Covid: Govt prepares to outline plans for autumn and winter

The UK government is this week expected to set out the its autumn and winter plan for managing Covid, with vaccines as the first line of defence, supported by “new treatments”, testing, and what it refers to as a “world leading variant surveillance system”.

Plans for booster vaccine roll-outs are under way, to offer the most vulnerable increased levels of protection over winter.

Those who are immuno-compromised will be offered a third primary dose. This is separate to the booster programme, as those who require a third primary dose had insufficient protection from two doses.

Boris Johnson is also expected to repeal powers in England that the government no longer considers necessary from the Coronavirus Act.

These are anticipated to include powers to close down sectors of the economy, such as business premises, or apply restrictions to events and gatherings; powers that disrupt education, enabling temporary closure or restricting access to schools, colleges and childcare; and powers that extend time limits for urgent warrants.

Some powers from the Act will be retained, including a legal requirement for people to isolate if they test positive.

Johnson said: “These extraordinary times required necessary but intrusive measures. But I’m determined to get of rid of any powers we no longer need because of our vaccine defences.”

Vaccination data (Source: UK Government)

As at 9th September, nearly 90% of the UK population aged over 16 had received a first dose of a Covid vaccine, and over 80% had received both doses.

The latest data from Public Health England shows Covid vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, the dominant strain in the UK. Analysis shows the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after two doses.

The Office for National Statistics today published data relating to deaths by vaccination status in England over the six months from 2nd January 2021 to 2nd July 2021.

Vaccination status: Deaths involving Covid - Non-Covid deaths - % of all deaths

All deaths regardless of vaccination status: 51,281 - 214,701 - 19.3

Unvaccinated: 38,964 - 65,170 - 37.4

Deaths within 21 days of first dose: 4,388 - 14,265 - 23.5

Deaths 21 days or more after first dose:  7,289 - 66,533 - 9.9

Deaths within 21 days of second dose: 182 - 11,470 - 1.6

Deaths 21 days or more after second dose:  458 - 57,263 - 0.8

The data can be seen in full here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/deathsbyvaccinationstatusengland

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