Coronavirus UK news – Covid vaccine BOMBSHELL as new Moderna jab even more effective than Pfizer at 95% effective rating

A NEW covid vaccine developed in the US is even more effective than one produced by Pfizer in the UK, new results suggest.

In a trial of 30,000 people given two doses four weeks apart, the jab produced by US firm Moderna was show to be nearly 95% effective – a slightly better result than the 90% effectiveness rating the Pfizer jab had.

The UK is currently negotiating a price for the Moderna jab, which was produced by America's Operation Warp Speed vaccine programme, but has not yet pre-ordered any of them.

The bombshell news that there are now at least two coronavirus vaccines proving to be highly effective is a massive boost to the hope of a return to normality in 2021 and an end to crippling national and local lockdowns.

The news comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancockblasted anti-vaxxers, telling them taking the new coronavirus vaccine will be “much less worse than getting the virus”.

Follow our coronavirus updates below...

  • Debbie White

    COVID-19 VACCINES: US-LED MODERNA JAB '94.5% EFFECTIVE'

    British scientists have hailed the “tremendously exciting” news that a US coronavirus vaccine may prevent 94.5% of people from getting Covid-19.

    Interim data from the US firm Moderna suggests its vaccine is highly effective in preventing people getting ill and also works across all age groups, including the elderly.

    The UK has not yet placed an order for the vaccine – which works in a similar way to Pfizer's – but a Whitehall source told the PA news agency the Government was “in advanced discussions” to procure it.

    Scientists said the news bodes well for other Covid-19 vaccines, with the one for Oxford University and UK pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca due to report in the coming days or weeks.

    Moderna intends to submit an application for an Emergency Use Authorisation with the US Food and Drug Administration shortly and will submit further data on the vaccine's effectiveness and safety.

  • Chris Bradford

    UK IN 'ADVANCED TALKS' TO BUY MODERNA VACCINE

    The UK is reportedly in advanced talks to buy the Moderna vaccine following news of its impressive efficacy rate.

    The jab has recorded an efficacy rate of 94.5 per cent following trials, according to preliminary data.

    This would make the vaccine more effective than the Pfizer jab which recorded an efficacy rate of 90 per cent.

    The Government originally didn't order any doses of the Moderna vaccine but are now in “advanced negotiations”, according to ITV's Robert Peston.

  • Chris Bradford

    DR FAUCI: MODERNA VACCINE RESULTS 'VERY IMPRESSIVE'

    A US-developed vaccine has been shown to be 94.5% effective in clinical trials.

    The Moderna vaccine becomes the second jab to have an extremely high success rate following the news last week that Pfizer vaccine trials recorded a 90 per cent efficacy rate.

    Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said: “I had been saying I would be satisfied with a 75 percent effective vaccine.

    “Aspirationally, you would like to see 90, 95 percent, but I wasn’t expecting it. I thought we’d be good, but 94.5 percent is very impressive.”

  • Chris Bradford

    US VACCINE 'MORE EFFECTIVE' THAN PFIZER

    A US-developed vaccine has been shown to be 94.5 per cent effective at protecting people from Covid-19, interim results show.

    The vaccine has been shown to last up to 30 days in household fridges and at room temperature for 12 hours.

    The Pfizer vaccine is said to be 90 per cent effective.

    It's reported that the UK hasn't ordered any doses of the US vaccine and are said to be scrambling in light of the news.

  • Chris Bradford

    DEADLY CONSPIRACY

    Hundreds of NHS workers have joined an anti-vax Facebook group claiming the coronavirus vaccine is a “poison” set to be “unleashed” on the world.

    Nearly 300 NHS staff and care home workers have joined the group 'NHS Workers for Choice, No Restrictions for Declining a Vaccine,' which opposes vaccinations, wearing masks and testing in hospitals.

    Dr Julie Coffey, a GP, is said to be one of the leaders of the group, where she is joined by accident and emergency nurses, healthcare assistants, lab workers, and private and public care home staff, The Times reports.

