Heatstroke symptoms: Are heatstroke and heat exhaustion the same?

Heatstroke: Dr Hilary gives his advice for sufferers

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Summery temperatures have brought people outside during June, following a disappointing chilly May. The mercury has hovered around 25C for the last week or so, not too hot or cold for most Sunseekers. But if the heat spikes as it did in 2020, people will want to keep an eye out for potential symptoms of heatstroke.

Are heatstroke and heat exhaustion the same?

Summer heat can mess with the body’s ability to regulate temperatures.

High temperatures and humidity, combined with any strenuous activity, can result in heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

They aren’t the same condition, however, as heat exhaustion comes first.

Overheating that leads to heat exhaustion is easier to correct and not life-threatening.

Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fast pulse or breathing
  • High temperature (38C+)
  • Excessive thirst

According to the NHS, people need to cool down quickly to avoid more severe consequences.

Anyone with heat exhaustion should move to a cool place, lie down, raise their feet, drink cold water, and cool their skin.

They also need to stop all activity and rest until they start to cool off.

These methods should allow people to cool down within 30 minutes.

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If they remain hot, the symptoms persist, or their temperature increases, heat exhaustion can evolve into heatstroke.

Heatstroke is a dangerous condition that can end up fatal if left untreated.

Symptoms include:

  • Persistent symptoms of heat exhaustion after resting
  • Not sweating despite overheating
  • A higher temperature (40C+)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fast breathing
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsiveness

The NHS recommends people call the NHS if they think someone they know has heatstroke.

Some people are more at risk of developing both conditions during hot weather.

They include the very old or very young, obese people, and those on prescription medications for blood pressure or their heart.

Sudden temperature changes and a high heat index also indicate a higher risk of heatstroke.

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Can you lose weight without counting calories?

Weight loss: How walking contributes to burning calories

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Weight loss is simple maths – you need to avoid eating more calories than you’re burning. Every food item has calories in it, you just need to pick the lowest calorie items to lose weight. Express.co.uk chatted to Signe Svanfeldt, a food scientist at Lifesum (www.lifesum.com), the world’s leading global nutrition app to find out whether or not you can lose weight without counting calories.

One calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise one gram of water by one degree Celsius.

It’s more commonly known for the energy that exists in the food we eat, and the energy our body consumes.

Cutting down on how many calories you eat will naturally help you to lose weight… but can you lose weight without tracking your calories?

Can you lose weight without counting calories?

Counting calories is not essential for weight loss – you can still lose weight without counting calories.

Signe said: “By making small adjustments in your diet, you can reduce the number of calories without having to count them.”

For example, the following swaps will help you cut down your calorie intake:

  • including more vegetables in your meals
  • switching to whole grain options
  • swapping soft drinks for water
  • eating less saturated fat including butter and cream
  • eating less nutrient-poor, energy-dense foods rich in sugar, such as sweets, biscuits and ice cream

Having a balanced and varied diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats isn’t just helpful for weight loss, it is key for your overall well being.

Signe said: “If you want to lose weight without tracking calories, a good tip is to include more vegetables and whole grains in your diet.

“Vegetables are rich in nutrients and low in energy which means you can eat a large amount without getting a lot of calories.

“Whole grains are rich in dietary fibre which makes you feel fuller for longer – plus it’s beneficial for your digestion.”

Weight loss is quite simple when you think about it, you just need to burn more calories than you eat.

You don’t need to exercise to burn calories, your body burns calories to do basic day-to-day activities and functions.

Signe explained: “Your body constantly needs energy for basic bodily functions such as breathing – and for the heart, brain, lungs and tissues.

“The amount of energy needed to do these basic functions is called Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR), and the amount is depending on variables, including sex, age, weight and height.

“In addition to the BMR, you also burn energy doing your daily tasks such as working, walking and exercising. All of these burn energy too.

“If you eat as much energy as your body burns, you will maintain weight. If you eat more energy than your body burns for a period of time, you will gain weight – and, likewise, if you eat less energy than your body burns, you will lose weight.”

In order to know how much energy you need to eat to lose weight, you need to know how much energy your body needs daily.

Signe said: “You can calculate this yourself, but it can be a bit tricky – a great tip is to use Lifesum as it will calculate this for you.

