These are the UK coronavirus stories you need to know about today.
Latest on Jabs vs Variants
The Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines were less effective against symptomatic COVID-19 when people were exposed to the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 compared with the Alpha variant, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
After two doses:
- Pfizer/BioNTech was 93.7% effective against Alpha, and 88% against Delta
- Oxford/AstraZeneca was 74.5% effective against Alpha, and 67% against Delta
“The fact [that] there is still notable effectiveness is encouraging. However, complacency is not warranted, since the virus will continue to cause at least mild disease even in some [of] those vaccinated with two doses,” Stephen Evans, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine told Medscape Medical News.
There’s been more reaction to the 3% NHS pay rise for England and Wales that was announced yesterday evening. It was said to be in recognition of “extraordinary” pandemic efforts.
Doctors’ Association UK said it was “callous” to exclude junior doctors from the increase.
Chair, Dr Jenny Vaughan, said: “Any improvement on the derisory 1% previously offered to NHS workers is welcomed, but 3% barely takes the edge off the erosion of doctors’ pay over two decades. Doctors in the NHS have suffered a 30% pay cut in real terms, and after inflation this ‘pay rise’ will ultimately be a pay freeze. DAUK’s campaign ‘fair say for fair pay’ demonstrated the extremes staff have been put through during the pandemic – the effects of which are only starting to be realised.