    Members have shared letters and legal advice on how to avoid wearing a mask in hospitals, how to decline testing and even how to get out of the track-and-trace system.

    Read our full report HERE

  • Chris Bradford

    DEFENCE SEC: 'MILITARY TO HAVE A ROLE IN VACCINE ROLLOUT'

    Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced that the military would “certainly have a role” in the roll-out of a coronavirus vaccine.

    Soldiers are currently assisting with a mass testing coronavirus pilot event in Liverpool.

    The Defence Secretary expects the Army to be involved in transporting vaccines.

    He said: “I should think the Army will be involved in the logistics, I should think the Army will be involved in some of the planning and the command and control which goes on behind the scenes for all these events because I think that is the key.

    “If necessary the armed forces and RAF will be involved in bringing vaccines to the country.”

  • Chris Bradford

    COVID HITS RAF BASE

    A number of people have tested positive for coronavirus at an RAF base in Lincolnshire.

    An RAF spokesperson confirmed on November 13 that the outbreak occurred at RAF Coningsby in East Lindsay.

    The current rate of infection in the district stands at 495.3 per 100,000 while the rate across Lincolnshire stands at 324.3, Lincolnshire Live reports.

    An RAF spokesperson said: “There has been a small number of Covid cases at RAF Coningsby which account for a very small percentage of the increase in cases in the region. 

    “RAF Coningsby continues to work closely with Public Health authorities and has robust measures in place to protect our people and the wider community while they carry out their essential duties defending the nation.”

  • John Hall

    LONDON CASES HIT NEW HIGH AS HUNDREDS OFFERED JAB IN TRIAL

    Hundreds of Londoners have been offered a new coronavirus vaccine as trials of a third jab started today.

    New cases of Covid-19 in the capital rose to a high over the weekend and coronavirus patients in intensive care rose to their highest level in six months.

    There were 15,568 cases in London in the last seven days, taking the rate to a record 173.7 per 100,000 of the population, the Evening Standard reports.

    The number of Londoners being treated in hospital for Covid increased to 1,244, a level last seen on May 18.

    Barts Health and Imperial College Healthcare NHS trusts offered 800 volunteers the Janssen vaccine.

  • John Hall

    TESCO TOP FOR PANDEMIC RESPONSE

    Britain's shoppers have hailed retail giant Tesco as the best in the country for the way it reacted to the pandemic.

    The supermarket won the Gold Award from trade magazine The Grocer for its handling of the crisis and dealing with panic buying, safety and shortages during the first six months of Covid-19 restrictions.

    The annual awards by the industry “bible” saw Tesco named top supermarket for the fifth year running but, for the first time, included a separate category in which 5,000 shoppers were asked to say who they thought dealt with the pandemic the best.

    More than one in five (21 per cent) named Tesco compared to 12 per cent for Sainsbury's and 11 per cent for Morrisons in the next two positions.

    With vulnerable Brits having to shield, many moved to online shopping for the first time in their lives and Tesco became the first UK retailer to fulfil more than a million grocery shop orders in a week.

  • John Hall

    STURGEON URGED TO KEEP GYMS OPEN

    Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to keep gyms open if parts of Scotland enter the highest level of lockdown restrictions.

    Scotland has been under a five tier local lockdown system since November 2 which ranges from level zero to level four.

    The highest level would include the closure of gyms, sparking fears the move could harm people's mental health.

    SNP councillor Chris McEleny told the Daily Record: “Covid-19 is a deadly virus and I am wholeheartedly behind any public health measures aimed to stop its spread and safe lives.

    “However, the virus is having an equally deadly impact on mental health and I am very concerned about the harms of further prolonged isolation for many people during winter.”

  • John Hall

    HIGH MARKS

    Students in areas hardest hit by the pandemic may be given higher marks to ensure they're not disadvantaged, an exam board boss has admitted.

