Yesterday the Health Secretary announced that thousands of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 will now be able to receive the life-saving treatment, tocilizumab, which has shown to lower the risk of death and time spent in hospital, helping reduce pressures on our NHS over the coming weeks and months.
This excellent news once again demonstrates that we are at the forefront of the global mission to find safe and effective treatments for the virus, having discovered the world-first treatment of dexamethasone last June.
Trials have shown that tocilizumab reduces the relative risk of death by 14 per cent and lowers the time spent in hospital by 5 days when used for patients on oxygen, on top of the benefits from dexamethasone, and can also help patients outside of intensive care with oxygen deficiency who are showing signs of worsening – and we are now working quickly to ensure it is available across the NHS.
This marks yet another important advance in our fight against this terrible disease, and by ensuring every NHS patient who needs this treatment can access it, we can potentially help save thousands of more lives and alleviate the pressures on our NHS.
For more information on the life-saving treatment tocilizumab, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-more-nhs-patients-to-get-life-saving-covid-19-treatment.
We have administered more than 14.5 million vaccines across the UK. In the last week we have vaccinated over 3 million people, bringing it to a total of 14,012,224 people who have now received their first jab – the equivalent of 1 in 4 adults in the UK.