T-cell Immunity ‘May Last Longer Than Antibodies’



These are the UK coronavirus stories you need to know about today.

T-cell Immunity ‘May Last Longer Than Antibodies’

UK preprint research gives evidence that T-cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2 may last longer than antibody immunity.

The research is from the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC) and Public Health England.

It assessed cellular immune response at 6 months following primary infection in 100 healthy adults with asymptomatic or mild-to-moderate COVID-19.

Study author, Dr Shamez Ladhani, consultant epidemiologist at Public Health England, said: “Cellular immunity is a complex but potentially very significant piece of the COVID-19 puzzle, and it’s important that more research be done in this area. However, early results show that T-cell responses may outlast the initial antibody response, which could have a significant impact on COVID vaccine development and immunity research.”

Professor Paul Moss, UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium lead from University of Birmingham, said: “To our knowledge, our study is the first in the world to show robust cellular immunity remains at 6 months after infection in individuals who experienced either mild/moderate or asymptomatic COVID-19. Interestingly, we found that cellular immunity is stronger at this time point in those people who had symptomatic infection compared with asymptomatic cases. We now need more research to find out if symptomatic individuals are better protected against reinfection in the future.”

Commenting via the Science Media Centre, Professor Charles Bangham, chair of immunology, Imperial College London, said: “These results provide reassurance that, although the titre of antibody to SARS-CoV-2 can fall below detectable levels within a few months of infection, a degree of immunity to the virus may be maintained.  However, the critical question remains: do these persistent T-cells provide efficient protection against re-infection?  It will also be important to follow the antibody and T-cell immunity in people who develop the syndrome of long COVID – the persistent and sometimes debilitating condition that follows acute SARS-CoV-2 infection in a still uncertain proportion of people.  Finally, the data in this paper reinforce the need for care in interpreting the results of serological (antibody) tests: it is still unclear how well either the antibody titre or the T-cell frequency correlate with actual protection against reinfection.”

2 Weeks to See Benefit of England’s Second Lockdown

NHS England’s Medical Director, Professor Stephen Powis, has cautioned that it’ll take until half way through England’s 4 week national lockdown to see improvements in infections. “It takes around a fortnight for today’s infections in the community to result in hospital COVID admissions – so what happens over the next 2 weeks is partly baked in. But the measures announced today [Oct 31] will help reduce the number of admissions beyond that,” he said in a statement.

“Daily hospital COVID admissions are now higher than on 23 March when the Prime Minister announced the first national lockdown.

“NHS doctors and nurses in many areas of England – including Liverpool, Lancashire, and Nottinghamshire – are now treating more COVID-19 patients than at the peak of the first wave.”

Three of the Nightingale

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Govt Says New English Lockdown Could Last Longer Than Month

A new four-week coronavirus lockdown in England will be extended if it fails to reduce infection rates, the government said Sunday, as it faced criticism over the abrupt decision to shut down again.

The second national lockdown, hastily announced late Saturday following warnings hospitals could be overwhelmed within weeks, is set to come into force from Thursday and end on December 2.

But senior minister Michael Gove said the government would maintain the stringent measures if the R rate — the number of people one person with the virus is likely to infect — remained above one.

“With a virus this malignant, and with its capacity to move so quickly, it would be foolish to predict with absolute certainty what will happen in four weeks’ time,” he told Sky News.

“And so therefore of course we will review what requires to be done but we have a clear plan over the next four-week (period),” he added.

Under the new rules unveiled by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, people must stay at home except in cases where exemptions apply, such as for work, education or exercise.

In contrast to the months-long UK-wide lockdown earlier this year, schools, colleges and universities will remain open.

But pubs and restaurants will shut unless serving takeaway food, while all leisure and entertainment venues and non-essential shops will close.

The ramped-up response came as Britain surpassed one million cases, after announcing nearly 22,000 new infections Saturday.

The government’s scientific advisors have warned Covid-19’s prevalence, and resulting hospitalisations and deaths, are rising faster than their most dire predictions.

They cautioned that under the current trajectory, intensive care units and ventilator capacity could be overwhelmed by early December while winter deaths could be double the current toll.

Britain is already among the hardest-hit countries in Europe, with total Covid-19 related deaths nearing 47,000, after another 326 fatalities were announced.

Some European neighbours and the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already re-imposed partial lockdowns to try to cut their surging virus rates.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces that England has to go back into coronavirus lockdown as cases surge British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces that England has to go back into coronavirus lockdown as cases surge Photo: POOL / Alberto Pezzali

Last month, the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) recommended a two-week national “circuit-breaker” lockdown over the half-term school holidays this past week.

But Johnson, who is responsible for health policy in England only, resisted the move, opting to persevere with a system of localised restrictions.

Keir Starmer, the leader of the main opposition Labour party who last month backed the circuit-breaker, said the delay meant the lockdown would now be longer and harder on people.

“The government was too slow in the first phase of the pandemic and now it’s been too slow again,” he told the BBC.

Starmer called on ministers to improve the faltering contact tracing system to ensure the shutdown ends early next month.

