Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 10-16 February 2021

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 18 February 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n444


WHO recommends Oxford vaccine including in over 65s

The World Health Organization recommended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine even in countries tackling new variants. WHO said that the vaccine could be used in people aged over 65, although some countries including Germany have advised against this. It added that spacing out the two doses of the vaccine, as the UK has done, made the vaccine more effective. The interim recommendations,1 from WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, said that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was 63% effective (95% confidence interval 51.81% to 71.73%) overall.

Lab escape theory is “extremely unlikely”—WHO

A team of scientists sent to Wuhan, China, by the World Health Organization to investigate the origins of the covid-19 pandemic effectively ruled out the hypothesis of a viral escape from the nearby Wuhan Institute of Virology. It was “extremely unlikely” that the laboratory’s work was behind the outbreak that struck the city at the end of 2019, said Peter Ben Embarek, a Danish food safety and animal disease specialist who chaired the investigation team. He added, “It isn’t a hypothesis we suggest implies further study.” (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.n428)

Staff wellbeing

BMA: staff are not properly protected from covid

Many thousands of doctors still do not feel fully protected from covid-19 in their place of work, …

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