The Times - UK (2022-01-24)

(Antfer) #1

12 2GM Monday January 24 2022 | the times


News


Secondary schools are to receive
£8million of NHS funding to help them
roll out the Covid-19 vaccine for their
pupils.
Announcing the funds, the govern-
ment said it would also commit to
providing air cleaning units for all class-
rooms and teaching spaces that need
them.
The Department for Education will
distribute the funds to support schools
to host NHS vaccination teams and
provide materials about vaccination to
pupils and their families.
Children aged 12 to 15 are now being
offered two doses of the Pfizer-BioN-
Tech vaccine. They are eligible for a
first dose from the day they turn 12, and
a second dose 12 weeks later. More than
half of those aged 12 to 15 — about 1.


Funding for secondary school doses


Kat Lay million children — have now had at
least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
Children aged 12 to 15 have been
excluded from using the NHS Covid
pass app but are to be granted access in
time for half term, making it easier for
them to prove their vaccination status.
Sajid Javid, the health secretary, said:
“Keeping children in school with face-
to-face teaching is absolutely essential
for their education, health and
wellbeing. Vaccines are the best way to
protect students from Covid-19 and,
combined with better ventilation, will
help keep cases down and schools
open.”
School vaccination teams began
offering second doses from January 10,
with children who have not yet had a
vaccine eligible for first doses in the
same sessions.
In some cases the Covid-19 jabs are


being given alongside other childhood
vaccines.
Up to 9,000 air-clearing units are to
be delivered to 1,265 nurseries, schools
and colleges that have made valid appli-
cations. They will be used in spaces
where “quick fixes” to ventilation, such
as opening a window, are not possible,
the DfE said.
Nadhim Zahawi, the education
secretary, said: “Face-to-face education
for all students has consistently been
my priority, and that is why I am
pleased to further strengthen the tools
available to schools to manage trans-
mission of the virus, including funding
air-cleaning units for the small number
of classrooms that need them due to
poor ventilation, and providing addi-
tional NHS funding to free up staff time
to engage with the vaccination
programme for young people.”

News Coronavirus


T


here were violent clashes
with police as more than
50,000 demonstrators
from across Europe met in
Brussels to protest against
lockdown measures, particularly
vaccine passes (Bruno Waterfield
writes).
Police used water cannon and
tear gas to disperse marchers,
including peaceful protesters, at the
end of a rally in Parc du
Cinquantenaire, near the EU
quarter of the city.
Thousands travelled from
the Netherlands, France
and Germany, with many
angry at the requirement
in many European countries
for checks on vaccine passes
before entry to bars,
restaurants, cinemas,
museums or other
public places. “It is
bad that this
demonstration is
successful; that
is a sign that it
is necessary.

The measures must be proportional
and democratic, and it must be
possible to talk about it,” Tom
Meert, the Belgian organiser of
Europeans United, a campaign
group, said. “We are not against the
corona measures per se. We are
mainly against the undemocratic
way in which they have been
carried out.”
Clashes began as marchers
arrived for a rally in the park. Some
200-300 masked people, often
displaying anarchist, football
hooligan and skinhead insignia,
attacked police. When the group
was “kettled”, rioters attacked the
offices of the EU External Action
Service, smashing windows and at
one point breaking into a building.
Dutch military veterans on the
march tried to shield
demonstrators from the rioters and
police but were tear gassed with
others. “We are here to try and
keep it peaceful by holding a
line between the police and
peaceful protesters,” said one
Dutch soldier as tear gas
shells rained down.
Protesters carrying
homemade banners
included groups of French
and Belgian nurses opposed
to compulsory vaccines and
Rotterdam dockers
opposed to vaccine
passes. “We’re about
to lose our jobs for
refusing
vaccination,” said
Nonna, a nurse
from Ghent.

Violence


erupts at


Brussels


protest


Police used water
cannon to scatter
protesters who
gathered from
across Europe

The government has played down
suggestions that an April 1 deadline for
NHS workers to be double-jabbed
against coronavirus could be delayed,
amid warnings that the policy could
cause devastating staff shortages.
Requiring daily tests instead of jabs,
or allowing staff to self-certify that they
are exempt from vaccination, have
been put forward as possible ways to
mitigate the effect of the rule.
At the weekend the Royal College of
GPs joined the Royal College of Nur-
sing and Royal College of Midwives in
calling for a delay. Martin Marshall,
chairman of the Royal College of GPs,
said a delay would allow “a sensible
conversation”.
NHS staff must have received a first
coronavirus vaccine dose by February



