Covid booster shots can now be administered sooner than six months after the second dose to certain vulnerable groups for operational reasons, the UK government has announced.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKSA) has updated the advice in its Green Book which contains the latest information on vaccines and vaccination procedures in the country for healthcare professionals.
Under the new guidelines announced on Friday, care home residents who have been given their second vaccine dose at different times will be able to be jabbed in the same session, as long as it has been at least five months since their last dose.
It is also expected to help other vulnerable groups, such as housebound patients so that they can have their flu and Covid vaccines at the same time.
“We are making great progress with the booster rollout and I want to thank everyone, working so hard to get jabs in arms,” UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.
“This updated guidance will ensure healthcare professionals have the necessary flexibility in the booster programme, allowing more vulnerable people to be vaccinated where it makes operational sense to do so – including our loved ones in care homes,” he added.
The flexibility in clinical guidance is expected to speed up the administration of life-saving booster jabs, making it more efficient to reach the country’s most vulnerable, people, aged 50-plus, to ensure they’re protected in the winter months.
The move comes as the National Health Service (NHS) declared a “booster blitz” on Saturday, with more than 1.6 million candidates, aged 50-plus, who were eligible for their COVID-19 vaccine booster shots being invited for their top-up jabs next week.
“Thanks to the efforts of the NHS staff, millions of people have received their booster shots already and just over six weeks in, with over half of eligible over 50s already protected as we head into a winter like no other,” said Dr Nikki Kanani, deputy lead of the NHS vaccination programme.
“The vaccine is simple, quick, and effective and will provide maximum protection for citizens from the virus,” she asserted.
People who are eligible are invited for their booster shots between five and six months on from their second dose, with the eligibility figure changing regularly as additional people complete the gap since their second doses.
Under the NHS system, anyone eligible for a booster shot, and is 190 days on from their second dose can go online and make the booking.
The UK Office for National Statistics weekly estimates show that around one in 50 people had coronavirus in England in the week up to October 22 – which is the same proportion during the peak of the second wave in early January.
On Saturday, the daily recorded COVID-19 infections across the UK stood at 43,467 cases, with 186 deaths.
Kingston MOH says COVID-19 vaccines keeping region from locking down – Globalnews.ca
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the region, KFL&A Public Health’s medical officer of health joined Tuesday night’s city council meeting to give an update to the region.
At this point, he says lockdown measures are not on the horizon for the area.
“Our two main goals of pandemic response in the KFL&A region is to keep schools and workplaces open and maintain health-care capacity,” Dr. Piotr Oglaza told council.
But, with the Kingston region reaching record-high COVID-19 rates, and the news of Kingston hospitals having to offload some patients due to high COVID-19 hospitalizations, many members of the community are wondering if further restrictions to curb the spread of the virus will follow.
Oglaza has long maintained that lockdown measures that worked before just won’t pass muster in the fourth wave. He says the major difference this time around is the region’s high vaccination rate. As of Tuesday, more than 82 per cent of the five and up population have two doses.
“Some of these broad measures that were saving us in the previous waves are not applicable to a situation where vast majority of the population are immunized and are also not going to address the patterns of spread that we see,” he said.
Oglaza maintains that the driving factor for the spread of the virus is household gatherings, which now account for more than half of local transmission of COVID-19.
Community reacts as COVID-19 cases rise in the Kingston region
And while there are vaccinated individuals contracting the virus, Oglaza says, for the most part, those testing positive for COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
What’s keeping the region from lockdown measures is science, Oglaza said, which has proven that vaccines work in protecting people from serious illness. He said those who are fully vaccinated are at far less risk of getting sick and transmitting the virus to others.
“We have not seen a significant burden of infection and transmission coming from places where proof of vaccination is in effect,” he said.
But, despite recent moves from the health unit to limit private gatherings to 10 people and add extra screening at schools, the region is seeing unprecedented numbers.
KFL&A is currently third in the province in active cases per 100,000, behind only the Algoma and Sudbury health unit regions.
Councillors Ryan Boehme and Wayne Hill pressed the doctor on restrictions, asking if more should be done, but Oglaza maintained that widespread community lockdowns will do more harm than good.
“Are there other restrictions coming or are we basically talking about cancelling Christmas this year,” Boehme asked.
Oglaza said implementing a total lockdown like seen before, is not an option.
“Probably one of the most successful ways of of of stopping the chain of transmission is something that I don’t believe that anyone in this community is is is willing to accept. And we’ve seen that before. We’ve seen a stay at home order,” he said.
He said these orders adversely impact the most vulnerable populations in the region, and that many people with good jobs able to do remote work will still be able to work under stay-at-home orders.
“Others who rely on that in-person work cannot be working from home and they’re not going to be able to to really do well under these circumstances. They are disproportionately bearing the consequences of some of these very harsh measures,” he said.
He said any further restrictions would be tailored to target symptomatic people attending gatherings.
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“In the vast majority of all of these circumstances, there is a symptomatic person present in that social setting, that gathering, whether it’s an outbreak setting, workplace, school or household, the spread comes from an infected individual being present,” he said.
