NEWS DIGEST 27.07.2021: People encouraged to get vaccinated; other stories

Good morning. Today’s news is taken from my current feed on Facebook.

Healthcare workers and Covid patients have spoken out about growing numbers who, once faced with the serious reality of catching the virus, realise that they made a huge mistake. According to official statistics, about 60% of people being admitted to hospital with Covid are unvaccinated. The patients who pull through are for ever changed – their Covid scepticism disappears once they have experienced time in intensive care, Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, a senior intensive care registrar in the UK, said. One patient who regrets not being inoculated is teacher Abderrahmane Fadil, who nearly died from the virus. Speaking from his hospital bed last month, he said: “At the moment I am Covid-19 positive. My road to recovery has been excellent and positive and I am looking forward to getting the jab as soon as I get out of the hospital. I advise everyone to get it. I for one am prepared to go to hell to get the jab, instead of waiting for the disease to devour each and every one of us,” he said – ‘I advise everyone to get it’: UK Covid patients tell of regrets over refusing jab (The Guardian UK edition News Europe)

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

Redbridge is facing a huge clean-up operation after a downpour saw flash floods sweep across the area. The 999 control room of the London Fire Brigade took more than 1,000 calls to flooding incidents across London as heavy downpours wrought havoc across the city. Leader of Redbridge Council Jas Athwal said: “Last night, many areas across London and further afield experienced unprecedented levels of rainfall during an extremely short space of time.” “In Redbridge, many of our communities experienced widespread flash flooding and our council teams worked through the night with Thames Water and the emergency services to support local people who needed our help and assistance.” A Thames Water spokesperson said: “We sympathise with everyone affected by yesterday’s torrential rain and flooding.”We had extra staff on standby overnight and have offered support to the local authority emergency planning teams, who lead on surface flooding, but so far we’ve not been called up as part of their response” – Redbridge clean-up underway after flash floods close A&E and damage homes (Ilford Recorder News)

A trans woman has criticised Uber after claiming it has refused to let her change her name on her account. Charlie Hadley, 33, wanted to change her name on the app to her new name to avoid being ‘outed’ on every ride. As her deadname – her former birth name she no longer uses – is typically male, it means drivers still call her ‘sir’. Charlie said: ‘I tried to change my name through the Uber app and when you try and do that, you have to fill out a form to verify why you’re changing your name.’ ‘They should have processes for drivers to change their name.’ ‘I understand they might be worried about drivers with a bad reputation changing their name, but Uber should be able to through other mechanisms than just a name. ‘Facebook has a “Real name policy” and they are fine with changing your name’Trans woman says Uber drivers call her ‘sir’ as she can’t change name on app (Metro News UK Comment)

In the Northern Hemisphere, we rank the August Perseids as our all-time favorite meteor shower. What could be more luxurious than taking a siesta from the heat of the day and watching this summertime classic in the cool of night? Plus, 2021 is an excellent year for this shower! No matter where you live worldwide, the 2021 Perseid meteor shower will probably produce the greatest number of meteors on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. As the Perseids are rising to their peak, the Delta Aquariid meteor shower will still be rambling along steadily. The meteor shower is named in honor of the constellation Perseus the Hero. Every year, from around July 17 to August 24, our planet Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, the parent of the Perseid meteor shower. Bottom line: The 2021 Perseid meteor shower is expected to produce the most meteors in the predawn hours of August 11, 12 and 13, in a dark, moonless sky – Perseid Meteor Shower 2021: All You Need To Know (EarthSky Astronomy Essentials)

A longer gap between doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine leads to higher overall antibody levels than a shorter gap, a UK study has found, but antibody levels are not sustained for long after the first dose. The University of Oxford-led study might help inform vaccination strategies against the Delta variant, which reduces the effectiveness of a first dose of the vaccine even though two doses are still protective, and one author said that the UK’s eight-week gap was a “sweet spot” against Delta. “For the longer dosing interval neutralising antibody levels against the Delta variant were poorly induced after a single dose, and not maintained during the interval before the second dose,” the authors of the study said. “Following two vaccine doses, neutralising antibody levels were twice as high after the longer dosing interval compared with the shorter dosing interval.” The findings, issued as a preprint, support the view that, while a second dose is needed to provide full protection against Delta, delaying that dose might provide more durable immunity, even if it is at the cost of protection in the short term – Spacing Pfizer COVID jabs boosts antibody levels: UK study (Al Jazeera News Coronavirus pandemic)

Summarised with SMMRY.

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