    Colin Hughes, chief executive of AQA, said a grades boost for some GCSE and A-Level students next summer was among the options being considered to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

    The measure would work in the same way as the “special consideration” measure – handed out to pupils who have been “disadvantaged due to illness or avoidable circumstances”.

    “One of the things that's being talked about is the notion that we could apply some kind of regional special consideration,” Mr Hughes told the Times Education Supplement.

  • John Hall

    FURTHER NI RESTRICTIONS 'LIKELY', SAYS EXPERT

    More coronavirus restrictions before Christmas are “likely” to be recommended to Stormont, Northern Ireland's chief scientific officer has admitted.

    Northern Ireland has been under a circuit-break style lockdown since October 16 which saw the hospitality sector close.

    Professor Ian Young told the BBC that the short-term shutdown had slowed the spread of the virus but warned that the decline is slowing.

    He believes it's more likely than not that there will be further restrictions ahead of the festive season, describing the decisions ministers may have to make as “immensely difficult”.

  • John Hall

    'TRAINS TESTING NEGATIVE'

    Southern and Thameslink trains are testing negative for coronavirus after being swabbed with viruscide.

    Randomly selected carriages from fleets up to 23 days have been tested, ITV reports.

    Swabs were taken from areas frequently touched by passengers and staff – including grab rails, door handles, tables, and door buttons.

    The tests revealed the surfaces were clear of Covid.

  • John Hall

    SECOND TORY MP ISOLATING

    A second Conservative MP is reportedly self-isolating after attending a meeting on Thursday with other MPs.

    Andy Carter, MP for Warrington South, said he would be quarantining for 14 days after being contacted by test and trace.

    When asked on Monday if he would be self-isolating, he said: “Yes, I had a call from test and trace yesterday following a work meeting at 10 Downing Street last Thursday. In line with the rules I am self isolating.”

    Last night, Boris Johnson announced he was self-isolating after Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield, revealed he had tested positive for Covid-19.

  • John Hall

    RENTS FALL AMID COVID 'EXODUS'

    Private rents in cities across the country have fallen by as much as 15 per cent in the past year, new data shows.

    In October, average rents in the countryside were 5.5 per cent higher than in 2019, while city rents were down by 5.3 per cent, according to figures from estate agents Hamptons International.

    Hamptons said rents in inner London were down by 14.9 per cent year on year, with landlords cutting monthly rent by almost £400 in a bid to woo potential tenants.

    Estate agents Zoopla revealed last week that Covid-19 has created a “two speed” market as rents outside the capital have grown.

    Belfast and Newcastle both recorded an annual rent growth of 3.5 per cent.

  • John Hall

    BOOZE BANNED ON SCOTRAIL TRAINS

    Drinking alcohol on all ScotRail services has been banned from today as Covid-19 measures are ramped up.

    It's designed that a ban on alcohol will encourage commuters to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

    Previously, alcohol was banned on ScotRail services between 9pm and 10am, the Edinburgh Evening News reports.

  • John Hall

    CHOKING UP

    Susanna Reid was left unable to speak on today's Good Morning Britain as a devastated mum revealed she's only seen her severely autistic son twice this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The journalist read out a heartbreaking Facebook message that left her exhaling heavily and tearful.

    She began: “Suzanne on Facebook says my son is severely autistic, he lives in a care home, he's distraught he can't see me… or come home to visit… sorry.”

    Dr Hilary Jones stepped in and continued: “It is very distressing, and we know those children with learning disabilities have very much higher mortality rates of the coronavirus than other children of the same age.”

    Read our full report HERE

  • John Hall

    TOO EARLY TO SAY WHETHER ENGLAND EXITS LOCKDOWN

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was “too early” to determine whether the lockdown in England will end on December 2 as planned.

    PM Boris Johnson plunged the country into lockdown on November 5 in a bid to curb rising infection rates.

    Asked whether the lockdown would simply be “rebadged” after the deadline, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “You tempt me, but it is too early to say I'm afraid.

    “We've seen in the last week that there is still a very high number of cases but we do absolutely want to come out of this national lockdown.

