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Coronavirus news live: New COVID variant described as 'worrying' by expert - as EU ...

Coronavirus news live: New COVID variant described as 'worrying' by expert - as EU ...

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UK must 'catch up' and approve jab for 11 to 15-year-olds as European Medical Agency gives green light

Dr Peter English, a retired consultant for Communicable Disease Control, has welcomed the news that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been approved for 11–15-year-olds by the European Medical Agency, but has urged the UK to “catch up”.

“There is now ample evidence that the vaccine is both safe and effective in children. I would expect all European countries to start to roll out vaccination for this age group, where they haven’t already started to do so,” Dr English said.

“Whether the UK will follow is another matter. The JCVI failed to recommend vaccination of older children despite clear evidence that they – and society – would benefit, so it may do the same with younger children.

“I hope that the UK’s MHRA and JCVI will rapidly catch up with much of the rest of the world, and approve, recommend, and get on with vaccinating children from the age of five.”

That's all from our COVID blog for today

We'll be back in the morning with the latest on the pandemic. 

Scroll down to catch up on what has been a significant day of coronavirus news, particularly in Europe.

And read some of today's main stories:

Listen: Europe's COVID crisis: Are Christmas travel plans under threat?

Almost a third of care home residents don't have the COVID-19 booster jab

The latest figures from NHS England show that some 28.8% of care home staff and 69.7% of residents have received the booster jab as of 21 November.

This means more than two-thirds of staff and a third of residents in England have not taken the coronavirus booster vaccine.

The government's target was to have offered boosters to all care homes by early November.

On November 5, it said boosters had been either already delivered or booked in at every older 

In pictures: Papa Smurf, stormtroopers and Ronald McDonald all feature in Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving today and the annual Macy's parade has been in full flow. 

Because of COVID-19, last year's event was scaled back and missing spectators. 

But for the 95th parade, crowds have gathered to watch performers and giant inflatables go through New York City.

Fewer people obeyed COVID-19 restrictions in second and third lockdown, study finds

A new study has found that fewer people obeyed COVID-19 restrictions in the UK during the second and third lockdown.

Anonymised phone data was used to assess people’s movements during the pandemic and researchers found people reduced contact with other households throughout the three lockdowns, but there was a higher drop-off in visits during the first lockdown in March 2020.

People in rural areas were more likely to adhere to the rules than people in cities.

Professor Ed Manley, from the University of Leeds, said: “(There was an) immediate effect from the first lockdown in March, where we saw basically levels of visitation plummet.

“And while the first and third lockdown showed quite low reductions in household visitation there were cases of lockdown fatigue creeping in in the second two lockdowns.

“We also saw this large increase in February 2021 as vaccinations rolled out.

How do COVID-19 rates compare around the world?

With Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany all introducing restrictions due to rising COVID cases, how do countries compare? 

Sky News' COVID-19 travel tracker, looks at the number of cases and deaths in various countries. Read more below:

Almost 800 admitted to hospital, while over 378,000 receive booster jabs

A further 745 people have been admitted to the hospital after a positive coronavirus test, with 5,650 hospital admissions in the last seven-day period. 

In the last 24-hour period, 24,579 people received their first COVID jab, while a further 23,439 second doses were administered. 

Almost 30% of people over 12 have now had the booster jab, with another 378,946 administered yesterday taking the total to 16,383,575.

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COVID cases surpass 10 million in UK

The UK has recorded 47,240 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, and a further 147 people died within 28 days of a positive test.

On this day last week, a total of 46,807 cases were reported.

A further 199 people died within 28 days of a positive test. 

The total number of cases in the UK has now surpassed 10 million - with a total of 10,021,497 cases reported since the pandemic began. 

Read more on this breaking story here.

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Coronavirus rates in England rise among schoolchildren, but drop for over 60s

COVID-19 case rates among schoolchildren in England are continuing to rise, but the levels in over 60s have dropped, figures from the Health Security Agency show.

A total of 932.3 new cases per 100,000 people aged five to nine were recorded in the seven days to 21 November, up week-on-week from 741.8.

The rate for 10 to 19-year-olds is 814.6, up from 712.8.

The figures also show rates have increased slightly among all adult groups up to the age of 59.

But they have fallen for people aged 60-70, 70-79 and 80 and over, with rates for the over-80s dropping from 81.0 to 63.6.

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