said hundreds of millions of doses are lying in warehouses in Europe and North America, when they could be used in African countries.

The former prime minister told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “70 per cent of the west has been vaccinated, only 2 per cent in Africa and the other low-income countries of the world. So, 98 per cent are unprotected.

“It’s bad for them, it’s bad for us, because the disease will come back to haunt us from Africa and hurt even the fully vaccinated here with new variants.”

09:15 , Leah Sinclair

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