    “That is our goal, everybody has a part to play in making that happen of course, following the social distancing rules and isolating when you need to, which is the critical thing,” he said.

  • John Hall

    WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

    Piers Morgan finally got the chance to grill Health Secretary Matt Hancock this morning.

    It has been 201 days since a senior government minister appeared on the ITV breakfast show amid reports that there was a “boycott” as a result of the journalist's interviewing technique.

    The so-called boycott ended today as Matt Hancock appeared on the show.

    “First question, given that we live in a democracy, where the hell have you been for 201 days?,” Piers asked.

  • John Hall

    VACCINE CHALLENGES

    The vaccine candidate from pharmaceutical firm Pfizer posed a “challenge” because it needs to be stored at minus 80, a leading Public Health England Official has said.

    If the jab is approved, then it will be stored at hubs – including hospitals and wholesalers – and then sent to vaccination clinics and GPs.

    “The Pfizer vaccine in particular is quite challenging because it has to be stored at minus 80 degrees and then transported around,” Dr Mary Ramsey, head of immunisation at PHE, told BBC Breakfast.

  • John Hall

    HANCOCK TO LEAD DOWNING STREET PRESSER

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock will host a No 10 press conference on Monday on the coronavirus outbreak, Downing Street has said.

    Boris Johnson had been expected to lead the event before he was required to self-isolate after coming into contact with a Conservative MP who tested positive for the disease.

    It was revealed last night that Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield, was the Tory parliamentarian who tested positive for the virus. He had a 35 minute meeting with the PM on Thursday where they discussed investment in the “Blue Wall”.

  • John Hall

    COVID 'CATASTROPHIC' FOR MUSIC INDUSTRY

    Pop star Sophie Ellis-Bextor has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is “catastrophic” for the music industry.

    Speaking to the former leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson, she told LBC that the industry was “kind of discombobulated” at the cancellation of their concerts over the summer.

    Sophie said: “As the year’s gone on and they haven’t felt like they have been properly addressed by the government their voices have become more frightened, more angry.”

    The singer-songwriter live-streamed discos from her kitchen on Instagram during the first lockdown.

  • John Hall

    LOCKDOWN TRAFFIC IN GREENWICH

    Pictures show heavy early morning lockdown traffic near the Blackwell Tunnel in Greenwich, London this morning.

    Roads appeared gridlock despite the Government's stay-at-home message which has been in place since November 5 as England entered a four-week shutdown.

    Last week in the capital, traffic levels were only marginally down from 63 per cent to 59 per cent, according to TomTom.

    Traffic levels in some parts of the country actually increased.

    In Liverpool, morning rush-hour congestion was at 41 per cent, up from 37 per cent the previous week, while in Bristol, congestion levels were at 42 per cent – an increase at 7 per cent.

  • John Hall

    'TAKING THE VACCINE MUCH LESS WORSE THAN GETTING THE VIRUS'

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told anti-vaxxers that taking the coronavirus vaccine is “much less worse than getting the virus”.

    He told LBC that the vaccine “protects you, people around you, and your loved ones” and dismissed anti-vaxxers as people in the extreme minority.

    “It wouldn't be allowed if it weren't safe and that's why we've been doing these trials and why we haven't yet rolled out the vaccine, because we are absolutely determined that it will be safe,” Mr Hancock said.

  • John Hall

    'WE WANT PEOPLE TO SEE THEIR LOVED ONES'

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was the Government's aim for care home visitors across England to be able to take a test so they can see their loved ones before Christmas.

    A new pilot scheme has been launched today which offers regular testing to one family member or friend of a resident in a care home.

    Asked if there was a chance people could see their relatives in care homes before Christmas, Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast: “Yes… I understand how important this is.

    “And yes, our goal is to ensure that we have the testing available in every care home by Christmas – to make sure that people can take a test and therefore see their loved ones safely, that is the goal.

    “We're working closely with the social care sector to try to make that happen.”

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