Covid live: percentage testing positive increases across most of England; Pfizer says jab shows 91% efficacy in children








England’s R number rises to between 1 and 1.2 – UKHSA








Norway opts not to give 12-15 year-olds second vaccine doses yet





























More than half of US states have introduced new laws to restrict public health actions, including policies requiring quarantine or isolation and mandating vaccines or masks.

Between the new laws and the massive workforce departures during the pandemic, public health in America is now in crisis, experts say.

The new restrictions and shortages not only affect responses to the coronavirus but also make it harder to contain outbreaks of the flu, measles and other health crises, and they put the US in a weaker position to combat future pandemics.

Just as the pandemic has fuelled a burnout crisis among frontline medical staff, it has been calamitous for the mental health of workers in public health. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, told the Guardian:


We’re very, very concerned about the rolling back of public health powers. We thought there was going to be a renaissance for public health, and we may be at the cusp of a major decline.

Separate investigations by Kaiser Health News and the New York Times found that at least 32 states have introduced about 100 new laws to restrict state and local authorities from addressing health crises.

David Rosner, a public health and social historian at Columbia University, told the Guardian:


It’s a pretty grim future. This is an eye-opening moment in American history, where we see all of these traditions and ideas being mobilised to basically create discord rather than harmony around disease. I’ve just never seen this before.

Legislators in every US state have proposed bills to permanently limit officials’ ability to protect the public’s health. Some did not make it through the legislature or were vetoed by governors, while others are mired in legal battles.








Pfizer says Covid vaccine shows more than 90% efficacy in children

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Percentage of people testing positive for Covid increases in most English regions















Russia tops daily Covid deaths for fourth day in a row















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Today so far

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Italy’s green pass rule triggers rise in Covid jab uptake

At the vaccination hub outside Termini train station in Rome, a steady flow of people have been turning up for their first Covid vaccine dose in recent days. The mood is begrudging. “If I didn’t have to do it, I wouldn’t,” said Rosanna Barbuto, a supermarket worker. Catalin, 41, who works in a factory, said: “I’m taking it because I need to work.”

They are among the vaccine hesitant who caved in after Italy made it mandatory for all workers to present a so-called green pass to access their workplaces. The rules are the strictest in Europe and require workers to present proof of vaccination, immunity or of a negative test taken within the previous 48 hours. Some see Italy’s cautious approach as the key to its current low infection rate.

Barbuto, 59, said she was not against vaccinations, and took the flu jab every year. “I didn’t want to take the one for coronavirus as I wasn’t sure how safe it is. I was afraid. People were talking about the side-effects and then there were all these protests. But I need to work and so need the green pass, and I don’t want to keep spending money on tests.”

Read more of Angela Giuffrida’s report from Rome here: ‘I need to work’: Italy’s green pass rule triggers rise in Covid jab uptake

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More than half of US states have introduced new laws to restrict public health actions, including policies requiring quarantine or isolation and mandating vaccines or masks. Between the new laws and the massive workforce departures during the pandemic, public health in America is now in crisis, experts say.

The new restrictions and shortages not only affect responses to the coronavirus but also make it harder to contain outbreaks of the flu, measles and other health crises, and they put the US in a weaker position to combat future pandemics.

“We’re very, very concerned about the rolling back of public health powers,” Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, told the Guardian. “We thought there was going to be a renaissance for public health, and we may be at the cusp of a major decline.”

Separate investigations by Kaiser Health News and the New York Times found that at least 32 states have introduced about 100 new laws to restrict state and local authorities from addressing health crises.

“It’s a pretty grim future,” David Rosner, a public health and social historian at Columbia University, told the Guardian. “This is an eye-opening moment in American history, where we see all of these traditions and ideas being mobilized to basically create discord rather than harmony around disease. I’ve just never seen this before.”

Legislators in every US state have proposed bills to permanently limit officials’ ability to protect the public’s health. Some did not make it through the legislature or were vetoed by governors, while others are mired in legal battles.

Read more of Melody Schreiber’s report here: US public health in crisis as Covid prompts curbs on officials’ powers

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