Lewis Hamilton fears he has Long Covid after struggling with dizziness at Hungarian GP


Lewis Hamilton has revealed he is still suffering the effects of Covid-19, eight months on from first testing positive for the virus.

Hamilton, who finished third in Budapest following a thrilling 70-lap Hungarian Grand Prix, showed the first sign of concern when he needed assistance to step on to the podium.

While other drivers undertook various media responsibilities with rights holders, Hamilton was attended to by a Mercedes team doctor where he reached the conclusion he is likely suffering from Long Covid.

Lewis Hamilton has revealed he is still suffering the effects of Covid-19, eight months on from first testing positive for the virus

Lewis Hamilton has revealed he is still suffering the effects of Covid-19, eight months on from first testing positive for the virus

Hamilton appeared at his post-race press conference after getting treatment from the doctor

Hamilton appeared at his post-race press conference after getting treatment from the doctor 

The Brit charged through the pack to bag third in Hungary and re-take the championship lead

The Brit charged through the pack to bag third in Hungary and re-take the championship lead 

Media members were told the seven-time champion was suffering from ‘fatigue and mild dizziness’ before he later appeared coughing and spluttering in his seat to explain the state of his conditioning.

Asked if his fatigue issue is related to the Covid-19 diagnosis which ruled him out of last season’s Sakhir Grand Prix, Hamilton said: ‘I haven’t spoken to anyone about Long Covid but I think it is lingering there.

‘I remember the effects of when I had it and training has been different since then. The level of fatigue that you get is different and it’s a real challenge.

‘I’m trying to keep training and preparing as best I can. Who knows what it is today? Maybe hydration. I don’t know but it was definitely different.’

Hamilton went on to explain that he ‘had something similar at Silverstone but this was way worse’ as concern in the paddock grew for his well-being at the conclusion of this race, which was won by Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.

‘I was having real dizziness and everything got a bit blurry on the podium,’ Hamilton said, when asked to recount the moments on the podium.

‘I have been fighting all year with staying healthy and what happened at the end of last year but still it’s a battle.’

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff felt it was ‘better to be safe than sorry’ in sending Hamilton to the doctor at the time of the press conference.

Hamilton was feeling dizzy after stepping out the car and had blurred vision on the podium

Hamilton was feeling dizzy after stepping out the car and had blurred vision on the podium 

Lewis Hamilton has admitted he could still be suffering from Long Covid after eight months

Lewis Hamilton has admitted he could still be suffering from Long Covid after eight months

‘I think you can just relate to it with the heat out there and a race like he had with tonnes of overtaking. That is exhausting,’ Wolff said.

‘I think he should be alright, but better to be safe than sorry.’

Hamilton was said to have ‘mild symptoms’ when he tested positive in December last year but two bouts of fatigue in recent weeks has led him to believe that he continues to battle against the novel coronavirus.

At Silverstone Hamilton urged the 140,000-strong crowd to wear masks in a bid to reduce the risk of infection from Covid-19, a message which was not taken on board by many in Northamptonshire.

The Mercedes driver will now get four weeks off to recuperate before the F1 calendar returns for the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa on August 29.

Sebastian Vettel, who finished second ahead of Hamilton, was removed early from media duties as he was summoned to stewards over ‘alleged not following Race Director’s instruction’ over ‘pre-race procedure’.

Vettel wore a rainbow-coloured t-shirt pre-race with the words ‘Same Love’ written across the chest as part of his support for the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary.

‘I heard it’s because I left my shirt on for the national anthem,’ Vettel told Sky Sports before he was whisked away.

Hamilton will now get four weeks to recover and boost his health as F1 takes its summer break

Hamilton will now get four weeks to recover and boost his health as F1 takes its summer break 

‘I’m happy if they disqualify me. They can do whatever they want to me, I don’t care. I would do it again.’

Hamilton, who himself spoke out this week against ‘cowardly’ anti-LGBTQ+ laws in Hungary, defended Vettel.

‘I think it’s wonderful that Seb has taken a stance this weekend to speak out for those in the LGBTQ+ community here,’ he said.

‘I spoke with him at the beginning of the weekend and I think it was important for him to do so. He probably won’t be in too much trouble but we have to make a stand. We are pushing diversity and inclusivity and that group is in that so I am proud of him for that.’

Covid cases fall for the ELEVENTH day in a row: Infections drop AGAIN by 16% in a week to 24,470 and deaths stay low at 65

By Henry Martin for MailOnline 

Covid cases have fallen for the eleventh day in a row with a further 24,470 recorded in the UK today.

