Coronavirus vaccine news latest – Over 35s to start getting jabs within weeks as 20m now live in 'covid free' areas

OVER 35s will be offered the coronavirus vaccine within weeks, it has been revealed.

Those aged 40 and over were told they are now eligible to get the jab with health bosses expanding the scheme to a million more adults.

And it was revealed over 35s are expected to start being offered vaccines by May 10.

Officials have yet to take a decision on whether the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine should be used in people in their 30s.

Current advice is for people under 30 to be given alternative jabs if available, due to the risk of rare blood clots but the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is now considering raising the age limit.

More than 34 million Brits have now had their first Covid jab, with a further 14 million having both shots.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest updates…

  • John Hall


    Private firms are being accused of "monetising coronavirus" as foreign travel arrivals report testing issues.

    Arrivals have been forced to repurchase tests, which cost around £200, after companies – recommended by the government – failed to deliver them, Sky News reports.

    Hundreds have said they either never arrived, arrived late or they never received their results.

    And some are accusing firms of refusing to issue refunds once problems have been reported.

    A Facebook group of people complaining about these issues has grown to 1,700 over the past few weeks.

  • John Hall


    Student complaints to the universities watchdog over teaching, supervision and course-related facilities have surged during the year of the pandemic.

    More than two in five (43%) of the complaints received by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) from students were about "service issues" – which includes complaints about disruption caused by industrial action and the coronavirus pandemic – compared with just 29% in 2019.

    Complaints from students about disruption to their university due to the pandemic accounted for 12% of all those received in 2020.

    But the OIA, which looks at students' complaints in England and Wales, stressed there is a time lag in complaints reaching the adjudicator as students have to raise their complaint with their university first.

  • John Hall


    Younger adults are particularly affected by the rare blood clotting disorder linked to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the UK's medicines regulator has said.

    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said there were 209 cases in the UK of the rare combination of blood clots with low platelet counts following being vaccinated the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, with 41 deaths, up to April 21.

    This is up from 168 cases and 32 deaths the previous week.

    New data, published by the MHRA for the first time on Thursday, also gives breakdown the of the jab's side affects by age.

    It shows 23 cases in people aged 18 to 29, 27 in those in their thirties, 30 in people in their forties, 59 in people in their fifties and 57 in those aged 60 and above, with the age not known in the remaining cases.

  • John Hall


    Pupils will be spared from wearing masks in class at English schools and colleges in just over two weeks’ time.

    Schools minister Nick Gibb revealed the move after MPs raised concerns about face coverings disrupting pupils’ learning and wellbeing.

    Mr Gibb said he has earmarked May 17 for the ending of compulsory masks. But he added: “Of course, it depends on the data and the evidence and the advice that we’re getting from Public Health England.” 

    Tory MP Caroline Johnson had earlier told the education select committee that masks worsened hay fever and skin conditions. 

    Labour’s Fleur Anderson said some deaf children were struggling to keep up as not all teachers wore clear masks, adding they are "losing out on education".

  • Olivia Burke


    Thousands of Brits are getting stuck into some charity challenges today to pay tribute to the late Captain Sir Tom Moore on his 101st birthday.

    The Captain Tom 100 campaign is encouraging people to create their own charity challenge themed around the number 100.

    The war veteran’s beloved daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and his grandchildren Benjie, 17, and Georgia, 12, will head to Lord’s Cricket Ground today to signal the start of the Captain Tom 100 weekend – by ringing the ground’s famous five-minute bell.

    Sir Tom’s family will follow in his footsteps walking 100 laps of their garden in Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire just as he did.

    The inspirational vet raised over £32.8 million for the NHS last year.

  • John Hall


    Boris Johnson will be told that social distancing at big events can be scrapped after a pilot scheme showed no spike in Covid cases.

    Crowds should be able to return without social distancing from June 21, while experts have said older vaccinated people should “get out there and socialise”.

    With precautions like staggering entries and good ventilation, crowds can return to large events without distancing – following the monitoring of sports games that have already taken place.

    A source familiar with the report, according to the Telegraph, said ministers will be told that the pilots have shown "there are some effective ways to manage risk that could remove the need to have social distancing at events".

    The conclusions will be framed as an "initial view" from scientists – with more pilot events coming next month.

