Friday evening UK news briefing: Covid hospitalisation data give 'moment of joy' over vaccine

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Your evening briefing from The Telegraph
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Just one in 100 people hospitalised with Covid-19 since the start of the UK's vaccine rollout had received a jab at least three weeks beforehand, new data show.

Scientists said the real-world data released by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), showing the impact of vaccines on the most vulnerable people, had given them "a moment of joy", and should reassure the public about the difference vaccines are making.

It comes as separate figures from the Office for National Statistics show only around 1 in 1,000 people in England have Covid-19.

The green areas in the graphic below show the areas without a single Covid death in the last fortnight on the latest available data.

This image shows how the picture has changed since the worst fortnight in January.

The green areas show the places without a single Covid death in the last fortnight according to the latest available data
The green areas show the places without a single Covid death in the last fortnight according to the latest available data

The green areas show the places without a single Covid death in the last fortnight according to the latest available data

Meanwhile, the chief executive of AstraZeneca has hit back at critics in Brussels over jab shortages.

Pascal Soriot denied the company had "overpromised" on vaccine supplies and said it had faced intense criticism despite developing a world-leading jab.

Read more of his comments, while Daniel Capurro reveals how, after a painfully slow start, beset by supply shortages and a lack of flexibility, Europe is finally beginning to catch up with the UK in its vaccine roll out.

Sturgeon accused of 'culture of waste' over ferry losses

Nicola Sturgeon's SNP has been accused of a "casual culture of waste and arrogant disregard for public funds" after a Glasgow shipyard racked up £100m of losses in just four months after being nationalised. Earlier, Ms Sturgeon struggled to explain how the Scottish economy could be bailed out of a major crisis without its own central bank or currency. The SNP's policy on an independent Scotland's currency descended into further confusion after the party's foreign affairs spokesman said it would "totally" accept joining the euro as the price of EU membership. Tom Harris says Boris Johnson must not fall into the SNP referendum trap.

Noel Clarke 'deeply sorry' after harassment allegations

Actor Noel Clarke has said he is "deeply sorry" following allegations of harassment and bullying made against him but denies any sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing. He said coverage of the claims have "made it clear to me that some of my actions have affected people in ways I did not intend or realise". It comes after ITV decided to axe broadcasting the final episode of Viewpoint on its main channel, in which Clarke is the lead, while Sky has said he will not be involved in any future productions. Bafta said last night that it has suspended his membership and stripped him of the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award he was given this month. Robbie Collin outlines why honouring Clarke is the organisation's biggest blunder yet.

At a glance: Coronavirus evening briefing

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

PSCO murder | Detectives investigating the murder of PCSO Julia James are looking at whether she was killed as a result of her work in the police, it has emerged. Police revealed today that the 53-year-old mother of two died of severe head injuries after being bludgeoned with a blunt object near her home in Kent. Read on for details.

Around the world: World's largest plane in test flight

The world's largest plane has completed its second test flight, marking a step forward for next-generation air launch technology. With a wingspan stretching to 117 metres (56ft), wider than the length of a football pitch, the Stratolaunch plane rose to 14,000 feet and reached a top speed of 199mph test flight on Thursday. Click here to see it.

Friday interview

'I think everybody, all the older ballet generation, should be in jail'

Sergei Polunin - Andrew Crowley
Sergei Polunin - Andrew Crowley

He may be removing the Putin tattoo, but Sergei Polunin, the bad boy of dance, has kept his power to shock, finds Louis Wise

Read the full interview

Comment and analysis

Editor's choice: Features and arts

  1. Joy amid heartbreak | Why I'm giving my engagement ring away

  2. Shivering at the pub? | Here's what happens to your body when you eat and drink in the cold

  3. Honest John | Is electric Mini claim of 140 miles misleading?

Business and money briefing

Economic boom | The UK will enjoy its strongest year of growth since 1948 as the rapid rollout of vaccines enables the economy to reopen, the boss of Barclays has predicted. Read on for details.

Sport briefing

Last call for the Lions | On Thursday, May 6, Warren Gatland will reveal his 36-man squad to take on South Africa for the 2021 Lions tour. Read the six players with something to prove to make the group.

Three things for tonight

And finally... for this evening's downtime

From playboy to campaigner | Callum Best is "proud" to be his father's son but admits "I also had an alcoholic parent". The ex-Love Island star, former hedonist and son of George Best tells Danielle Lawler he is using the hard lessons he has learned to help others.

If you want to receive twice-daily briefings like this by email, sign up to the Front Page newsletter here. For two-minute audio updates, try The Briefing - on podcasts, smart speakers and WhatsApp.

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