- NewsEvening Standard
London to go into Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions but capital pays £6bn cost of lockdown that should never have been
London escaped the toughest Covid-19 restrictions today with cases now falling in more than two-thirds of boroughs, according to official figures. Ministers and health chiefs put the capital into Tier 2 in a borderline decision which means restaurants and many pubs and bars will be able to reopen on December 2. Many areas across the country were put in higher tiers than before lockdown and Boris Johnson urged people to stand firm in the battle against coronavirus during the winter months by sticking to social distancing and self-isolation rules.
- HealthThe Telegraph
Oxford University and AstraZeneca on Wednesday acknowledged a manufacturing error that is raising questions about preliminary results of their experimental Covid-19 vaccine. A statement describing the error came days after the company and the university described the shots as "highly effective" and made no mention of why some study participants didn't receive as much vaccine in the first of two shots as expected. In a surprise, the group of volunteers that got a lower dose seemed to be much better protected than the volunteers who got two full doses. In the low-dose group, AstraZeneca said, the vaccine appeared to be 90 per cent effective. In the group that got two full doses, the vaccine appeared to be 62 per cent effective. Combined, the drugmakers said the vaccine appeared to be 70 per cent effective. But the way in which the results were arrived at and reported by the companies has led to pointed questions from experts. The partial results announced on Monday are from large ongoing studies in the UK and Brazil designed to determine the optimal dose of vaccine, as well as examine safety and effectiveness. Multiple combinations and doses were tried in the volunteers. They were compared to others who were given a meningitis vaccine or a saline shot. Before they begin their research, scientists spell out all the steps they are taking, and how they will analyse the results. Any deviation from that protocol can put the results in question.
- PoliticsThe Independent
Five more federal executions are scheduled in the weeks before Joe Biden enters the White House