The Covid jabs rollout for younger people should be paused. That is the suggestion of a senior government adviser, who said it should be halted until regulators have issued firm guidance on the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Oxford University has stopped trials in children until the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency takes a view on if it was responsible for rare blood clots.
Dr Maggie Wearmouth, who sits on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, told The Telegraph that slowing the rollout may be necessary to maintain the “trust and confidence of the public”.
Read everything we know about a potential link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and clots in younger people, particularly women.
It comes as people in Wales will receive the UK’s first doses of the Moderna jab, of which the UK has bought 17 million doses – enough for 8.5 million people.
From transmission to efficacy, read how Moderna compares to other Covid vaccines.
Meanwhile, a leaked briefing note sent to Labour MPs reveals the party will oppose vaccine passports being used in the UK in their current form.
It marked a hardening of Labour’s stance on Covid status checks, potentially aiding the efforts of Tory rebels who are attempting to force the Government to abandon the plans.
Sketchwriter Michael Deacon writes that there is a simple flaw in having vaccine passports for pubs, but wonders: Has Boris Johnson spotted it?
Analysis: Models warning of a third wave are flawed
Hopes that life may soon be back to normal were dashed by Boris Johnson when he indicated that restrictions would remain in place to prevent a deadly third Covid wave. The announcement relied on unduly pessimistic modelling, suggesting a full release from lockdown in June could trigger a new wave of hospital admissions as bad as the January peak and result in up to 59,900 deaths. It seems absurd that Britain should find itself facing a similar situation to the second wave after an extremely successful vaccination programme. Science Editor Sarah Knapton says much of the dire data is needlessly negative and out-of-date – as she outlines the reasons why things are not quite so bleak.
Why this demi-lockdown is giving you ‘brain fog’
With the green light for Britons to take the next step towards freedom, you might have been surprised to find yourself feeling more anxious, rather than less, at the prospect – and more confused rather than clear-headed. An end is in sight, but many people still feel stuck – unable to move forwards, to make plans and to find momentum. Why? Psychologist Linda Blair asks her fellow experts for tips on improving anxiety, relationships and work to get through the last lockdown lap.
At a glance: Coronavirus morning briefing
- Gavin Williamson article | Children lost ‘discipline’ in lockdown
- University chiefs | ‘Let students return now lockdown rules are eased’
- America | US set to overtake Britain in vaccination success
- Analysis | Chile’s surge shows UK at risk until we are fully vaccinated
- Global efforts | UK sets up ‘variant library’ to help develop new jabs
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
Auntie’s choices | The BBC does not make programmes aimed specifically at older viewers because their tastes are too varied, the corporation has claimed. Over-50s are instead urged to enjoy shows made for a “general audience”. The policy emerged in a letter to a licence fee payer who wrote to Tim Davie, the director-general.
- Declan Donnelly | TV presenter’s £5m home targeted by burglars
- Union | Start independence talks in weeks, Salmond tells Sturgeon
- Exclusive | Oxford rape accuser told she was ‘ruining the Boat Race’
- Church attacked | Vandals use face of Jesus for ‘target practice’
- Obituary | Paul Ritter, actor best known for Friday Night Dinner
Around the world: Navalny’s doctors arrested at prison
Doctors demanding that Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, be given proper medical treatment were detained outside the prison in which he is being held. The medics arrived at the facility as it was reported that his health had deteriorated. Read our report from Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow. View our gallery of more striking world pictures.
Comment and analysis
- Allison Pearson | Our vaccination freedom has become a betrayal
- Philip Johnston | Chilling truth: we may never return to normality
- Reader letters | Normality hovers into view, but is snatched away
- Alan Cochrane | Alex Salmond at his worst a reminder why he lost
- Rowan Pelling | Yes, you can have a ‘primal’ sex life in your 50s
Editor’s choice: Features and arts
- Are the bugs biting? | Why our obsession with sleep could do more harm than good
- Back to the shops! | A buyer’s guide: Seven key pieces – and where to go first
- Bryony Gordon’s Mad World | New series of our mental health podcast launches
Business and money briefing
Rich list gets richer | Almost 90pc of the world’s billionaires are richer than a year ago, despite the pandemic sending shockwaves through the corporate world. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos clung to the top spot of the Forbes’ list for the fourth year, but second went to a different person.
- Property | Boom in coastal towns as investors snap up holiday lets
- Investment tip | Rapid Covid tests have doubled this firm’s price
- Alex | View today’s cartoon strip on the world of finance
Manchester City 2 Borussia Dortmund 1 | Phil Foden netted in the final minute to give City the advantage in their Champions League quarter-final first leg tie. Read Jason Burt‘s report from the Etihad. Liverpool were relying on a miracle as they went down 3-1 to Real Madrid.
- Chelsea | Tuchel to play Rudiger despite Kepa bust-up
- Rugby | England consider call-up for unknown Sale prop
- Birmingham Women | Side win backing over facilities row
Dal with spinach and rainbow raita | A vibrant plate of comforting, quick food by Diana Henry. View the recipe. Try our Cookbook newsletter.
And finally… for this morning’s downtime
When Gandalf met Gorbachev | In the dying days of the USSR, a TV drama based on Tolkien’s fantasy series was made – it was an unlikely symbol of resistance. Jake Kerridge explains how the perestroika generation fell in love with Tolkien.
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