This week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that the UK is “currently vaccinating more than double the rate – per person per day – than any other country in Europe.”
According to Vaccines Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi, around 140 jabs are being handed out every minute on average.
17 mass vaccine sites have now been set up across England – with more to come before the end of the month (which could amount to 50 in total).
It’s safe to say that the vaccine programme is well and truly rolling, now – and it couldn’t have hit momentum at a better time.
According to health officials, there are more people currently in hospital with COVID than at any previous point during the pandemic.
But the vaccine is, we’re repeatedly told by ministers, our route out of this.
More than 4 million people have received the jab so far, and the rest of the country is steadily moving forward in the queue – with Over 60s likely to be invited in the second half of February.
But whilst some people await their turn with anticipation, others are expressing a hesitancy due to pre-existing conditions such as allergies.
This is complicated further, of course, by the fact there are two different jabs to consider (soon to be three when the Moderna vaccine hits the UK in spring), which have slightly different makeup.
Dr Michael Barnish, Head of Nutrition & Genetics at REVIV, says the question he’s been asked most since the vaccine was rolled out is if the jab is safe for people with allergies.
“Historically, the number of true allergic reactions to vaccines is very low,” Dr Barnish tells us.
“In the United Kingdom, only one case of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) per million vaccine doses was reported between 1997 and 2003, with no fatalities at all.
“Many common side effects of vaccination such as localised pain and swelling at the site of injection or flu-like symptoms can be mistaken for allergy but are normal reactions to the vaccine.
“These normal reactions are not a reason to avoid the Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.”
Dr Barnish has also stated that anyone who reacts badly to penicillin – one of the more common allergies to medicine – can safely receive either COVID jab.
The doctor adds that people with latex allergies, too, can have both vaccines – but should make their physician aware of their condition before going ahead.
“The Pfizer/BioNtech and AstraZeneca vaccines are supplied in vials that have a stopper made from synthetic forms of rubber, which does not contain any dry natural rubber (latex),” he explains.
“But it is still important to let your Healthcare Provider know about your latex allergy in order to ensure they do not use any latex containing products, like gloves, whilst treating you.”
People that have allergies to eggs, gelatine and dust mites are also safe to have either vaccine, Dr Barnish confirms.
The medical expert states that those who can’t eat fish are also ok to receive the jab – as the presence of any squalence will be in the form of a highly purified fat that doesn’t contain the proteins (which are what cause the allergic reaction).
Individuals that have a history of anaphylaxis to a medicine, food, insect bite/sting or vaccine can still receive either vaccine, as long as there are no known allergies to any of the vaccine’s components.
This advice comes directly after close surveillance of the initial rollout by the medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency (MHRA). It is recommended for individuals that have a history of anaphylaxis and have the Pfizer BioTech vaccine should be monitored and observed for at least 15 minutes after the vaccination is given.
Dr Barnish states: “For those that have already received your first vaccination, if you developed patches of itchy skin or a localised rash after this first dose, then guidance suggests that it is safe to have the second dose and this second dose is encouraged by current guidelines.
“My best advice, if you have an allergy is prior to having the vaccine, make sure that you are given the patient information leaflet of the chosen vaccine to read beforehand. This leaflet will contain vital information about who is safe to have the vaccine and will provide a complete list of ingredients.
“Discussion with the medical professional prior to giving the vaccine is also encouraged if you have any questions or concerns.”
Dr Michael Barnish is a medically-trained doctor specialising in preventative and regenerative medicine. He is currently Head of Genetics & Nutrition at REVIV.
Manchester City fan gets treble tattoo before Champions League final
We’ve seen plenty of tattoos gone wrong down the years and even more football fans getting ahead themselves, but it must have taken a special kind of confidence for this Manchester City fan to get the treble tattooed on his body before the Champions League final has even been played.
Nevertheless, after yet another stellar domestic season and with two-time UCL winner Pep Guardiola at the helm, most fans, rivals and neutrals alike all think this is the year they’re going to lift their first Champions League — in fact, this man is certain of it.
The diehard City fan, simply known as Stuart on TikTok, shared multiple clips on his account on Tuesday, the first of which showed the treble tattoo in progress and has already had nearly 200,000 views in less than 24 hours.
Naturally, the comments underneath the videos are as you’d expect, with people remarking, “you’ve just made Inter win”, “he’s gonna regret that”, “RIP bro”, “pov: 2021” — the last CL final they qualified for and lost to Chelsea despite being heavy favourites — and so on.
However, responding to haters in the comments, Cityzen Stuart’s confidence looks to be unshakable, stating that it’s now “impossible” for them to lose and there’s “not a chance” Pep goes another yet without winning another Champions League.
Having already flown over to Turkey for the final in Istanbul this weekend, he shared a more recent video showing the tattoo in more detail, complete with full colour and shading.
Football fans are often superstitious (it’s such an unpredictable sport that it’s hard not to be) but it’s fair to say a lot of people are now worried he might have jinxed it, not to mention every single Red hoping that he has. For his sake, he better hope the footballing gods don’t take this kind of stuff into account.
This year’s final kicks off at 8pm on Saturday, 10 June and City fans everywhere will be hoping to Pep and co. lift the Champions League trophy in the club’s history and win a historic treble in the process.
They are already going to go down as one of the best squads ever assembled but, for many, this could see them held up there as the greatest of all time. The question is, can they take that final step?
Featured Image — @stuart1308 (via TikTok)/Comedy Central/UEFA
Nando’s launches new Fully Loaded Chips as part of limited-edition summer menu
Nando’s has launched a new limited-edition summer menu, and there’s one long-awaited side dish that seems to be the star of the show.
After taking to social media over the last week to tease that a handful of new and returning favourites would be forming part of a menu refresh as summer nears closer, Nando’s has finally confirmed what foodie fans have been waiting for.
Fully Loaded Chips are actually a thing, and you can now order them at restaurants across the UK.
Fans of the Portuguese-inspired restaurant chain on TikTok are known for sharing their own ‘Nando’s hack’ recreations of classic Nando’s dishes at home, as well as giving others some handy and budget-friendly tips and tricks for how to give their usual meals a bit of Nando’s flare.
Videos showing fans’ fully-loaded versions of the restaurant’s popular PERI-Salted Chips have often gone viral, and
But now, it’s no longer just a viral make-at-home concept, as the restaurant has revealed that its brand-new sharer is available to order as the ideal side dish to accompany any Nando’s meal out with your mates.
Nando’s has even admitted it’s “inspired by fans and Nandocas making their own on TikTok”.
The new Fully Loaded Chips is a big sharing portion of the chain’s legendary PERi-Salted Chips topped with pulled chicken, melted cheddar cheese, spring onions, PERi-Tamer sauce, and a creamy dressing.
Currently only available to order as an ‘Eat In’ dish at Nando’s restaurants in England, Scotland, and Wales, the new dish is described as being “the ultimate sharer” that combines “all your Nando’s favourites into one”.