This year gave 2020 a run for its money when it came to ever-changing health news. But how closely were you paying attention?
From the fastest vaccine drive in British history to fake meat at McDonald’s, test your memory with the ultimate Health Quiz of the Year. (Scroll down for the answers!)
1 As the vaccination programme kicked off in early January, GP hubs and pharmacies welcomed 15million of the UK’s most vulnerable for their first doses. But which of the UK’s biggest supermarkets helped out by offering jabs too?
As the vaccination programme kicked off in early January, GP hubs and pharmacies welcomed 15million of the UK’s most vulnerable for their first doses. But which of the UK’s biggest supermarkets helped out by offering jabs too?
2 In February, the NHS announced the launch of an at-home swab test for a type of cancer – and The Mail on Sunday’s Deputy Health Editor was one of the first to try it out. What did it screen for?
3 In March, 13 EU countries temporarily halted their rollout of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine amid claims that it was linked to blood clots in young people. After EU regulators ruled it to be safe and effective a week later, most reinstated its use. But which was the first country to put the AstraZeneca jab on pause?
4 How many stages of lockdown easing were there, and on which date were people allowed to mix indoors again?
5 Concrete evidence that Covid-19 can be transmitted from human to animal was unveiled by British scientists in April. But which animal caught Covid from a human?
6 In mid-May, long-awaited instructions from NHS England marked a stunning victory for The Mail on Sunday, following months of campaigning by the Health section to get GPs to do what?
7 The Delta variant arrived on British shores in March, and was found to be 40 per cent more transmissible than the previously dominant Kent variant. But where in the world was Delta originally detected?
8 Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of high street food chain Leon, published his extreme ideas for beating obesity in Britain in July. The 239-page dossier featured a number of ambitious plans, including targeting one much loved breakfast cereal, which Dimbleby later referred to as ‘pure sugar’. Which cereal did he take a pop at?
Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of high street food chain Leon, published his extreme ideas for beating obesity in Britain in July
9 Dame Sarah Gilbert, co-creator of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, was given a surprise standing ovation – with roaring applause – at which major summer sporting event?
10US toy company Mattel created a Barbie doll to honour Dame Sarah – complete with red hair and glasses. But what did the vaccinologist say, rather bluntly, when she first learned of the doll?
What did vaccinologist Dame Sarah Gilbert say, rather bluntly, when she first learned of the Barbie doll?
11 How many Covid-19 infections, to the nearest thousand, were linked to the Euro 2020 final between Italy and England on July 11?
12The Prime Minister and his wife Carrie Johnson announced in August that they were expecting their second child. Posting the news on Instagram, Carrie wrote that their ‘rainbow baby’ was due to arrive at Christmas. What is a rainbow baby?
13 A new ‘game-changing’ heart health jab – approved for NHS use this September – could soon replace which commonly used drugs?
14 In October the Government made it illegal to inject under-18s with cosmetic Botox and fillers – used to add volume to lips and smooth out wrinkles. Which popular reality TV show has been widely blamed for the surge in demand for such procedures among teenagers?
In October the Government made it illegal to inject under-18s with cosmetic Botox and fillers – used to add volume to lips and smooth out wrinkles
15 McDonald’s launched the McPlant, its first fully vegan fake-meat burger, in September. What is the ‘meat’ patty made from?
16 Gwyneth Paltrow, the Hollywood actress turned wellness guru, raised eyebrows with her bizarre documentary series on streaming platform Netflix in the autumn. What was the topic of the show?
17 British tennis champion Emma Raducanu suffered health problems that caused her to pull out of two major tournaments this year – which were they?
British tennis champion Emma Raducanu suffered health problems that caused her to pull out of two major tournaments this year
18 In September, former Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding died of advanced breast cancer. The 39-yearold had ‘put off’ seeking help despite suffering two symptoms – a lump and a pain in her chest – that she had put down to which activity?
19 The new president of an all-female college at the University of Cambridge sparked fierce debate when she announced plans to offer lessons in which women’s health issue?
20 Which member of the Royal Family has been pictured more than once wearing a facemask incorrectly?
21 In October, the editor of prestigious medical journal The Lancet was forced to apologise after its cover provoked an angry backlash among female readers. Why?
22 Which ground-breaking yet controversial fertility treatment was dubbed Frankenscience after the MoS revealed that 26 women had applied for the intervention in the UK?
23 In November, NHS health chiefs approved a treatment for HIV said to be the biggest medical advancement in combating the illness in more than a decade. What was it?
24 Which two areas of the UK were the first to identify cases of the Omicron variant?
25 Which former Strictly Come Dancing star shared an ‘anti-vax’ post on Instagram earlier this month, supporting a protest against Covid measures and jabs?
1 Morrisons. About 50 branches turned their car parks into pop-up vaccine centres in the North and West of England.
2 Cervical cancer. Or, more specifically, the sexually transmitted infection human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes 95 per cent of cervical cancers. As part of a major trial, 31,000 women used a screening kit, including a swab used to take a sample of cervical cells. The innovation was aimed at combating low turnout at screening appointments pre-Covid, as well as the pause on all routine screenings during the pandemic.
3 Austria. On March 7, Austrian medical authorities reported two women had suffered serious blood clots within two weeks of receiving the AstraZeneca jab. Research has since proved the risk of deadly blood clots from Covid infection is eight times higher than the risk from the jab.