  1. Managers have been told to begin dis-
    missal proceedings against any who are
    unvaccinated or refuse to reveal their
    vaccination status from February 4.
    Figures published last week showed
    that 80,000 NHS staff had yet to be
    vaccinated — 5.4 per cent of the total.
    The rate of take-up appears to have
    slowed, with January’s figure only
    slightly lower than the 5.7 per cent who
    were unvaccinated in December. In
    August 8.2 per cent were unvaccinated.
    Health bosses have backed the prin-
    ciple of the policy to protect patients
    but are increasingly concerned about
    the risk of losing a large number of staff
    when the NHS is struggling with both
    the Omicron variant and backlogs.
    Dominic Raab, the deputy prime
    minister, told the BBC’s Sunday Morn-
    ing that an NHS recruitment drive
    meant the deadline did not need to be
    postponed. He said: “We have got the
    resilience because we have got nearly
    5,000 more doctors, nearly 11,000 more
    nurses than we did in 2020.”
    Emily Thornberry, the Labour MP,
    suggested to Sky News a delay ought to
    be considered, although she said un-
    jabbed NHS workers should be remind-
    ed they were “not helping others”.
    Mark Harper, head of the lockdown-
    sceptic Covid Recovery Group, told The
    Times: “Practically, the NHS and our


social care system cannot afford to lose
tens of thousands of skilled dedicated
staff at any time but certainly not now.”
Boris Johnson last week held meet-
ings with Tory MPs as he attempted to
shore up his premiership after revela-

The national picture


How many are in hospital?
There are 17,976 patients being treated in
hospital. 664 patients are on ventilators. An
additional 1,974 patients have been admitted,
down 9.9 per cent in the seven days to
January 17 when this data was last updated

How many people have Covid-19?
There were 74 ,7 9 9 new cases reported
yesterday, bringing the total to 15,859,
or 237.4 for every 1,000 people
15.4% decrease from seven days ago
(based on seven-day moving average)

Oct Jan
2021

Apr Jul Oct Jan
2022

0

50,

100,

150,

200,

Daily cases

National
R number
0.8 to 1.

Seven-day
average

Hospital admissions
Seven-day average

Oct Jan
2021

Apr Jul Oct Jan
2022

0

1,

2,

3,

4,

How many have died?
Yesterday, there were 75 deaths reported,
bringing the total number of deaths in the
past seven days to 1,872. The rolling
average number of daily deaths is 267.4, up
from 262.4 a day a week ago
Deaths
Seven-day average

Oct Jan
2021

Apr Jul Oct Jan
2022

0

500

1,

1,

No 10 sticks with


April jabs deadline


for NHS workers


Kat Lay Health Editor
Chris Smyth Whitehall Editor


tions about Downing Street parties.
Some of those present said he had
agreed to look again at the policy.
“I think we’re going to see a change,”
one MP said. “We’re looking at tens of
thousands of people facing redundancy
with letters going out from February.
That will not look good. I am concerned
that what this is now is a game of bluff
and that ministers want to get as many
people jabbed as possible by leaving a
U-turn to the last minute.”
Downing Street said there were no
plans for a U-turn, insisting it was “full
steam ahead”.
Yesterday there were 74,799 new
cases of coronavirus reported, with the
seven-day average down 15.4 per cent.
This does not include cases in Scotland,
figures for which are not available at
weekends. There were 75 deaths report-
ed within 28 days of a positive test, with
the weekly average up 1.9 per cent.
On Saturday 68,795 people received
a booster or third dose, bringing the
combined total to 36.9 million.
6 The bosses of Britain’s biggest air-
lines have urged the government to end
coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
They said in a letter that “at the very
least” restriction-free travel should be
restored for those who are fully vacci-
nated. Omicron is in retreat and evi-
dence shows that travel restrictions
have a “limited effect” in preventing the
spread of Covid-19, they added.
Ministers are due to review travel
requirements for England next week,
with many families hoping to travel
during February half term. A spokes-
man said no decisions had been made.
The letter is signed by the heads of
Ryanair, easyJet, Loganair, British Air-
ways, Virgin Atlantic, and Jet2, as well
as of the holiday travel group Tui and
the trade body Airlines UK. Its three
key demands are restriction-free jour-
neys for all, or at the least for the fully
vaccinated; the targeted and transpar-
ent use of red lists without universal
testing or hotel quarantines; and ruling
out the use of border closures and flight
bans over future variants of concern.
Give us an early warning system to
prevent pandemics, Thunderer, page 26
NHS staff refusing to be vaccinated,
letters, page 28
Free download pdf