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Seven days in medicine: 8-14 May 2024

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q1079 (Published 16 May 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q1079

Covid-19

AstraZeneca starts to withdraw vaccine

AstraZeneca has started withdrawing its Vaxzevria covid vaccine, citing a decline in global demand.1 In a statement the drug company noted a surplus of available updated vaccines that target new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The vaccine was cheap and played a key part in the initial global response to covid-19. However, it was found to be associated with a very rare but serious side effect, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia, occurring in about two to three people in every 100 000 recipients.

NHS performance

Figures show progress on cancer referral target

The latest NHS performance data showed progress against the 28 day and 62 day targets for cancer referral2: in March 31% of patients waited longer than 62 days—the best figure since April 2022 but still way off the 15% target. Separately, the overall waiting list to start elective care seemed to have stagnated at 7.54 million in March. And in April 26% of people attending an emergency department spent more than four hours from arrival to admission, transfer, or discharge—a slight improvement from the same month last year but still above the 24% target set for March 2024.

SAS doctors

RCP backs campaign to retain specialist doctors

The Royal College of Physicians became the first medical royal college to endorse #SASsix, a campaign to improve …

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