April 16 2021

The vaccine rollout continues briskly. 32.54 million first doses and 8.93 million second doses (including mine!) have been given in the last 24 hours.

The numbers of Covid tests done were 988,311 with only 2,596 testing positive. That is a fall of 8% over the last 7 days and the positive rate is 28.7/100k of the population. There were 34 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. This figure continues to fall, 17% less than a week ago the national death rate is still 0.2/100k of the population.

There were 204 patients admitted to hospital on 12th April, a drop of 12% compared with the daily average over the last 7 days. The number occupying hospital beds is 2,291. Now only 329 ventilators are in use. According to the ONS statistics these figures suggest 1 in 480 people in England currently are suffering with Covid as of 10th April. this figure has improved from 1 in 340 for the week before.

Of the Devolved Nations, Wales has the best figures only 1 in 710 people currently have a Covid infection. There are quite wide regional variations in England with the North West having the most cases compared to the South West with the least number of infections.

About 600 cases of a Canadian variant have been identified in the UK. Ontario in Canada has significant numbers of cases. There were 4,736 new cases identified yesterday. There are fears it could rise dramatically to over 18,000 cases per day by the end of May. There are calls from the Canadian Medical Association for a severe national lockdown and curfews. At present the Ontario President, Doug Ford is resisting the call.

In the USA they have almost given 200 million doses of vaccine. After a slow start, the vaccine roll out is now impressive. Most of the vaccine used has been that made by Pfizer and Moderna. They have paused use of the J and J vaccine pending further safety checks.

Stockholm seems in some disarray with its vaccine programme. Over 50% of the vaccine slots yesterday were unfilled, and in the city only 15.9% of adults have been immunised. Across the rest of the country 24.4% of adults have been immunised. It would seem the elderly are not managing to book tests and they can only do it online.

The Indian Covid variant which has two mutations and is known as B.1.616, might prove to be more infectious. There are 73 cases in England and 4 in Scotland. It is being watched and monitored carefully. It remains a ‘variant of interest’ but could be reclassified as ‘of concern’ if more cases emerge.

Studies of vaccines in pregnant women show there is no increased risk with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. The study did not include the OAZ vaccine. At present it is not being recommended because of caution but these findings suggest pregnant women may be able to have a choice in the future.

Belgium is still struggling with high numbers of cases and extreme pressure on their hospitals. The lockdown is supposed to be eased in a few days but there is considerable pressure not to do this as new cases are rising again. In a country of only 11 million people, it has one of the worlds highest per capita death rate.

My report last night on injection techniques seemed to interest many of you. It you want to learn more visit Baseer rahan.ahmed@medicurescientific.co.uk. All the sizes and colours are explained.

We remain on course, we must keep the UK safe and secure, do not travel abroad unless absolutely essential and be prepared for the consequences and costs of doing so. Remember all the basic procedures with hand sanitation and wearing a mask. Have both doses of the vaccine as soon as you are offered it.

Stay apart and keep staying safe .

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