Expert blames reliance on AstraZeneca jab, waning immunity for UK case coronavirus rise

Waning immunity provided by coronavirus vaccines combined with the U.K.’s early reliance on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has contributed to the current spike in cases, which are close to reaching the 50,000-per-day mark, one of the county’s top epidemiologists said Tuesday. The U.K.’s speedy rollout of vaccines has meant that those vaccinated early on are now […]

Expert blames reliance on AstraZeneca jab, waning immunity for UK case coronavirus rise

Waning immunity provided by coronavirus vaccines combined with the U.K.’s early reliance on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has contributed to the current spike in cases, which are close to reaching the 50,000-per-day mark, one of the county’s top epidemiologists said Tuesday.

The U.K.’s speedy rollout of vaccines has meant that those vaccinated early on are now experiencing waning immunity, Neil Ferguson, director of Imperial College London’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, told the BBC’s Today program. “How early we were means we were a little bit more vulnerable,” he said. 

The country’s reliance on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine that “protects slightly less well than Pfizer against infection and transmission” is another factor in the increase in cases being seen in the country. 

Coronavirus case numbers in the U.K. continue to rise despite 67 percent of the population being fully vaccinated. However, other European countries with similar vaccination coverage, such as France, are not yet seeing a rise in cases.  

As the U.K. heads into what the government has admitted will be a “challenging” winter, the most important thing is to accelerate booster vaccinations and ensure teenagers are vaccinated, said Ferguson. Britain’s booster campaign has come under criticism for being too slow, with the government set to launch a new advertising campaign to convince older people to get their third shot, reports the Times. 

Ferguson also believes that vaccinating teenagers could be an important factor in preventing rises in cases. He added that they needed to be receiving two doses, not just one, as is currently recommended.

Source : Politico EU More   

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Bill Gates bets £200M on UK’s underinvested green tech

Gates and the UK government vow to scale up green technologies and bring down their cost.

Bill Gates bets £200M on UK’s underinvested green tech

LONDON — Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson are pouring a combined £400 million into scaling up underinvested green technologies to cut carbon emissions in Britain.

The two announced the pledge at the Global Investment Summit Tuesday. The event, designed to promote investment in Britain ahead of the COP26 climate summit, has attracted 200 investors — including big-name bankers at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Blackrock — with nearly £10 billion in deals announced.

“When the green premium is very high, you need to activate innovation,” Gates said during a discussion with Johnson at the event.

The tie-up will see Gates’ firm, Breakthrough Energy, and the U.K. government put up £200 million each to boost projects in green hydrogen, long-term energy battery storage, sustainable aviation fuels and direct air capture of carbon.

“We will scale those up and bring down that cost,” Gates said. Technologies like green hydrogen, he said, are currently “ridiculously expensive.” Gates said we wants to make them as affordable as wind and solar power.

The government committed at least £200 million to these technologies last November as part of its £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.

The British state will also tell Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Catalyst which projects to funnel investments into. “We’ll make sure that we have private sector management power behind those projects,” Gates said.

“What we’re saying today is we want to invest in the [technologies] that are not attracting the support that they might,” Johnson said. Lowering the cost, the British leader added, will help “support countries that are a long way off” from meeting their Paris Agreement carbon emissions reduction targets.

Source : Politico EU More   

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