4 Technically, five. On May 17, six Britons or two households were allowed to meet inside. Indoor hospitality and hotels also opened on that date.
5 Cats. University of Glasgow researchers discovered two cats which tested positive for Covid-19 soon after their owners had become infected. Genome sequencing proved that the owners had passed it on. One of the kittens was put down after it developed breathing difficulties.
University of Glasgow researchers discovered two cats which tested positive for Covid-19 soon after their owners had become infected
6 See more patients face to face. The Mail on Sunday fought a campaign urging GPs to do so after close to 1,000 readers told of life-threatening illnesses going unnoticed because they’d been denied a face-to-face appointment. In updated guidance, NHS England scrapped the rule introduced at the start of the pandemic that instructed all GPs to adopt a ‘total-triage’ system: referring patients to specialists or digital therapies without seeing them in person. Roughly two-thirds of GP appointments are now in person.
7 India. The Delta variant was first detected there in October 2020. It landed in the UK in March, and by June was the dominant strain around the world.
8 Frosties. Mr Dimbleby’s plan to improve the quality of British diets included a ‘snack tax’ on sugary foods.
9 Wimbledon. Frontline NHS staff received invitations to the Royal Box, along with a number of ‘inspirational’ individuals including Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of Captain Sir Tom Moore who raised more than £32million for the NHS before his death in February.
10 That she found the creation ‘very strange’. But Dame Sarah later said she hoped the doll would ‘show children careers they may not be aware of, like a vaccinologist’. The doll was one of six to honour women in science, maths and technology.
11 3,000. Specifically, 3,404 people in and around the ground at Wembley Stadium were potentially infected around the time of the game, according to data collected by NHS Test and Trace. In total, the eight tournament matches held in London were said to have led to infections in 6,376 people.
12 The term rainbow baby refers to a child born following a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death. Carrie Johnson revealed that she suffered a miscarriage at the beginning of the year. The couple’s second child, born on December 9, was named Romy Iris Charlotte – Iris means rainbow in Greek.
13 Statins. Health watchdog NICE approved twice-yearly inclisirin jabs for patients with high cholesterol and heart disease. It cuts the amount of fatty cholesterol in blood vessels that causes disease. Studies found the jabs, which will be given at GP surgeries, were just as effective as statins.
14 ITV2 reality show Love Island, in which scantily clad young people aim to find a partner. When the seventh series of the show began in July, enquiries for lip-fillers shot up 37 per cent in just two weeks, according to cosmetic treatment practitioners’ register Save Face.
15 The McPlant patty, made to look and taste like a Quarter Pounder, is made from a pea and rice-protein textured mince, combined with starches, colourings and flavourings.
16 Sex. The six-part series, Sex, Love & Goop, followed couples attempting to improve their sex lives with the help of an intimacy coach. Perhaps most unexpected was the approach of one coach who got extremely hands on with her clients. Darshana Avila’s work often involves her touching couples’ genitals – which is illegal in every US state apart from California.
17 Anxiety and Covid. First, in July, Emma Raducanu pulled out of Wimbledon after suffering breathing problems during a match, which was later reported to be a result of severe anxiety. And earlier this month the 19-year-old confirmed she had tested positive for Covid, which forced her to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi and the BBC show where she was crowned Sports Personality of the Year.
18 Playing the guitar. Writing in The Mail on Sunday, top breast surgeon Dr Liz O’Riordan explained that the lump – under the singer’s armpit – and the pain were signs her cancer had spread. Dr O’Riordan was critical of the prevailing narrative around Sarah’s death: that if she had gone to the doctor sooner, the tragedy would have been avoided. ‘The uncomfortable truth is that young women get breast cancer because they are bloody unlucky,’ she wrote.
19 Fertility. Dorothy Byrne said female students should understand their fertile years are limited to avoid ‘leaving it too late’ for children. Byrne had her first child at 44, following fertility treatment. She said: ‘I wish I’d known there’d be such a huge difference between trying to get pregnant at the age of 38, and then 40, and then after.’
20 Prince Charles. The 73- year-old has twice been pictured with a mask covering his eyes as he struggled to put one on.
21 The October issue carried the term ‘bodies with vaginas’ – so-called inclusive language which caters to people of all genders. The line on its front page – ‘Historically, the anatomy and physiology of bodies with vaginas have been neglected’ – was extracted from a review of an exhibition on menstrual health at the Vagina Museum in London. Readers accused editor-in-chief Richard Horton of ‘dehumanisation’ and ‘erasing’ women. He later apologised.
22 Mitochondrial donation, or, in other words, a three-parent baby. The procedure helps prevent certain hereditary abnormalities caused by damaged genes that trigger life-limiting conditions and repeated miscarriages. It involves transfering the fertilised nucleus of a woman’s egg – containing the DNA from both parents but only tiny fragments of their damaged genes – into a healthy fertilised egg from another woman.
23 An HIV jab. Roughly 13,000 patients will be eligible for the injections that are given every two months, which studies show are just as effective as the current treatment of daily antiretroviral tablets.
24 Chelmsford in Essex and Nottingham. The cases were related to each other and said to be linked to travel in southern Africa.
25 Brendan Cole. The professional dancer shared a lengthy rant with his 88,000 followers promoting the ‘Freedom March’ in London’s Parliament Square – organised by a group of vaccine-hesitant campaigners. ‘It’s a slippery slope when Government can dictate and mandate what we do to our own body,’ read the dancer’s now-deleted post.