Last Sunday saw 29,173 cases recorded, meaning today’s figures represent a fall of 16% from the July 25 figure. 

A further 65 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Sunday, bringing the UK total to 129,719. Today’s figure is more than twice that of last Sunday, which saw 28 deaths reported.   

The most recent data for vaccinations, which goes up to July 31, shows 88.6 per cent of the adult population have had one dose of the Covid jab, while 72.5% have had two. 

Government data up to July 31 shows that of the 85,196,986 Covid jabs given in the UK, 46,851,145 were first doses, a rise of 38,858 on the previous day.

Some 38,345,841 were second doses, an increase of 212,159.

The figures come as Boris Johnson faces a renewed backlash within his party over the ‘threat’ of domestic vaccine passports, with demands for MPs to be recalled from their holidays to debate the proposal.

Andrew Bridgen, one of 43 Conservative MPs to sign a declaration opposing vaccine passports, said Parliament should be recalled from its summer recess if ministers are ‘serious’ about asking people to show proof of their vaccine status to gain entry to domestic venues and events.

The call means cross-party backing is emerging for the Commons to return before September.

In other Covid news today:

  • Tens of millions of Britons will be offered a Pfizer booster jab this autumn as the vaccine has proved to be the most effective against the Delta variant.
  • Young adults will be lured into vaccination centres with the promise of cut-price taxis and takeaways, as Boris Johnson tries to tackle the relatively low take-up among the under-30s.
  • Australians are being ordered away from beaches by police helicopters as the country’s lockdown continues, and a top doctor warned there is a ‘close to zero’ chance of eliminating the Delta variant of Covid and the AstraZeneca jab must be used to quell surging cases.
  • Ministers are set to agree a plan to allow travellers to pass through the red list hubs of the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Bahrain without having to quarantine in a hotel on arrival in the UK

Last week, the Liberal Democrats, said a change rolled out to the NHS app, allowing users to prove they had been double-jabbed to access domestic settings – as well as for international travel – warranted a recall.

Conservative grandee Sir David Lidington, who was de facto deputy prime minister under Theresa May, added his voice to growing numbers in the Tory Party who are concerned about the prospect of vaccine passports, which are being used in some European countries, including Denmark and France.

ALL over-50s will get Covid booster shots by autumn 

Tens of millions of Britons will be offered a Pfizer booster jab this autumn as the vaccine has proved to be the most effective against the Delta variant.

The booster scheme, which was announced earlier this year, is set to start in September and should see 23million over-50s, vulnerable Britons and NHS and care home staff offered a third dose. 

Extra vaccines would be rolled out in two stages — prioritising those most at risk of Covid, before the programme is extended.

While patients were initially expected to be offered the jab they were originally inoculated with, it is understood all patients will be offered the Pfizer jab as it has proven to be the most effective against the Delta variant.

The Department of Health has yet to confirm the official details of the booster scheme, plans of which were first shared by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in June.

The JCVI is expected to issue its final advice in regards to the booster scheme in the coming months. 

A senior government source also told the Times that those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine would ‘be getting an mRNA booster’.

MRNA is a type of vaccine and applies to the Pfizer and Oxford jabs while AstraZeneca is not an mRNA jab. 

A UK Government-backed study published earlier this year found that mixing and matching Covid vaccines may result in higher protection against the virus.

People who had been vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s jab initially and then received a top-up with Pfizer’s had nine times more antibodies than those who stuck to the UK vaccine.

Although antibodies are just one part of the immune response, the Oxford University researchers said the findings strongly suggested the approach could enhance immunity.

But it is understood the mix and match approach is not going to be used in the short term more broadly because there is a ‘strong supply’ of each vaccine type.

A senior HSE source told the Times: ‘Currently there’s no need for it. Currently we have plenty of vaccines. The amount of vaccine isn’t an issue at all. There’s no plan to do it. It’s not under immediate consideration, but I wouldn’t rule it out.’

The Government said analysis has shown that the Pfizer vaccine is 96 per cent effective against the Delta variant while the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 per cent effective against hospitalisation after 2 doses.

 

The former cabinet minister told Times Radio that introducing a ‘Government certificate of approval’ to access certain events would set a ‘dangerous precedent’.

The Prime Minister has announced that he intends to change the rules in September so that only those who are fully vaccinated can attend nightclubs, in a move designed to increase the take-up of vaccination among young people.