“It is recommended to have a stable and healthy weight loss pace, at around 500 calories deficiency.

“So, if you need 2500 calories to maintain weight, a suitable weight loss would be around 2000 calories per day.”

If counting calories sounds like too much hassle, you can use a smart tracking tool like Lifesum, which allows you to save your favourite foods, meals and recipes in the app to make it easier.

Signe noted: “A useful function within Lifesum is the barcode scanner, which allows you to easily scan the food you eat.”

The expert also advises those hoping to lose weight to eat more mindfully and listen to your body.

She said: “Our bodies are wonderful creations, and they give us signals when we need to eat, and when we are full – and should stop eating.

“In order to increase awareness of these cues, we need to pay attention to our bodies and be more mindful when eating.

“Some tips on eating mindfully are to eat slowly, chew your food properly, don’t eat in front of screens, and make sure to always sit down while eating.”

If you feel triggered by counting calories, you should not do so.

Signe said: “If you feel like you have a complicated relationship with food, you should contact your GP for further assistance.”

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Ticking time bomb of 850,000 living with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes

NHS doctor discusses coronavirus waiting list backlog

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A record 4.9 million people in the UK are now living with the condition, including 850,000 who are undiagnosed and unaware they have type 2, said charity Diabetes UK said. Experts warned that the Covid-19 pandemic must act as a wake-up call to increase prevention efforts and tackle the obesity crisis. Chris Askew, chief executive at Diabetes UK, said: “The number of people with diabetes is increasing year on year.

“As we look to the future post Covid-19, preventing cases of type 2 diabetes must be a public health priority.

“The pandemic has shown with devastating clarity how diabetes puts you at increased risk of poorer outcomes when contracting the virus.

“Yet, we know that with the right support, up to half of type 2 diabetes cases – and the accompanying risk of developing life-threatening complications – can be delayed or prevented.”

Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to control blood sugar levels properly.

High levels can lead to serious complications including heart and kidney disease as well as nerve damage.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 percent of cases and is often linked to lifestyle.

Obesity is the single biggest factor and accounts for 80-85 percent of someone’s risk of developing the condition. Other factors include age, family history and ethnicity.

The number of people living with obesity in England has almost doubled in the past 20 years from 6.9 to 13 million, the charity said.

Even though the number of people diagnosed with diabetes across the UK has soared from to 4.1 million in 2019-20, Diabetes UK predicts that the total – including the undiagnosed population – will reach 5.5 million by 2030.

Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, called for tougher action to combat the increase in weight.

He said: “For 20 years successive governments have done next to nothing to tackle obesity, diabetes’ principal trigger.”

He predicted the Diabetes Prevention Programme – heralded as the answer to preventing further escalation – will fail.

Mr Fry added: “Until Boris Johnson wins his fight against fat, which he announced a year ago this week, the UK will be plagued by increases in both obesity and diabetes.”

The latest figures cover the period before the pandemic and do not take into account the impact of coronavirus on diagnosis. A recent study suggested there were 60,000 missed or delayed diagnoses of type 2 diabetes during 2020.

Researchers warned the NHS may see patients coming forward with worse symptoms because of the delays.

They also noted their figures may be an underestimate if lifestyle changes during lockdown have increased obesity rates.

The latest analysis was released to mark Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week, a joint initiative between Diabetes UK, Public Health England and NHS England taking place until Sunday.

Mr Askew added: “This Diabetes Prevention Week, we want to help people understand their personal risk of type 2
diabetes and the first step is to complete our free Know Your Risk Tool, today.”

●To check your diabetes risk, visit riskscore.diabetes.org.uk

Comment by Helen Kirrane

IN A period that’s been hard for all of us, we know that people with diabetes and their loved ones have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

And new figures show that diabetes is, and remains, a very serious and rapidly growing health condition.

The number of people diagnosed has doubled in the past 15 years, mainly due to the rise in type 2 diabetes.

Right now, 4.9 million in the UK are living with diabetes − 90 per cent of those with type 2.

And there are an estimated 850,000 with type 2 diabetes who don’t know it because they haven’t been diagnosed. Research shows that living with obesity is the single greatest risk factor for developing type 2.

With 13.6 million people now at increased risk, it is more important than ever that the Government does not waver in its bold obesity strategy outlined last year.

