Covid: Price rises slow down and AZ jab makers trial plague vaccine

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Wednesday morning. We'll have another update for you this evening.

1. Price rises slow down as final restrictions lift

The UK inflation rate fell to 2% in the year to July as the final coronavirus restrictions were lifted, latest figures show. The Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation was down from 2.5% the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics, and was driven by falls in clothing and footwear prices. The main contributors were "good sales" in the clothing shops over the summer, computer games and food prices, which are down year-on-year, says Liz Martins, UK economist at HSBC. The dip "puts the brakes on those who argue that inflation is about to go out of control," she adds.

Image source, PA Media

2. Covid jab makers trial plague vaccine

The plague has featured in many school lessons and history books, but it still infects people to this day. Cases are still found in some rural areas of Africa, Asia and America, with an outbreak in Madagascar in 2017 killing 171 people. So now UK scientists behind the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine are trialling a new jab to protect people from the bacterial disease. Antibiotics can be used to treat it, if given early, but many cases are found in remote areas. The trial, involving at least 40 healthy 18 to 55-year-olds, will run for at least a year.

Image source, Oxford University

3. Mental health referrals hit highest point

Monthly mental health referrals across the UK hit their highest point in two years, it has emerged. One woman, Katie Yelland, has told the BBC she tried to take her own life after suffering post-natal depression - she had been receiving help and community-based support from the NHS, but services stopped during the first lockdown. Her case is one example, with charities warning the surge is set to continue. The government says it plans to expand and transform mental health services.

Image source, Katie Yelland

4. 'I'm pregnant, should I have the vaccine?'

BBC London reporter Victoria Cook is pregnant and has reservations about having the Covid vaccine. She spoke to other expectant mums and experts to find out what they think. Take a look at what she's discovered.

Media caption,

'I'm pregnant, should I get the Covid vaccine?'

5. Discarded face masks turned into art

When Thomas Yates was made redundant at the start of pandemic he decided to put his extra time to good use by picking up litter. He has has collected more than 2,800 abandoned face masks while out running and cycling and decided to turn them into pieces of art. Check out his creations.

Media caption,

'I make art out of discarded face masks'

And there's more...

Under-18s have been offered Pfizer vaccine and now Moderna's jab has been approved for use in 12 to 17 year olds, with this in mind which teenagers can now get vaccinated?

Find further information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Image source, BBC

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