Covid morning updates: TikTok medics and influencers tell youngsters to get jabbed

Here are the coronavirus morning headlines for Saturday, October 2.

TikTok-famous NHS doctors will be encouraging young people to get their Covid jab at a pop-up vaccination centre in London.

Youngsters will be able to meet influencers Dr Karan Raj, who has 4.3 million followers, and Dr Emeka Okorocha, who has 242,000 followers, to answer any questions they have about the vaccine.

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The doctors have become influencers by using their platforms to share factual medical information on the vaccine and other health issues with their followers.

More than half (54%) of 16 to 17-year-olds in England have had the first dose of the vaccine and more than three-quarters (75.4%) of those aged 18 to 29.

In London, nearly half of 16 to 17-year-olds have received their first dose (over 48%), according to NHS figures.

The pop-up event on Saturday hopes to encourage the rest to get vaccinated, with those attending getting the chance to create TikToks with the stars.

Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director for the NHS in London, said: “It is fantastic that over 1.2 million young Londoners have had the vaccine – that’s enough to fill Wembley stadium 13 times.

“But it is vital that everyone who should be vaccinated gets vaccinated to protect themselves from the harm coronavirus can cause as well as reduce transmission to more vulnerable friends and family.

“The vaccine is effective, and I would urge anyone eligible, especially those 16 and 17-year-olds who have just started in education or training, to get their life-saving jab.”

NHS booster programme off to a great start as staff are praised

More than 860,000 people have had “top up” Covid-19 jabs, NHS England said.

The health service said a total of 863,460 people have had a top up jab, including boosters and some third doses, while more than a million people have booked a booster jab since online booking opened on September 21.

Among the first to receive it was Margaret Keenan, the first person to receive the coronavirus vaccine in December last year.

NHS England Medical Director Professor Steve Powis said: “Once again NHS staff have risen to the challenge of delivering the NHS booster campaign at outstanding speed with NHS staff administering vaccinations to those most at risk from Covid just two days after government gave the green light.

“Since then, more than 860,000 people have already come forward for that vital, additional top up in protection that will be needed this winter and I urge anyone who has received an invite to join the million other people who have booked in to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The NHS booster programme is already off to a tremendous start, with over 860,000 people in England alone having received a top-up jab in just a few short weeks.

“Getting your booster vaccine if you are eligible, or your third primary dose if you are severely immunosuppressed, is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the protection you’ve gained from your first and second doses is maintained over the winter months.”

New Covid jab figures revealed as London Mayor praises the capital’s vaccine delivery

Government data up to September 30 shows that of the 93,765,322 Covid jabs given in the UK, 48,863,490 were first doses, a rise of 34,372 on the previous day.

Some 44,901,832 were second doses, an increase of 34,459.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan added: “The scale of London’s vaccine delivery has been an incredible achievement and every day we are seeing how vital it is in preventing serious illness and protecting our health service.

“We want Londoners to have the best possible protection and will continue to work closely together to find innovative ways to reach young Londoners.”

Walk-in vaccinations are available at hundreds of sites across London for people aged 16 or over.

Saturday’s event will take place from 10am to 2pm at the Westfield vaccination centre at the shopping centre in Stratford.

Covid death figures for UK released

The Government said a further 127 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Friday, bringing the UK total to 136,789.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 161,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

As of 9am on Friday, there had been a further 35,577 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK, the Government said.

US hits 700,000 Covid deaths as cases begin to fall

The United States has eclipsed 700,000 deaths from Covid-19 as the surge from the delta variant begins to slow down.

It took three-and-a-half months for the US to go from 600,000 to 700,000 deaths, driven by the variant’s rampant spread through unvaccinated Americans.

An estimated 70 million eligible Americans remain unvaccinated, providing kindling for the variant.

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