According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), about two-thirds of people aged 18 to 29 in England have received a first dose.

The nightclub stipulations would be stricter than the coronavirus status certificates used at some mass events in recent months, with clubbers not allowed to use proof of a negative Covid-19 test or evidence of having had the virus to gain entry.

But Mr Johnson was warned by one of his backbenchers that he faced an ’embarrassing defeat’ if he put the ‘authoritarian’ proposal to a vote in the Commons.

North West Leicestershire MP, Mr Bridgen, told LBC: ‘I think if the Government is serious about the threat of bringing in domestic vaccine passports then, of course, Parliament should be recalled.

‘This is a very serious infringement on people’s liberties, it is basically unprecedented in this country, and I and a number of colleagues would oppose it.’

There are also ethical concerns, with professor of medical ethics Dominic Wilkinson telling the same radio station the idea of using Covid passes as a ‘stick to punish’ those who have not yet opted to get vaccinated was ‘ethically flawed’.

Mr Bridgen suggested the Government had looked to change tack in its approach to enticing young people to get jabbed because it knew objections to vaccine passes were growing.

Labour shadow environment secretary, Luke Pollard, said the party was ‘very cautious’ about domestic Covid passports, with leader Sir Keir Starmer ruling out supporting them for use in ‘everyday life’, setting up the possibility of a Government defeat on the policy.

Mr Bridgen said: ‘I personally don’t think it would get through the House of Commons in any event and that’s why the Government has moved on to this carrot inducements for young people.’

The so-called ‘inducements’ will see young people offered vouchers and discounts for popular takeaways and taxi rides in exchange for getting a jab.

Uber, Bolt, Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims are among the brands who will be offering incentives to encourage youngsters to get inoculated, DHSC has announced.

Labour MP Mr Pollard, who dubbed the offer ‘kebabs for jabs’, said he doubted the concept ‘is going to be enough to get that last 30% of young people’ vaccinated, and called for youngsters to be given more of a role in leading the campaign to get protected from the virus.

The rumblings over vaccine passports have coincided with a row over travel restrictions, with reports that the Chancellor has warned the Prime Minister the UK’s border policy is ‘out of step’ with international rivals and is hurting the economy.

Rishi Sunak, according to the Sunday Times, is said to be calling for Britain to take advantage of its successful vaccination programme by opening up further.

The newspaper quotes a source, who it claims is familiar with the letter, as saying: ‘Rishi has called time on the travel restrictions.’

Pictured: A woman receives the AstraZeneca Covid19 vaccine at an NHS vaccination centre in Ealing, west London

Pictured: A woman receives the AstraZeneca Covid19 vaccine at an NHS vaccination centre in Ealing, west London

Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said it showed the two most senior figures in Government were ‘in open disagreement’ and accused the Tories of being ‘in chaos over their border policy’.

Government data released on Sunday showed that a further 65 people had died in the UK within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, while a further 24,470 lab-confirmed Covid cases were also recorded.

And more than 85 million Covid-19 vaccines, including first and second doses, have been administered in the UK – with more than 88% of adults having now had a first dose and more 72% getting both doses.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘In under eight months, health services across the UK have delivered more than 85 million doses – this is a phenomenal achievement. It has shown Britain at its best.

‘Please get both of your jabs if you haven’t already to protect yourself and your loved ones.’

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said some of the nine million spare AstraZeneca jabs donated to developing countries last week were ‘going in arms in Jamaica’, with batches also ‘on their way’ to Kenya, Guyana, Belize and Laos.

ALL over-50s will get Covid booster shots by autumn: People who got AstraZeneca ‘are set to be offered a Pfizer jab’ in new vaccine drive because it is more effective against Indian variant

By Katie Feehan for MailOnline and Glen Owen for the Mail on Sunday

Tens of millions of Britons are expected to be offered a Pfizer booster jab this autumn as the vaccine has proved to be the most effective against the Delta variant.

The booster scheme, which was announced earlier this year, is set to start in September and should see 23million over-50s, vulnerable Britons and NHS and care home staff offered a third dose. 

Extra vaccines would be rolled out in two stages — prioritising those most at risk of Covid, before the programme is extended.

While patients were initially expected to be offered the jab they were originally inoculated with, it is understood all patients will be offered the Pfizer jab as it has proven to be the most effective against the Delta variant.

The Department of Health has yet to confirm the official details of the booster scheme, plans of which were first shared by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in June.

