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Seven days in medicine: 13-19 October 2021

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2540 (Published 21 October 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2540

Covid-19

“Chaotic” vaccine booster rollout is criticised

The programme to give third covid vaccinations to people with compromised immune systems is a “chaotic failure,” charities said. The NHS said that all eligible patients should have been invited for their third vaccine by 11 October, but separate surveys by Blood Cancer UK and Kidney Care UK found that 55-60% of patients had yet to be invited for a third dose. Gemma Peters of Blood Cancer UK said that delays were causing “huge distress and anxiety” to patients.

Vaccine centres prepare to open to children

Ministers were expected to open the national vaccine service to children under 16 in England this week to speed up vaccination rates of just 14.2% in 12-15 year olds, whereas the rate is 44.3% in Scotland. People under 19 now account for the largest number of new cases of covid-19, and critics have blamed a poorly planned vaccination programme in which children could access vaccines only through schools.

Maternity

Poorest areas have highest rates of perinatal mortality

Babies born to women living in the most deprived areas of the UK are twice as likely to be stillborn and are at a 73% higher risk of neonatal death than babies born in the most affluent areas, and the poverty gap is …

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