NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP: Research shows vaccine protection lessens over time AND supermarket boss says food shortages ‘worst’ he’s seen
Your latest national headlines is up now including data suggests that vaccine protection decreases after six months, supply chain issues causing shoppers to have less choice in supermarkets, and the Dame Sarah Storey wins Team GB’s first Paralympic gold.
VACCINE PROTECTION: First - New research suggests that both the Oxford Astra Zeneca and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines reduce in effectiveness after six months. But although a study found an increase in positive tests after half a year, the jabs still do a very good job of protecting against severe illness and death. Experts are encouraging the double jabbed to not miss out on a an autumn booster when offered.
It comes as music festivals and schools returning will lead to a “significant surge” in Covid-19 infections causing concerns for medics, an expert advising the Government has said.
A rise in cases as a result is “realistic” and will happen “despite best efforts” amid the spread of the dominant and more transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus, Professor Ravindra Gupta said.
His comments come as another expert said vaccines should prevent the “significant wave” of hospital admissions seen last autumn, but added there is uncertainty over how big any rise might be this time.
Asked if a surge in cases is inevitable amid summer festivals and the imminent return of schools and colleges, Prof Gupta told BBC Radio Four’s World at One: “Of course there is going to be an associated surge in cases, given that the young people in these events are largely going to be unvaccinated.
“That’s just something that is predictable and will happen, despite best efforts.
FOOD SHORTAGES: Next - the boss of one of Britain's biggest supermarket chains has said that food shortages caused by supply chain issues are the worst he's seen. The chief executive of the cooperative group, Steve Murrells, said shoppers will face less choice on supermarket shelves as the industry struggles to get stock amid lorry driver shortages.
Mr Allan told BBC Radio 4’s World at One that supermarkets would normally be building stock now ahead of Christmas and that the “straightforward solution” to driver shortages would be “to allow UK industry to bring in skilled drivers from elsewhere”.
He added: “We are very short of drivers, it’s a combination of many EU drivers having decided to go home and also the ageing age-profile.
“I think certainly Brexit has been a contributor to that but also improving economies, higher wages in some of the countries that they’ve come from historically, have also led to that flow.”
PARALYMPIC GOLD: And finally - Good news from the first day of the Tokyo Paralympic Games for Team GB. Dame Sarah Storey has won Britains first gold of the games - her fifteenth gold - making her the second most decorated Paralympian in Team GB history.
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