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Summer COVID cases set to reach 2 million with 10 million isolating

Analysis from the Guardian has found that over two million people could contract COVID-19 this summer, which could therefore lead to over 10 million people being forced to self-isolate.

These figures have been estimated from data modelling presented to MPs, which suggested infections could reach 50,000 a day by July 19 and then 100,000 a day later in the summer.

100,000 daily infections is still an unprecedented figure in the UK, with the highest figure reported so far reaching 81,000 in December last year.

Over 600,000 positive COVID tests genomically sequenced in UK

The UK has genomically sequenced more than 600,000 positive COVID-19 test, it was announced on Friday.

Genomic sequencing plays a key role in the identification of new variants of concern (VOC) and also in capturing critical data about the virus at is identifies a virus’s genetic make-up, allowing new variants or mutations in existing variants to be detected.

It is estimated that the UK contributes around 23% of all COVID-19 sequencing across the world uploaded to GISAID, a global data sharing initiative.

Survey reveals over 2 million people impacted by long COVID in UK

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

A recent survey from Imperial College London has revealed that over 2 million people in the UK may have suffered from long lasting COVID-19 symptoms.

The REACT study, which was granted £5.5 million from the UK government, assessed self-reported data from 508,707 adults, finding that 5.8% of the whole study population had suffered from symptoms lasting over 12 weeks.

UK COVID vaccine update

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

Care home staff vaccinations to be compulsory

COVID-19 vaccinations among care home staff are to become mandatory, the Guardian has reported.

The move comes as government ministers consider extending this to all NHS staff, and will likely cause outrage amongst staff in both services. There is the possibility that the move could lead to the government being sued under European human rights law or equalities legislation for breaching the freedom of people who work in caring roles to decide what they put into their bodies.

UK government invests £5m in COVID-19 mRNA vaccine library

Image credit: Berit Watkin on Flickr

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has received a £5 million investment from the UK government, to support the development of an mRNA ​‘vaccine library’ as part of the vaccine support package announced in the Budget by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The vaccine library will form the basis of a rapid response facility enabling mRNA vaccines to be developed against new variants of COVID-19 as and when they emerge.

Gilead challenges Government over patents on preventative HIV drug Truvada

Gilead is challenging the US Government’s patents on PrEP drug Truvada.

The Foster City firm has submitted a challenge to the US Patents and Trademark Office (PTO) over the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) patent on preventative HIV drug Truvada.

In a statement from August 21, Gilead said: “We strongly believe that the patents granted to HHS since 2015 for PrEP and PEP are not valid.”

Government to set up express freight service for medicines in case of no-deal Brexit

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) plans to spend £3 million on emergency transport solutions for medicines in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

The Government has said it wants to hire an “express freight service” to transport medicines, blood and transplant tissue in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

“DHSC intends to run a procurement exercise to secure access to express parcel services between continental Europe and the United Kingdom (import and export), for the movement of parcel consignments of health care products,” the Government said.

US Government awarded new patent on preventative HIV drugs PrEP

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been awarded a new patent on drugs that prevent HIV.

The US Patent office has awarded the US government a patent on drugs derived from HIV drug Tenofovir that inhibit the transmission of HIV.

The new patent may reignite a dispute between the government and PrEP drugmaker Gilead over the rights to PrEP drug Truvada and its successor Descovy.

In May 2019, campaigners called on the government to enforce the CDC’s patents on the use of Truvada as a preventative treatment for HIV.

Two thirds of MPs believe NHS should spend less on medicines

Nearly two thirds (64%) of MPs believe the NHS should direct more resources towards prevention, over funding for new treatments, according to a poll of 100 parliamentarians.

The report suggests MPs support the vision set out in the NHS Long Term Plan – a plan through which the government intends to spend less on medicines as they shift focus towards preventative care.

Opioid crisis cost US government nearly $38 billion in lost taxes

The opioid epidemic may have cost US state and federal governments as much as $37.8 billion in lost tax revenue, according to researchers from Pennsylvania State University.

Opioid related loss of employment cost the government billions in lost tax revenue between the years 2000 and 2016, the research says.

The state of Pennsylvania was found to be one of the biggest losers, having lost around $638.2 million in income and sales taxes, the study published in the journal Medical Care says.

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