Tuesday morning news briefing: Immunity 'only lasts a few months'

Danny Boyle
·6-min read
Boris Johnson, visiting a hospital yesterday, is under pressure from Northern Tories - PA
Boris Johnson, visiting a hospital yesterday, is under pressure from Northern Tories - PA

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Covid vaccine may be needed twice a year - scientists

The findings raise a terrifying prospect - of Britain as some sort of Narnia, where it is always winter, but never Christmas. Immunity to Covid-19 may only last a matter of months, according to research that could hinder the roll-out of a successful vaccine. The study by Imperial College London, which involved 365,000 people, found antibodies in the population fell by more than a quarter in three months. Scientists said the findings suggested a "rapid" decline in immunity, which could mean that even if a successful vaccine was found, it might have to be administered as often as twice a year. Health Editor Laura Donnelly says the antibody study exposes a fatal flaw in Downing Street's coronavirus strategy. It came as latest data showed the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine produces a "strong" immune response among the elderly.

Meanwhile, northern Tory MPs have demanded Boris Johnson sets down a "clear road map out of lockdown" as they warn people cannot be left "with no end in sight". The new Northern Research Group of more than 50 Conservative MPs wrote to the Prime Minister to make it clear voters in the "red wall" seats won from Labour last year will turn against him if they feel "forgotten". More than eight million people are now living under the harshest of England's restrictions in Tier 3 - almost all of them in the North. Use our postcode tool to search for rules in your area.

Amy Coney Barrett sworn in to US Supreme Court

Donald Trump hailed the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court as "a momentous day for America" with a week to go to the election. Moments after the Senate voted to confirm her, Ms Barrett was sworn in at the White House. It brings the conservative majority on the nine-member court to 6-3, solidifying its ideological makeup for years to come. Washington Correspondent Nick Allen says it puts Ms Barrett in a position to rule on a host of issues including abortion, guns - and, potentially, the US election itself. To unpack the state of play, The Telegraph has brought together a panel of experts to discuss the latest with US Editor Ben Riley-SmithRegister here for today's webinar.

Derbyshire backtracks on Christmas rule-breaking

Navigating Christmas will be a dilemma for many families if Covid restrictions are still in place. Government guidance stipulates that no more than six people from different households can gather in the same place. Should the ban still apply at Christmas, Victoria Derbyshire said in an interview she will break the rule to celebrate. But the broadcaster backtracked on her comments on Twitter early today. Meanwhile, Judith Woods argues that "Boris and Co will not get away with threatening Christmas".

At a glance: More coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Meals row | Boris Johnson is preparing to give councils extra money for holiday clubs in an attempt to end the row with footballer Marcus Rashford over free school meals. The Prime Minister is studying a plan by Henry Dimbleby, the Government's food tsar, for holiday clubs to be extended so children can be given at least one free meal a day outside term time. It could be combined with extra study time, which would enable ministers to argue it was a planned policy - rather than a U-turn.  

Around the world: Thai protest at German embassy

Thailand's long-running pro-democracy campaigners turned their attention to the German embassy in Bangkok. Asia Correspondent Nicola Smith reports how thousands descended to demand Berlin investigate King Maha Vajiralongkorn's use of his powers while residing in Bavaria. View more striking world pictures in our daily gallery.

A supporter of the Thai monarchy outside the German embassy in central Bangkok. CREDIT: AP - Gemunu Amarasinghe /AP
A supporter of the Thai monarchy outside the German embassy in central Bangkok. CREDIT: AP - Gemunu Amarasinghe /AP

Comment and analysis

Editor's choice: Features and arts

  1. Anatomy of a scandal | The rise and very public fall of Frank Bough

  2. 'Covid age' | Doctors say it could be less than your chronological age

  3. No Time To Die 'Going straight to Netflix would only cheapen Bond'

Business and money briefing

Deficit warning | A government crackdown on pension funding gaps threatens to strangle Britain's economic recovery by forcing companies to plough £100bn into plugging deficits over the next decade, experts have warned. The proposed laws follow steps by the Pensions Regulator that could force companies to move more quickly to fill pension holes.  

Sport briefing

Six Nations | England head coach Eddie Jones has issued a stern reminder to his players of their responsibilities around coronavirus protocols after naming a 36-man squad for the autumn internationals. For exclusive analysis and commentary, I can recommend our subscriber-exclusive Rugby Insider newsletter, which returns this week.  

Tonight's dinner

Borlotti bean, radicchio and red wine risotto | A rich, comforting dish cut through with bitter leaves. It works brilliantly with bacon lardons or chunks of spicy sausage. Read the recipe.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

Pepe the Frog | Pepe taught love, fun and unity - until he was hijacked by neo-Nazis. His mild-mannered creator Matt Furie reveals how he accidentally created an alt-Right hate symbol - and tells of his anguished battle to reclaim him.