Friday Five

UK virus deaths, government Stay Home advert and Boris Johnson backs AstraZeneca vaccine – this week’s Friday Five

UK virus deaths exceed 100,000

More than 100,000 people have now died with Covid-19 in the UK, after 1,631 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were recorded in the daily figures. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he takes “full responsibility” for the government’s actions, saying: “We truly did everything we could.”

A total of 100,162 deaths have been recorded in the UK, the first European nation to pass the landmark. Earlier, figures from the ONS, which are based on death certificates, showed there had been nearly 104,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

The UK is now the fifth country to pass 100,000 deaths, coming after the US, Brazil, India and Mexico.

Read the full story in BBC.

Government withdraws ‘sexist’ Stay Home advert

The UK government has withdrawn a social media advert urging people to “Stay Home. Save Lives” after it was criticised for stereotyping women. The three scenes depicted in the advert showed women cleaning, ironing and teaching children. Another depicted a family on a sofa, mother and daughter curled up beside a man who has his feet on the ground.

The infographic has been withdrawn after going viral on social media and facing criticism for being “sexist” with the government saying that the ad did “not reflect” its “view on women”.

Read the full story in BBC.

Boris Johnson backs AstraZeneca vaccine

Boris Johnson has said that he is not concerned by Germany ruling that the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be recommended for under 65s, arguing that the evidence shows it “provides a good immune response across all age groups”.

The Prime Minister joined Public Health England (PHE) in defending the use of the jab after a draft recommendation from Germany’s vaccination advisory committee on Thursday said there was insufficient data to recommend it for those aged 65 and over.

Read the full story in The Telegraph.

Johnson hopes schools in England will reopen from 8 March

Boris Johnson has signalled that England’s lockdown will continue for at least another five weeks, as he has now warned that 8 March was the earliest date on which children could return to the classroom.

When schools were closed to most pupils earlier this month, the prime minister said it would initially be until after the February half-term. However, Johnson announced to MPs on Wednesday that only by the middle of next month would the government have a clearer idea of the impact of the vaccine on the pandemic.

Read the full story in The Guardian.


Quote of the week

In an exclusive interview with la Repubblica, AstraZeneca’s CEO, Pascal Soriot, discussed the accusations from Europe after the delay of Oxford vaccine supplies.

“We knew it was a super stretch goal and we know it’s a big issue, this pandemic. But our contract is not a contractual commitment. It’s a best effort. Basically, we said we’re going to try our best, but we can’t guarantee we’re going to succeed. In fact, getting there, we are a little bit delayed.”

Read the full story in la Repubblica.