This includes restricting promotion of unhealthy food and mandatory calorie labelling in larger takeaways and restaurant chains.

Delivering the promises of the obesity strategy is just the start. We need measures that make it easier for all of us to live healthier lives, and better care and support for people living with obesity.

As we look to the future, we must focus on diabetes and in particular ramp up the essential preventative approaches to stop type 2 diabetes in its tracks.

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Dental phobia: How to overcome a fear of the dentist – 6 tips

Chris Evans recalls 'traumatic experience' of visiting the dentist

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The general rule says we should all visit the dentist every six months but the NHS site explains the time between check-ups can vary from three months to two years, depending on how healthy your teeth and gums are and your risk of future problems. If you’re too scared to go to the dentist and it has been too long since your last visit, you need to force yourself to go. Express.co.uk chatted to Dr Kailesh Solanki, advisory dentist at Dental Phobia and Dr Martina Hodgson, dentist & Invisalign doctor at The Dental Studio to find out their top six tips to overcoming a fear of the dentist.

Experienced dentist

First things first, make sure you’re going to the right dentist for you.

Dr Solanki said: “If you can, ensure that your dentist is experienced in treating nervous patients.

“Dentophobia is very common and there’s no need to be embarrassed. Your dentist should take the time to talk over your fears and suggest how treatment could be adapted to accommodate your phobia.

“This might include mild sedation or using the wand technique instead of the traditional syringe, to deliver anaesthetic slowly; minimising the risk of feeling uncomfortable.”

Be on time

Being late will exacerbate your anxiety, but there’s no need to be more than five or 10 minutes early.

Dr Solanki said: “Although you need to arrive in good time for your appointment, try to ensure that you’re not exceptionally early.

“Arriving shortly before your appointment will ensure you don’t have to sit for too long in the waiting area, with your tension increasing by the minute.”

Arrive relaxed

Don’t do anything before the appointment that will make you feel more stressed, instead, you should try and relax.

Dr Hodgson said: “Start the relaxation process early. Before your appointment, you could try either doing an activity which makes you happy such as clothes shopping.

“Or enjoy a hot bath or even have a massage, so you come to your appointment already relaxed.”

Distract yourself

If you’d rather not think about what’s going on in the moment, it’s perfectly okay to distract yourself.

Dr Solanki said: “If you prefer not to know what’s going on, playing catchy music through headphones can be a great distraction, both from the noise of the equipment and the treatment taking place. Why not make your own dental playlist?

“Some dental clinics provide their own music or even a TV screen on the ceiling which has proven to relax many patients.”

Dr Hodgson added: “Try distracting yourself with an object you’ve brought in specifically, such as a stress ball, a charm bracelet or a fidget spinner.

“By focusing your touch sense on feeling the object in your hand, this may help to distract you from the treatment taking place in your mouth.”

Speak up

If you can’t distract yourself and you’d rather a continuous monologue from the dentist, tell them!

Dr Hodgson said: “Some patients are soothed by being able to maintain a degree of control whilst having treatment.

“For those individuals, a constant commentary by the dentist, explaining what each instrument does, what is happening and why, can be very helpful.”


You can’t exactly have a soothing drink or do some yoga during your appointment, but you can use aromatherapy to stay calm.

Dr Hodgson said: “You can use your sense of smell to help you relax.

“Bring some lavender pillow spray and spray it on your top or on your wrist to help you calm down when you feel tense and bring about a sense of safety and wellbeing.”

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Tarantula venom could be used to treat Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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A molecule found in the venom produced by the giant spiders could provide a key ingredient for new treatments for the condition. When it was used to treat mice, the animals’ blood sugar levels declined steadily over an hour and they ­consumed less food. Experts at Ulster University now believe a particular molecule could lead to treatments for people.

Researcher and Phd student Aimee Coulter Parkhill said: “Tarantula venom contains millions of biologically active molecules that may have therapeutic potential.

“This research highlights one ­specific molecule from the venom of the Mexican blonde tarantula, which shows promise in treating diabetes.

“We are excited to follow up on our pilot studies to understand how it could, in future, help people who are living with ­Type 2 diabetes.”

An estimated 4.8 million people in Britain have the condition.

Of those, 90 percent have Type 2, which means they do not produce enough insulin – the hormone ­that regulates blood sugar levels, which is made by beta cells in ­the pancreas.

