Features / Comment / Insight / Analysis / Facts 
October 2022  Vol 24 Issue 6

Millions invited for COVID-19 booster jabs in England and Scotland
Millions have now been invited for their autumn COVID-19 booster jabs in England and Scotland, page 4
Landmark partnership to improve
Scotland's health

A collaboration between the NHS, academia, and industry partners has been launched to improve the population's health, page 5
Measles outbreak in Zimbabwe kills almost 700 children
A measles outbreak in Zimbabwe has now killed nearly 700 children in a rapidly accelerating flare up of the disease, page 7

UK COVID-19 infections lowest since last October

Health officials have predicted a sharp increase in COVID-19 and flu cases this winter
COVID-19 rates by nation for the end of August are one in 70 in England, or in 95 in Wales, one in 50 in Northern Ireland, and one in 50 in Scotland.
The ONS has reported that COVID-19 infections in the UK have fallen to their lowest level since last October. Fewer than a million people had the virus in the final week of August – about 1 in 70, down from 1 in 15 in mid-July.
Cases are decreasing in England and Wales, but are staying constant in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Millions of the most vulnerable are currently being offered booster jabs. Health experts have predicted that there will be a sharp increase in COVID-19 and flu infections ahead of this winter. Anyone who is eligible for another booster vaccine is being urged to receive theirs.
The autumn booster campaign has begun across most of the UK, and care home residents are being vaccinated first. Those aged 50 and over will be invited over the coming weeks. Many people will receive one of two recentlyupdated vaccines which target the Omicron variant, alongside the original virus.
Approximately 944,700 people in the UK had coronavirus in the week ending 28 August, according to the ONS, which is down from 1.1 million the week before. This is the lowest since October 2021, although infections also fell below a million in late May and early June this year.
Despite this fall in cases – hospital admissions are still rising in some regions. The seven-day total of COVID-19 admissions in South West England fell to 292 on September 4, but climbed by 22% in just six days to 365 on September 12. The region was hit the hardest by the three earlier waves of 2022. However, admissions of COVID-19 patients in the North and Midlands continue to drop significantly.