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The ONS has also published figures today on the extent of Covid infection in schools in England in March. The survey was conducted between 15 and 31 March, soon after most pupils in England returned to class, and it found 0.34% of secondary school pupils testing positive, and 0.19% of secondary school staff.
These figures were “significantly lower” than the equivalent figures when schools were surveyed for Covid in November and December, the ONS says.
Gordon Brown, the Labour former prime minister, told Radio 4’s Women’s Hour that it would cost around £30bn a year to ensure that most of the world is vaccinated against coronavirus and that this would be a “very small price to pay” for the benefits. He told the programme:
It’s about $30bn a year that we’re going to need so that we can vaccinate most of the world. We’ve got to start from the proposition that this is in our self-interest as well as a charitable act.
Nobody is safe anywhere until everybody is safe everywhere. If we don’t have mass vaccination round the world the disease will spread, it will mutate and it will come back to hit even those people who’ve been vaccinated in our own country, Britain, and so no country is really going to be finally Covid-free until we’re all Covid-free. Just like smallpox in the past, you’ve got to find a way that every country gets the benefit of vaccination.