Until now it has not been clear why the tarantula venom works. But when the Ulster University team tested a synthetic version of the molecule in the laboratory, they found it increased insulin secretion more than two-fold in beta cells.

It is thought it may be controlling channels on the surface of the cells which allow other molecules to flow in and out.

It also improved beta cell growth and did not damage them.

Dr Elizabeth Robertson, of Diabetes UK which funded the ­study, said: “This innovative research has revealed a promising new treatment avenue that could, in future, help improve or restore beta cell function in people living with Type 2 diabetes.

“We look forward to further ­studies to explore whether tarantula venom-based therapy could be developed to be effective ­and safe in people, providing a new weapon in the armoury ­for treating Type 2 diabetes.”

Source: Read Full Article

How to stop acid reflux at night – the 5 steps to short and long-term relief

Dr Zoe explains the causes and symptoms of acid reflux

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Acid reflux, otherwise known as heartburn or GERD, is a nasty condition. While it won’t traditionally require medical attention, it does cause a great deal of discomfort and can last for hours. And when it emerges, reflux interferes with daily life, such as sleep cycles.

How to stop acid reflux at night

Acid reflux causes an unpleasant surge of pain in the throat, caused by backed up stomach acid.

Most people will experience it only briefly, but some will have chronic GERD caused by medicine or an illness.

Thankfully, there are several potential solutions to relieving it, and they can help in a pinch.

Avoid eating late

Acid reflux develops when stomach acids flow into the tube connecting the organ to the mouth.

Eating later requires the stomach to continue digesting closer to bedtime, which can aggravate GERD.

Finishing at least three hours before lying down should provide enough time for digestion.

Avoid triggers

When you eat matters with GERD, but so does what you eat.

Stomach acid triggers will vary for most people, but doctors have identified several serial offending foods or drinks.

These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Spicy or citrus-heavy foods
  • Peppermint
  • High-fat fried foods

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Over the counter medication

Those dealing with stubborn reflux can pursue over the counter treatment.

People can find several at their local pharmacy, including traditional antacids, which neutralise stomach acids.

H2 receptor blockers (or sci-fi sounding proton pump inhibitors) block or reduce stomach acid production.

Change your clothes

Aggravated stomachs often produce more acid, and there are several ways to provoke the organ.

One is by squashing it with tighter form-fitting clothes, which may squeeze acid out of the stomachs main entry point.

Looser-fitting pyjamas or nightclothes will help reduce pressure and prevent GERD flare-ups.

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Pandemic taking ‘massive toll’ as women fight depression

Denise Welch talks to depression sufferer for MHFA England

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Almost 60 percent of women feel more stressed or overwhelmed since the pandemic began, compared with 41 percent of men. The survey, commissioned by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), revealed that almost half of women (48 percent) now feel more depressed or hopeless, while only 38 percent of men feel the same way.

One in 10 women who accessed counselling services have done so for the first time in the past six months, and just over half of those said it was influenced by Covid-19.

BACP’s annual public perceptions survey was conducted as part of its Friends First campaign, which is urging meeting up as part of the “rule of six friends”.

This comes after the recent relaxing of restrictions, meaning groups of six can now meet outdoors.

The campaign also wants to help people spot the signs of deteriorating mental health and encourage loved ones to seek professional support if needed.

Some 87 percent have become more conscious of the mental health of friends and family since the pandemic and 37 percent of those who have never had counselling before said they would consider it if a friend or family member suggested it.

Lorraine Collins, a registered BACP counsellor based in London, said: “The onset of the pandemic brought a rapid emotional gear shift for women in the home that has seen a disproportionate effect on their mental health.

“Stress factors such as no longer having physical or mental space to decompress, coupled with expectations to manage everything under one roof while working and being the main care givers, has made a real impact.”

BACP’s Fiona Ballantine Dykes, a senior counsellor and supervisor, said: “While we recognise the important role that friends and family will play in the mental wellbeing of their loved ones, we are acutely aware that overcoming mental health obstacles requires professional help.

“It’s important that people try to spot the signs of where support is needed, such as someone retreating from conversations or not responding to messages.

“Equally as important is that friends do not become overwhelmed and give the wrong advice, however well meant.”