The JCVI is expected to issue its final advice in regards to the booster scheme in the coming months. 

Pictured: A woman receives the AstraZeneca Covid19 vaccine at an NHS vaccination centre in Ealing, west London

Pictured: A woman receives the AstraZeneca Covid19 vaccine at an NHS vaccination centre in Ealing, west London

A senior government source also told the Times that those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine would ‘be getting an mRNA booster’.

MRNA used in the Pfizer and Moderna jabs is essentially a DNA instruction to tell your cells how to produce the harmless spike proteins from the virus – allowing your body to create an immune response without being exposed to the virus itself. 

Oxford AstraZeneca is not an mRNA jab – instead using a weakened version of a common cold virus from chimpanzees that has been modified to contain genetic material shared by the coronavirus.

Again, this technique means the person receiving the jab is not exposed to the real virus – unlike previous jab types which often relied on weakened or dead forms of the actual virus.

A UK Government-backed study published earlier this year found that mixing and matching Covid vaccines may result in higher protection against the virus.

People who had been vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s jab initially and then received a top-up with Pfizer’s had nine times more antibodies than those who stuck to the UK vaccine.

Although antibodies are just one part of the immune response, the Oxford University researchers said the findings strongly suggested the approach could enhance immunity.

But it is understood the mix and match approach is not going to be used in the short term more broadly because there is a ‘strong supply’ of each vaccine type.

A senior HSE source told the Times: ‘Currently there’s no need for it. Currently we have plenty of vaccines. The amount of vaccine isn’t an issue at all. There’s no plan to do it. It’s not under immediate consideration, but I wouldn’t rule it out.’

The Government said analysis has shown that the Pfizer vaccine is 96 per cent effective against the Delta variant while the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 per cent effective against hospitalisation after two doses.

Pictured: A young person receives a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab at a vaccination centre for young people and students at the Hunter Street Health Centre in London on June 5

Pictured: A young person receives a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab at a vaccination centre for young people and students at the Hunter Street Health Centre in London on June 5

Which jab combinations provided the best protection? 

The early results from the Com-Cov trial, published today in the Lancet, looked at the efficacy of either two doses of Pfizer, two of AstraZeneca, or one of them followed by the other. 

All second doses were given four weeks apart and the trial recruited 830 volunteers who were aged 50 and above.  All combinations worked well, priming the immune system. 

It found: 

— AstraZeneca’s vaccine, followed by Pfizer’s, induced higher levels of antibodies and T cells than vice versa.

— Both antibodies and T cells, a type of white blood cell, play a crucial role in defending against Covid.

— The mix-match approach produced more antibodies than two regular doses of AstraZeneca’s, no matter which way round the jabs were given. 

 — The largest antibody levels were induced after two doses of Pfizer, and the highest T cell response was from AstraZeneca’s followed by Pfizer.

A study published this week also showed that a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine could offer strong protection against the Delta variant.

Research showed that antibody levels increased five-fold among people ages 18 to 55 who were given the booster shot.

The third dose was especially effecting for the elderly, with antibody levels spiking 11-fold among people aged 65 to 85 who had already received the standard two doses.

In the slides published online, the researchers wrote there there is ‘estimated potential for up to 100-fold increase in Delta neutralization post-dose three compared to pre-dose three.’ 

The booster roll-out will coincide with the annual influenza inoculation programme, which health officials said will be vital this winter amid warnings of a difficult flu season.

Immunity gained from Covid jabs last for at least six months in the ‘majority’ of cases, but there are fears this could fade later in the year which could trigger a spike in hospitalisations and deaths.

An Oxford University trial looking at booster doses suggested a third shot six months after the second could restore peak immunity against Covid.

It comes as the week-on-week rate of Covid cases fell yesterday for the tenth day in a row with 26,144 infections marking a 17.8 per cent fall while deaths also fell to 71.

The latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University suggests that about 60,000 deaths, 22 million infections and 52,600 hospitalisations have been prevented by vaccines.

The Government plans to lure young people in for their vaccinations with the promise of cut-price taxis and takeaways, as Boris Johnson tries to tackle the relatively low take-up among the under-30s.

Uber, Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims are among the companies in discussion with the Government about offering incentives as part of the ‘Jab 18-30’ drive.

So far, only two-thirds of people in that age bracket in England have received a first dose since they became eligible in June, compared with 88.4 per cent across all age groups, meaning more than three million 18-to-30-year-olds remain unjabbed. 



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