“There will be no effective exit on the second of December unless the government uses this time to fix test, trace

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1 in 12 no longer speaking to friend because of a COVID row

The study found around a quarter of people had had an argument with a friend or family member about their attitude towards the pandemic. (Getty)
The study found around a quarter of people had had an argument with a friend or family member about their attitude towards the pandemic. (Getty)

Over half of Brits say they’ve felt angry about another person’s behaviour in relation to the pandemic and 1 in 12 have stopped speaking to someone due to an argument about COVID-19, a study has found.

The study by King’s College London found 53% of people had felt angry with others they knew because of their behaviour in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.

They found the number was even higher among people who used social media to get most of their information about the pandemic (69%), people who viewed the virus as a risk to themselves (62%), and people who find coronavirus stressful (67%).

Dr James Rubin who took part in the study said: “Covid-19 has caused – or revealed – tension within the population. As restrictions were eased, more people were out and about, making it is easier to see who was sticking to the rules and who was not.”

The numbers become even starker when only friends and family are considered.

Around a quarter of people said they had had arguments with friends or family about how to behave during the pandemic.

This almost doubled when the respondent got a lot of their information from social media.

Watch: Coronavirus: The second wave forecast came true – but we don’t know if lockdowns will work

Read more: COVID vaccine in ‘last mile’ of development and ‘could be rolled out before Christmas’

Dr Louise Smith, senior research associate at King’s Colleg London said: “People who rely on social media for information about the pandemic, as well as those who believe a conspiracy theory about face masks, were more likely to have reported anger or having been involved in confrontations with others.

“This highlights the importance of combatting misinformation on coronavirus and making sure that information published from all sources about coronavirus and protective measures is reliable.”

Money worries also led to increased arguments, with 42% saying they’d fallen out with a family member and also had financial issues.

The study also found 8% of people had stopped talking to a friend or family because of a disagreement about the pandemic.

Those who got their information primarily from social media platforms like WhattsApp, Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook were four times more likely to no longer be on speaking terms with someone close after an argument around the pandemic.

Read more: Government insists national lockdown is wrong approach

The study also found nearly one in five people (18%) have confronted someone for not staying a sufficient distance away from others or for being in too large a group.

Just over one in 20 (6%) reported having been confronted themselves for not wearing a face mask, and one in 20 (5%) say they’ve been reported to the authorities for failing to do so.

Conversely, one in 12 people (8%) say they’ve confronted someone for not wearing

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Longer Armor training span showing gains in skills, lethality, fitness, of tank crews, cavalry scouts | Article

Fort Benning Public AffairsFORT BENNING, Ga. – When Soldiers just out of Armor training are sent to the Army's tank and scout forces, they'll arrive more fully trained, more lethal with their weapons, and more physically fit, officials in charge of their training say in a recent video.The gains in skill, lethality and fitness have come about because the Army lengthened Armor One-Station Unit Training, or Armor OSUT, to 22 weeks, say the officials, who are senior leaders in the 194th Armored Brigade, which produced the video. The longer training span began last fall.The brigade is part of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence here, and trains the Army's tank crew members, known by their Army job code of 19 Kilo, and cavalry scouts, coded 19 Delta.Armor OSUT for armor crewmen had been 15 weeks long. For cavalry scouts it had been 17 weeks."When we look at the different conditions, or I should say considerations, of lethality: mental, physical toughness, vehicle proficiency, and field craft and discipline, we've been able to increase not only the rigor but we've also been able to increase the proficiency, especially on vehicle platforms," Col. Dawson A. Plummer, the brigade's commander, says in the video.Among training gains that benefit Armor crewmen and cavalry scouts alike, according to the video, are:• Time to be trained and certified in the Army's Combat Lifesaver Course• Training and certification in basic hand-to-hand fighting skills known as Level 1 Combatives• Greater lethality through more extensive weapons training• Higher physical fitness levels through a greater number of fitness sessions using the Army's rigorous Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT.• More time for learning use of map and compass, known as land navigation• More field training that hones basic battlefield skillsIn addition, for Armor crewmen, the longer OSUT is affording more thorough training in:• Driving the M1 Abrams tank• Preventive maintenance of the tank• Tank gunneryFor cavalry scouts, the extended OSUT also allows for:• A chance to get familiar with all three of the combat vehicles they might eventually be assigned to work with: the eight-wheeled Stryker combat vehicle, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and humvee• Basic preventive maintenance of combat vehicles• Use of radioFor Armor crewmen, the transition to a longer OSUT means Soldiers are trained beyond mere familiarity, to proficiency, Lt. Col. Nathaniel B. Davis, commander of the brigade's 1st Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment, says in the video."The intent behind the transition is to change from where we had been producing Armor crewmen who were familiar as drivers, loaders and gunners, to ones that are competent and proficient as drivers and loaders, familiar as gunners, and ready to contribute at their first unit of assignment," Davis says."As we made the transition from 15- to 22-week OSUT, we focused our efforts on a number of key areas: increasing maintenance tasks, increasing gunnery skills training and testing, increasing the amount and rigor of field training, and increasing the amount and rigor of driver training," Davis says.Driver training has increased "significantly," he says."This has

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