Source: Read Full Article

EMA announcement: European Medicines Agency to give safety update on AstraZeneca vaccine

Moderna vaccine: Unpaid carer receives first UK jab

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The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will hold a briefing on Wednesday which will discuss the investigation of the AstraZeneca vaccine relating to cases of thromboembolic events. Millions of people have been given the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine without experiencing severe side effects. However, in recent months there have been a small number of reports that recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine have experienced extremely rare blood clots.

Some countries have suspended the use of the vaccine as a precaution, while other countries have set age limits on the AstraZeneca jab.

A senior official for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in an interview published on Tuesday there was a link between the vaccine and rare blood clots in the brain but the possible causes were still unknown.

The EMA later said in a statement that its review of the vaccine was ongoing and that it would give an update on its investigation on Wednesday afternoon.

When is the EMA AstraZeneca vaccine briefing?

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) briefing will be held on Wednesday at 3pm. 

Speakers at the EMA briefing will include EMA executive director Emer Cooke and EMA safety committee chairwoman Dr Sabine Straus.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will also be giving a televised briefing at 3pm on Wednesday.

The briefing will be led by Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Jonathan Van-Tam.

Professor Van-Tam will be joined by MHRA chief executive Dr June Raine, chair of the Committee of Human Medicines Sir Munir Pirmohamed and chair of the JCVI Professor Wei Shen.

The briefing is also expected to address whether the AstraZeneca vaccine is directly causing rare brain blood clots.

Both the EMA and the MHRA have carried out reviews into reports of rare brain clots in people who have had the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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The updates from both the EMA and the MHRA have been widely anticipated, with vaccine rollout uncertain in many countries due to the reports.

Some European countries have restricted the vaccine use in younger people following reports of low platelet counts and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), a specific type of clot that prevents blood from draining from the brain.

However in the UK, experts this week have urged people to take the AstraZeneca vaccine if they are offered it, stressing vaccine rollout should continue to help protect people against COVID-19.

Former MHRA chief Professor Sir Kent Woods also told LBC radio: “Covid itself – the infection itself – is known to be associated with a substantial increased risk of blood clots of various kinds.

“At a time when the population has got lots of Covid going around, it’s very difficult to know what the actual background rate of these clotting events is without the vaccine.

“We can say, I think, that if there is a connection, it’s a very, very rare one.”

Ravi Gupta, professor of clinical microbiology at the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Diseases, also urged people to keep their vaccine appointments.

He told Sky News: “I think that’s on balance at the moment – there’s still transmission of Covid, and there is a risk to all of us of being infected, particularly as the economy is being opened up and society’s opening up, we are at risk of getting severe infection.

“So I would certainly be going forward for that vaccine in the current situation.”

Source: Read Full Article

Should you have the AstraZeneca vaccine if you’re on blood thinners?

AstraZeneca: Expert says suspension could 'dent confidence'

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The AstraZeneca vaccine has caused a small number of reports to emerge of people experiencing blood clots in the days and weeks following the vaccination. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) reported one person in Austria was diagnosed with blood clots and died 10 days after vaccination, but the agency stressed there is “currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions”. Another person was admitted to hospital in Austria with pulmonary embolism (blockage in arteries in the lungs) after being vaccinated, while one death involving a blood clot was reported in Denmark.

A 50-year-old man is also thought to have died in Italy from deep vein thrombosis (DVT), while there are unofficial reports of another death in Italy.

Ireland’s decision to withdraw the vaccine temporarily followed reports of serous clotting in Norwegian adults which left four people in the hospital.

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov, said its suspension would last until the EMA issued a written confirmation that the vaccine is safe.

Italy has followed Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg and Lithuania in banning vaccines from particular batch of a million AstraZeneca vaccines sent to 17 countries, following reports of a death.

Should you have the AstraZeneca vaccine if you’re on blood thinners?

In general, yes, it’s understood that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for people on blood thinners.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) states that all in all, it’s safe to get the vaccine but “you should let the person giving you the vaccine know” that you’re taking blood thinners.

As with any injection in any other circumstance, there is a risk of bleeding after having the vaccine.

The BHF writes on its website: “Like most vaccines, the coronavirus vaccine is injected into the muscle of your upper arm.

“Injections into your muscle may bleed a little more than injections that are given under the skin, but less than those that are given into a vein.

