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UK Covid live news: minister says four-week delay in England lockdown easing could let extra 10m people get second jab

Latest updates: Edward Argar, health minister, says second doses would increase people’s protection against the Delta variant

In his Today interview this morning Edward Argar, the health minister, quoted figures showing that two doses of vaccine are much more effective against the Delta variant than a single dose. (See 8.59am.) He was referring to these figures from a Public Health England report (pdf) on the impact of vaccines published last week.

The chart gives figures for the effectiveness against symptomatic disease of one and two doses of vaccine with B.1.1.7 (originally known as the Kent variant, and now called Alpha) and and with B.1.617.2 (the Delta variant). The Delta variant is now the overwhelmingly dominant one in the UK, so the effectiveness figures in the Delta column are the ones that count.

Boris Johnson has arrived in Brussels for today’s Nato summit. Speaking to reporters on his arrival, he was asked if he agreed with President Biden that Nato has not taken the threat posed by China seriously enough.

As my colleague Patrick Wintour reports in his G7 analysis, what to do about China was one of the key issues at the summit in Cornwall, and the US were briefing that Johnson supported the relatively forceful line taken by Biden. But in reality, Patrick points out, Johnson is less confrontational, and that was borne out by his answer this morning.

I think China is, as I have said many times, a gigantic fact in our lives and a new strategic consideration for Nato which has spent so much of its time in the last 72 years thinking about the Soviet Union, then of course the former Soviet Union, the various security threats posed from that area.

But I think, when it comes to China, I don’t think anybody around the table today wants to descend into a new cold war with China. I don’t think that’s where people are.

Continue reading…

Read the original article at The Guardian

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