The panic over the Oxford vaccine's effectiveness against Covid's South African strain is nuts

Potty panic

THE panic over the Oxford jab’s effectiveness against Covid’s South African strain is nuts.

One tiny study, not yet subjected to expert review, found it might not stop you getting a mild case. Well, so what?

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It’s hospitalisation with a severe case, or even death from it, we all fear.

AstraZeneca is confident that its Oxford ­vaccine WILL protect against those.

So was Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam on TV yesterday.

No one in the South African study died or needed hospital care.

Nor does that variant seem more infectious and there appear very few cases here so far.

A tsunami of bad news has overwhelmed us all in the last year.

Things are now looking up — as Health Secretary Matt Hancock says, we are “turning a corner” in the Covid battle.

But there is still enough gloom around without creating it by exaggerating possibly minor flaws in the vaccines.

There is nothing yet to suggest they won’t steer us back towards normality.


Swot summer

OUR kids have lost so much class time it will take desperate measures to get their education back near where it should be.

We do believe the nuclear option, of all pupils retaking the year, shouldn’t be dismissed — grim though the prospect is.

Failing that, it may make sense to cut into the summer break for a fortnight for catch-up classes. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing.

The Sun loathes the thought of readers’ hols being affected, especially after what will have been the worst 18 months most of us can remember.

But there should still be a month off for families to enjoy the sunshine.

The stumbling block will be the unions.

Many teachers may willingly sacrifice a few days in pupils’ interests.

The hard-left blockers at the NEU? Not so much.

Parole fears

WE applaud the opening-up of parole hearings to public scrutiny. But how much will actually change?

The Sun fought hard for more transparency after cab rapist John Worboys sweet-talked an anonymous panel into handing him his freedom behind closed doors. Our campaign helped prevent it.

The Government now says it will end the ban on parole hearings being held in public.

Great. Except the chairman will still “decide whether an open hearing would be in the interests of justice”.

And it will be for them to judge, says Justice Minister Lucy Frazer, “what can be disclosed or reported”.

It is of course right to avoid distress to victims. There are ways to achieve that.

But the Government’s aim, “public confidence in the parole process”, won’t be realised if 99 per cent of hearings remain in secret.

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