COVID-19 Round 19 - Stick a Forklift in it

Vic Health tweeting that free RAT kits can now be collected from participating local councils ( Medicare card not required)

  • 2 packs of 5 RATs pp and 2 packs per household member.
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The UK have updated their booster program already to just focus on the vulnerable i.e. over 60s, immunocompromised and comorbidities. Some of the scandinavian countries did similar some time ago. It will be interesting to see what Australia does.

A common-sense decision which should have been followed by more countries - With so much of the world being exposed to the virus combined with vaccine protection then it should be the most vulnerable who continue to be boosted.

I generally agree with you. The priority for vaccination should be elderly and immunocompromised, of course. Currently available vaccine boosters in Australia really have limited effectiveness for those already vaccinated and/or exposed to COVID, and not elderly or immunocompromised. But for the moment, the new bivalent booster looks to add significant protection - if/when you can get it.

The TGA finally approved the new Pfizer bivalent COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 COVID-19 vaccine 11 days ago for everyone over 12, and will be providing advice to the government for its purchase and distribution in coming weeks. Multiple studies are reporting around 5 times reduction in hospitalisation and death from current strains, by adding this booster to your existing level of protection from the combination of vaccination and natural immunity from exposure to earlier strains.

If our government gets supply of this vaccine, and I have the option of getting it before I contract the newer strain/s of COVID, I’d gladly take it, and if it’s widely available, and widely used, there’s no doubt that it would reduce total deaths, hospitalisations, and Long COVID significantly, at least for now.

Who knows how effective it will be against the next strain, but I imagine we’ll have continuing updates to COVID vaccines, as we do for flu vaccines. If availability of new boosters keeps up with variants, they may continue to be a useful tool. A once a year booster may continue to save many lives.

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I haven’t kept up with this thread for a while, but for anyone that is doubting covid was real, this is the best data. Excess death data is black or white, has no diagnosis.

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Given that a large number of cases go unreported these days, I’m not sure how relevant the chart is .

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I think the only line to take note of, is the hospital admissions.

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No post Christmas spike which is nice to see.

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No covid in ED overnight, so far as I could tell.
Massive difference to very recently.
Such a weird virus.

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And no people in the waiting room!
Yay for the summer lull, but it’s good news all the same. Very rare.

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They’re all here. Dancing to terrible Zumba music.

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Thailand reportly looking to void their contracts with Pfizer after an updated medical opinion on their princess indicated her collapse and continuing coma may be due to her booster received not long before the date of injury.

This is not something that’s front page of the main stream news outlets, disappointing but not surprised.

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Brutal. Not sure why’d you’d still be getting boosters at her young age and healthy. Should only be recommended for the elderly and vulnerable at this point.

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One thing that has become apparent in the last few months is that you rarely hear the medical experts trot out the line ’ The Costs outweigh the benefits ’ in terms of being vaccinated - This has very much disappeared from their language.

Vaccines undoubtedly cause deaths BUT in a scientific sense it is difficult to prove 101% there is a cause and effect relationship from COVID vaccines.

Even in Hong Kong which is very transparent with COVID related data is very cautious when discussing incidents or deaths as a result of COVID vaccines.

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It’s impossible to 100% associate when a) the vaccines are so new that the side effects were/are yet to be fully understood and b) APHRA continue to instill fear in practitioners for speaking out regarding side effects or associations seen at risk of suspension pending investigation for misinformation against curremt accepted advice. That’s a whole other topic.

It was new tech which means the evolving knowledge needs to be updated in the recommendations, particularly for younger, healthy populations with the mild variants currently circulating.

It often becomes an emotional or political argument which is where you lose people.

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https://www.health.gov.au/news/atagi-2023-booster-advice

  • ATAGI recommends a 2023 COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for adults in the following groups, if their last COVID-19 vaccine dose or confirmed infection (whichever is the most recent) was 6 months ago or longer, and regardless of the number of prior doses received:
    • All adults aged 65 years and over
    • Adults aged 18-64 years who have medical comorbidities that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, or disability with significant or complex health needs.
  • ATAGI advises the following groups should consider a 2023 booster dose if their last COVID-19 vaccine dose or confirmed infection (whichever is the most recent) was 6 months ago or longer, and regardless of the number of prior doses received, based on an individual risk benefit assessment with their immunisation provider.
    • All Adults aged 18-64 years without risk factors for severe COVID-19
    • Children and adolescents aged 5-17 years who have medical comorbidities that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, or disability with significant or complex health needs.
  • ATAGI advises that a booster dose is not recommended at this time for children and adolescents aged under the age of 18 who do not have any risk factors for severe COVID-19.
  • Regarding vaccine choice, all currently available COVID-19 vaccines are anticipated to provide benefit as a booster dose, however bivalent mRNA booster vaccines are preferred over other vaccines. These include: Pfizer Original/Omicron BA.4/5, as well as Pfizer Original/Omicron BA.1 or Moderna Original/Omicron BA.1. Moderna Original/Omicron BA.4/5 is currently under evaluation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
  • COVID-19 vaccine can be co-administered with influenza and other vaccines.
  • Administration of a 2023 COVID-19 booster dose should aim to occur prior to June 2023 and at a time of 6 months or greater following the most recent COVID-19 vaccine dose or confirmed infection.
  • Ongoing surveillance of COVID-19 infection rates and clinical outcomes, new variants, and vaccine effectiveness will inform future recommendations for additional booster doses.
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