Covid-19: Jabs for over-40s in next phase of rollout, and holiday health pass call

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday evening. We'll have another update for you tomorrow morning.

1. Vaccinating by age not job 'will save most lives'

People aged between 40 and 49 will be next in line for a vaccination in the UK, experts advising the government have decided. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation says vaccinating people in order of age is the fastest way to reduce deaths from Covid-19 when the next phase of the programme begins. Explaining why key workers such as police officers or teachers would not be given priority, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told a Downing Street briefing "this is the fastest and simplest way to roll out the jab. Our moral duty is to put saving lives first". Find out when you are due to get the vaccine.

media captionAfter phase one is complete by mid-April, in what order will all other adults get the jab?

2. Decreasing levels of coronavirus across the UK

Levels of coronavirus have continued to fall across the UK, Office for National Statistics data shows. The figures, for the seven days up to 19 February, reveal about 421,300 people in the community with the virus. "We are moving in the right direction," Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Downing Street press briefing. "But there is still significant pressure on the NHS... This is still a deadly virus."

image copyrightReuters

3. Coronavirus spread slowed by vaccines - study

The Pfizer vaccine appears to slow the spread of coronavirus as well as preventing people getting seriously ill, a study at a hospital has found. The findings - based on testing of staff at Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge - support similar research by Public Health England and an Oxford-AstraZeneca study, examining whether vaccines can stop the virus spreading. But the researchers warned other precautionary measures were still required to combat the virus.

image copyrightReuters

4. Thousands sign petition against vaccine passports

Boris Johnson has announced a review of vaccine certificates or passports, which could be used to allow people to travel or attend large events. But an online petition is urging the government not to introduce them - and now has more than 200,000 signatures. It says the passports could be "used to restrict the rights of people who have refused a Covid-19 vaccine". Read more about vaccine certificates here.

image copyrightGetty Images

5. British Airways owner calls for digital health passes

British Airways owner IAG has called for international common testing standards and digital health passes "to reopen our skies safely" as it posted a record loss for 2020 due to Covid disruption. IAG posted an operating loss of €7.4bn (£6.5bn) for last year after the pandemic grounded many of its flights.

image copyrightPA Media

And don't forget...

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page. Read about the UK's falling case and death rates here - and see the graphic below.

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