  • John Hall


    Chile, a global leader in vaccination, is considering issuing a "green card" to those inoculated against the coronavirus in an effort to encourage younger adults who may be reluctant to turn out for their shots, health officials said on Thursday.

    Chile's vaccination drive is the fastest in Latin America thus far, and among the top five globally in terms of percentage of its population with at least one shot, according to a Reuters tabulation.

    But a recent slowdown in the pace of vaccination has prompted health officials to fast-track a possible rollout of two government-issued ID cards: a domestic "green card" and an international travel "green passport," perks aimed to incentivize participation in the drive, officials said.

    "We are looking at it and I think it could be a very important stimulus for people to get vaccinated," Health Minister Enrique Paris told reporters, adding the effort was important to "maintain our campaign".

    Chile began vaccinating in December, inoculating health workers, teachers, civil servants, journalists, and age groups progressively – at present, people in their 40s.

    But health officials have repeatedly warned that young, healthy adults have been slower to turn out than the elderly, potentially imperiling its goal of vaccinating 80% of its target population, 15 million people, by July to be able to attain herd immunity.

  • John Hall


    Portugal could be added to the UK's green list when it is announced next month, thanks to their falling Covid cases and latest vaccine data.

    This means that Brits heading to the country won't have to quarantine when returning to the UK.

    The UK government is to announce in the upcoming weeks which countries will be placed on the "green" list of the traffic light scheme.

    The scheme, which hopes to allow holidays abroad to go ahead from May 17 with few restrictions, will rank countries depending on the risk they pose to the UK, including their own vaccine rollout and Covid situation.

    Not only are cases falling in Portugal – with less than 500 daily new cases on average – but the country has reported no new daily deaths in 24 hours, the first time in nine months.

  • John Hall


    Brits people will be welcomed back to Coronavirus- ravaged France from June 9 if they have a ‘health pass,’ it has emerged.

    Details of a new roadmap out of the pandemic agreed by President Emmanuel Macron were leaked to the media on Thursday – ahead of Macron’s official announcement of the timeline this evening.

    It will allow the British – the biggest visitor group to Paris – and other foreign nationals back into the country if they have proof of being vaccinated or a negative PCR test. 

    France is currently in lockdown, but this will gradually be lifted in May as restaurants and bars are allowed to reopen.

    The four-phase plan will see France fully reopened just nine days after the UK, despite its far higher infection, hospitalisation and death rates.

  • John Hall


    European hotspots should be put on the UK’s coronavirus green list as the subsequent increase in hospital admissions would be “minimal”, according to the boss of EasyJet.

    Chief executive Johan Lundgren urged the Government to put popular destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Greece in the lowest risk category when foreign holidays resume.

    In a speech to a virtual meeting of the Aviation Club, Mr Lundgren said “it is safe to put much of Europe on the green list”, as “the impact of travel on hospitalisations is minimal”.

    Eliminating coronavirus is “not viable for the UK”, he told the audience of aviation industry leaders.

  • John Hall


    Two million Brits on benefits could be in line for a payout worth £1,560 if the Government loses a legal challenge after excluding them Covid support.

    People on Universal Credit were given a £20 a week uplift to help them through the pandemic, but it was not extended to around 1.9million struggling households still on the legacy system.

    Many of those left out of pocket are disabled, claiming benefits such as personal independence payments (PIP) or employment support allowance (ESA).

    Today, two Brits were given the go-ahead by the High Court to take legal action against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) arguing that the treatment was unfair.

    A date for the hearing hasn't been set yet but it is hoped it will be heard before the end of July 2021. Even so, it could be months before a decision is made and there's no guarantee you'll get a pay out.

  • John Hall


    Pubs and shops are primed for a £4billion Wonder Weekend — with jabbed-up England on course to be unlocked entirely by June.

    The first Bank Holiday weekend that most boozers have been open since last August could see 20 million pints being drunk to celebrate success with the vaccine rollout.

    Jabs Minister Nadhim Zahawi said indoor mixing will be on next month while Covid proof arrangements will be ready for travelling Brits.

    And the last two phases of lockdown should be lifting on time with him insisting: “The good news is May 17 looks good, June 21 looks good, too.”

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