U.K. coronavirus variant is probably deadlier, scientists say

U.K. coronavirus variant is probably deadlier, scientists say

"In England, I can tell you we have now offered jabs to everyone in the first four priority groups, the people most likely to be severely ill from coronavirus, hitting the first target we set ourselves", said Johnson in a video posted on Twitter.

Despite that increased risk, the British scientists said, "the absolute risk of death per infection remains low".

Ontario unveiled plans to expand its COVID-19 vaccination rollout to more target groups ahead of an expected boost in nationwide shipments of the Pfizer vaccine that could lend ammunition to the provinces' fights against the spread of contagious variants. A study published earlier this month found the United Kingdom variant was spreading so quickly across the USA that the case count involving that strain was doubling about every ten days.

Foreign minister Dominic Raab said it was too soon yet to discuss when restrictions could be lifted. "It provides extra evidence that this variant is more lethal than the one we dealt with last time".

This directive comes after the head of Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine task force admitted that hospitals gave some doses of the vaccine to non-frontline staff, including people working from home, because it was better to do that than to let the doses expire when people did not show up for their shot. And the government scientists were relying on studies that examined a small proportion of overall deaths, making it hard to pinpoint how much increased risk may be associated with the new variant.

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She said people can go home if they live in Auckland - a border will be put in place, but there is an exemption regime. She says it's a "good, timely reminder too, to everyone, please turn on the Bluetooth function and keep scanning".

The report also noted several limitations to the data, including representativeness, power, potential biases in case ascertainment, unmeasured confounders, and secular trends.

"These findings show that B.1.1.7 will likely become the dominant variant in many USA states by March 2021, leading to further surges of COVID-19 in the country, unless urgent mitigation efforts are immediately implemented", the paper said.

As it spread, hospitals became overwhelmed by the pace of new infections, with doctors and nurses treating almost twice as many hospitalized patients as they did during last year's peak. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 117,166.

Of note, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found a relative hazard of death within 28 days was 1.58 (95% CI for variant-infected individuals versus non-variant-infected individuals, while Imperial College London found the mean ratio of case fatality for variant cases was 1.36 with a case-control weighting method. It has been detected in at least 82 countries, according to The New York Times. "They were very up front about how uncertain things were".

"They didn't hold the data back", Professor Clarke said.

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