Covid-19: Jabs for over 16s, and is the virus threat over?

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Wednesday morning. We’ll have another update for you this evening.

1. Jabs set to be offered to 16 and 17-year-olds

So far children have not been offered vaccines, apart from over 12s with underlying conditions or those who live with others at high risk, but this is about to change. The BBC has been told UK experts are set to recommend 16 and 17-year-olds should be offered jabs. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has been assessing the benefits and risks and Whitehall sources say ministers in England are expected to accept their advice. This would see about 1.4 million teenagers included in the new rollout.

Teen getting jabbed in Israel

image sourceGetty Images

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2. Is Covid over?

Just two weeks on from the 19 July unlocking – both infections and hospital admissions are falling. A similar pattern is emerging elsewhere in the UK where restrictions have also been eased – albeit not quite as much as in England. Has the gamble paid off? BBC health correspondent Nick Triggle has taken a look.

Chart showing forecasts

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3. Long-lasting Covid rare in children

Most children who contract coronavirus recover in less than a week, research suggests. However King’s College London scientists say a small group may suffer long-term symptoms, the most common being headaches and tiredness. The research shows that’s rare as those numbers were low, which Dr Liz Whittaker, infectious disease lead at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, says reflected what paediatricians saw in clinics.

Teenager with a headache

image sourceGetty Images

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4. Learning on the streets

Asma Shaikh is homeless, she dreams of escaping life on the streets and was elated at securing a place at a prominent high school in India’s Mumbai city in 2019. But the pandemic meant she hasn’t been to a single class on campus and struggles to learn online. Find out more about her story.

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5. Barbie doll honours Oxford vaccine creator

The Oxford-AstraZeneca jab has been a key part of the vaccine rollout but would you be able to recognise the scientist who designed it? If not, you will be able to now. Barbie maker Mattel has created a doll of Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert. Her Barbie is one of five to honour women working in science, technology, engineering and maths, or Stem.

Undated handout photo issued by Mattel of Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert holding a Barbie doll of herself in honour of the Oxford vaccine co-creator.

image sourcePA Media


Government figures show 129,881 deaths, up 138 in the past 24 hours, there have been 5,923,820 cases, up 21,691. There are 6,099 people in hospital, up 201, and 46,898,525 people have had a first vaccine dose. Updated 3 August.

And there’s more…

BBC health correspondent Nick Triggle has looked into whether the Covid cases are receding and if that means the threat from Covid is over. Do you know how many cases are in your area? Find out using our postcode checker.

Find further information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.


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