“If you are taking a blood thinner such as warfarin, or a new anticoagulant, the bleeding may take a little longer to stop and you may get more bruising on your upper arm.

“Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health have said that you can have the vaccine if your anticoagulant treatment is stable.

“That generally means that you will have been taking the same dose for a while and that if you are on warfarin, that your INR checks are up to date and your latest INR level was in the right range.”

When contacted for comment, the MHRA said: “As with other intramuscular injections, COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca should be given with caution to individuals with thrombocytopenia, any coagulation disorder or to persons on anticoagulation therapy, because bleeding or bruising may occur following an intramuscular administration in these individuals.” 

The MHRA, like BHF, advises recipients to tell their doctor, pharmacist or nurse before being vaccinated if they have a problem with bleeding or bruising, or if they are taking blood-thinning medicine. 

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For people taking blood thinners like clopidogrel or other anti-platelet drugs, the vaccine is also safe, although again, you may experience a bit more bruising around the injection site.

The UK’s medicines and health regulator, the MHRA, has already issued a statement in response to the vaccine scare that more than 11million doses have been given in the UK with no adverse consequences.

After Ireland’s decision to suspend its use, MHRA vaccines safety leader Dr Phil Bryan said about blood clots: “We were aware of the action in Ireland.

“We are closely reviewing reports but given the large number of doses administered and the frequency at which blood clots can occur naturally, the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause.

Dr Bryan said people “should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so”.

Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said his organisation is continuing to keep a close eye on the safety of vaccines.

Dr Tedros said it was important to note the EMA “has said there is no indication of a link between the vaccine and blood clots and that the vaccine can continue to be used while its investigation is ongoing”.

His comments reiterated remarks made by WHO spokesperson Dr Margaret Harris, who described the vaccine as “excellent”.

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Vaccine certificates would kill any hopes of festivals this year, warn experts

Vaccine passports could be 'unnecessarily divisive' says expert

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Specialists in healthcare law and policy last week warned the government about flaws in the new proposals aimed at helping society return to a pre-covid normality. The experts also warned Covid passports would discriminate against millions of younger adults who will not have had the opportunity to have received two doses of the jab by the beginning of the school summer holidays, ruling out any prospects of using the documents to travel abroad.

Oliver Dowden revealed the government is piloting different “covid certificates” as proof of vaccination or negative covid test status in order to allow groups to return to large gatherings such as festivals and sports events. 

It was also suggested new vaccine passports – currently being reviewed by Michael Gove -could allow those vaccinated or testing negative to travel.

Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery, a specialist in healthcare law and ethics at University College London, has addresssed civil servants about his concerns. 

He said: “I don’t see how the vaccine certificates solve the problem that face us this summer. It sounds plausible until you do the detail. Parents will need to have been vaccinated by 23 April in order to be eligible for a passport in time for the school summer holidays starting on 23 July. Most parents wanting to take children away on school holidays will not be able to apply for a vaccine passport. 

“Oliver Dowden‘s proposal also does not make sense in the context of large-scale sporting events because most people who go to football matches won’t have been vaccinated in time. 

“The Reading Festival starts on the 27th of August but vaccinations for 20 year olds are not happening until late May. 

“Unless ticket holders get their vaccine at the very front of the queue for their category they will be too late and that assumes everything goes smoothly in the vaccination programme. 

“When the government does the maths this can’t be the solution.”

He added: “There is only a small window when this makes sense and once everyone is vaccinated why would you need to do a certificate?”

He dismissed the idea of using vaccine certificates as a means to encourage vaccine uptake. 

He said: “I don’t think using vaccine passports or certificates as an incentive is useful because the more people feel coerced into doing something the more suspicious they may become. The focus should be on creating safe environments.”

Professor Robert Dingwall, an honorary member of the Faculty of Public Health said: “Using vaccine certificates this summer will accentuate potential inequalities if all older people can get free movement and those under 30 cannot until the schools go back in September.”

Under the current roadmap, from 17 May crowds of up to 10,000 in seated outdoor venues such as stadiums will be permitted, as well as up to 4,000 (or 50 percent capacity) people at a non-seated event.

Indoor events for up to 1,000 or 50 percent capacity (whichever is lower) will also be permitted.

It is hoped that all remaining restrictions on larger events will be lifted from 21 June.

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