He said more information on masking and screening protocols will come in the next couple of days. But for now, the medical officer of health told those who are vaccinated to have faith in the protection associated with the vaccine, and urged those who are not to get their shots.
“Vaccines do work. They do show effectiveness and they do change the situation in this fourth wave compared to everything we’ve experienced so far,” he said.
“It is because of the vaccines that we can keep the workplaces and schools open.“
Oglaza will be holding a press conference at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to answer further questions.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Young adults with prior self-harm and eating disorders report mental health issues during the pandemic – News-Medical.Net
Young adults with previous self-harm or eating disorders reported higher levels of depression and anxiety during the pandemic, even when restrictions had eased, according to new research.
The study, led by the University of Bristol and funded by Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, Medical Research Council and Medical Research Foundation, has been published in the Journal of Eating Disorders. It looked at questionnaire information for 2,657 individuals from world-renowned health study Children of the 90s (also known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Researchers analyzed the relationship between previous reports of eating disorder symptoms and self-harm before the pandemic, and mental health problems (symptoms of depression and anxiety) and mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also assessed whether lifestyle changes, such as more sleep, relaxation techniques, or visiting green space, could be linked to mental health and wellbeing in young adults with and without previous eating disorder symptoms or self-harm.
Researchers studied questionnaire data from 2017, when the participants were then aged 25 years, as well as data taken during the pandemic in 2020.
At age 25, 32% of the 2,657 young adults reported at least one eating disorder symptom, 9% reported self-harm, and 5.5% reported both an eating disorder symptom and self-harm in the last year.
During the pandemic, those with previously reported eating disorder symptoms and/or self-harm had more symptoms of depression and anxiety, and worse mental wellbeing, compared to individuals without previous symptoms. This remained the case after adjusting for their pre-pandemic levels of depression, anxiety and mental wellbeing.
Lifestyle changes appeared to have little effect on the increased risk for mental health problems in those with prior eating disorder symptoms or self-harm.
Eating disorders and self-harm are common and troubling mental health problems among young adults. In the UK, approximately 1.25 million people are living with an eating disorder and almost 1 in 15 adults report self-harm.
Our research has highlighted individuals with prior self-harm and eating disorder symptoms are key risk groups and further longitudinal research is needed to understand their ongoing mental health as well as risk and protective factors.
Individuals with previous eating disorder symptoms and self-harm should be considered vulnerable to depression and anxiety throughout the pandemic and beyond. Funding for rapid and responsive service provision is essential to reduce the impact of the pandemic on those with mental health problems.”
Dr Naomi Warne, Lead Author, Senior Research Associate, Centre for Academic Mental Health, University of Bristol
5 Common Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Nothing makes a first good impression quite like a healthy and friendly smile. Radiating confidence and warmth, a smile can speak volumes about a person without them saying a word.
Unfortunately, not everyone is naturally blessed with a perfectly proportioned and straight set of pearly whites. From overbites to crookedness, discoloration to gaps, there can be a whole host of reasons why you might want to tend to your teeth.
To help you find the right treatment for you this article will highlight some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures that are available.
Orthodontics have come a long way since the days of unsightly metal braces which can add to one feeling self-conscious about their smile.
With a range of discrete alternatives on the market which are cleverly disguised to blend with your teeth, braces need no longer hold the stigma they once used to, nor be exclusively for children only.
Treatments such as ceramic braces, Six Month Smiles or Invisalign clear aligners offer you the option to straighten your teeth whilst wearing less noticeable or invisible braces.
Veneers are made from ceramic or porcelain and fit onto the front of the teeth to create a new surface. The finished result is a homogeneous looking smile.
The whole process usually takes a few weeks from consulting to fitting and involves filing down the tooth enamel to prevent the veneers sticking out too much and to allow them to bond to the tooth effectively.
This procedure is ideal for people who have chipped or broken teeth, discoloration that can’t be resolved by bleaching, or small teeth and if well looked after, veneers can last around a decade.
A common treatment that can now be done at home, tooth bleaching or whitening,is a relatively quick and inexpensive way to achieve a glowing smile.It is ideal for people who already have healthy, aligned teeth that do not require much correction or for people who do not want to invest too much on a dental procedure.
Most dentists, such as Eastport Dental in NE Calgary, offer teeth whitening procedures and it is best to consult with them before trying an over-the-counter bleach yourself.
Dental contouring, also known as odontoplasty or enameloplasty, deals with the reshaping of the tooth’s enamel.
The procedure involves the removal of small amounts of enamel to improve misshapen, overly long or chipped teeth to create a more uniform appearance. To undergo this procedure your teeth must be healthy and strong and the enamel must be thick enough to withstand removal. Although rare, the risk is that too much enamel is removed leaving the tooth prone to decay or breakage.
Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure that addresses cracked, broken or stained teeth by applying a soft resin which is hardened with a special light, bonding it to the tooth.
Bonding is one of the least expensive and simplest cosmetic dental procedures and can also be used to close gaps as well increase the length of teeth.
Although bonding can last several years, the resin material used in this procedure is not as strong as a healthy tooth and can break or chip from biting or chewing on hard food.
With these five cosmetic dental procedures on the market a celebrity smile need no longer be exclusively for the rich and famous.
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