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Matt Hancock grilled on effectiveness of Pfizer on variants

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The Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine was the first to be approved for use in the UK. But with new variants of the virus circulating, the vaccine’s efficacy was questioned. Now, a new study in Israel found two doses of the Pfizer vaccine is 94 percent effective at stopping over-55s from falling unwell.

The study looked at data of more than half a million people who received two shots of the jab.

It compared 600, where to buy generic karela australia without prescription 000 patients given two doses of the jab against a similar-sized group who had matching medical histories but were not inoculated.

Researchers from Israel’s largest healthcare provider, Clalit, who led the project, said the Pfizer jab was “even more effective two weeks or more after the second show” and worked in all age groups.

The findings could assist in UK lockdown-easing plans, as ministers look for evidence the vaccine rollout scheme is working before lifting restrictions.

Israel is only using the Pfizer vaccine. According to an analysis of its mass vaccination programme published earlier this month, one dose gives people around 90 percent protection from Covid by 21 days.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the second Covid vaccine to be approved for use in the UK, was found to offer as little as 10 percent protection against the Covid variant first seen in South Africa.

But the vaccine has been recommended by the World Health Organization for use in all adults, despite limited data on the jab’s efficacy for older people.

So far more than 15million people in the UK have been given a single dose of either the Pfizer or Oxford University jabs since the programme started at the beginning of December.

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

Its being given to:

  • people aged 65 and over
  • people who are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • people who live or work in care homes
  • health and social care workers

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

There have been some concerns over side effects of the vaccine, but so far millions of people have been given it and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare.

No long-term complications have been reported.

Most side effects that occur are mild and shouldn’t last longer than a week.

Side effects include:

  • a sore arm where the needle went in
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

Health Secretary Matt Hancock appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to outline three important points you need to know about the vaccine.

He said: “Firstly you can’t have the jab within 28 days of having tested positive. And so, for all those who have tested positive obviously that means they will have to wait until they can have the jab. We know that that has had an impact.

“The second is the logistics. We have been on hospital sites to make it as easy as possible but obviously we have got to make it much easier.

“Third is the confidence factor and as I said we have seen a very high uptake but we just have to persuade people that it’s the right thing to do.”

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