/ 20 July 2022

A COVID tune we’ve heard before…

Image source: Envato
Image source: Envato

Mask up when you’re indoors and in a crowded place – that’s what Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly wants us to do. Speaking to the media yesterday with Federal Health Minister Mark Butler, the nation’s chief medico also urged people to get their booster shots, work from home if possible and, if particularly vulnerable, use the antiviral medications available. “This will not be forever, but for the next few weeks. This is the way we can actually influence the spread of the virus, protect vulnerable people in our community and also protect our healthcare systems,” he said.

IT’S FEELING VERY 2020/2021…
It’s déjà vu all over again. And that’s down to the new COVID variant BA.5, which is much more infectious than those before it. That poses an increased risk of reinfection for those who have already had COVID. Kelly briefed the National Cabinet on Saturday, telling them the variant is “very good at escaping immunity”. “Vaccines do not stop the transmission of this virus, this variant is unusual in that case,” he said yesterday. Butler (who last week said that millions of Aussies will get COVID before the end of the year) said the “3rd Omicron wave for 2022 is proving to be a very, very significant one” and that hospitalisations were “almost certain to increase further” over the coming weeks.

It’s a good question, given Kelly’s warning that our COVID vaccinations aren’t going to stop the spread. That’s why he says masks, social distancing, and resurrecting the WFH trackie dacks are the order of the day. But vaccinations have been effective at taking the edge off the symptoms and helping to keep people out of hospital – so getting a booster is critical, officials say. More than 5 million Aussies haven’t had a booster 6 months or more after receiving their primary course, officials. Kids aged between 6 months and 5 years still have a wait to get their COVID jabs, despite the Therapeutic Goods Administration giving the Moderna paediatric vaccine the green light yesterday. “My department is in active negotiations right now with Moderna for Australia to secure as many doses as we possibly can from this very limited global supply,” Butler said. Pfizer is yet to submit data to the regulator for its vaccine for under-5s.

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