News

Influenza vaccination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults

Despite improvements in vaccine uptake in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, adults experience greater rates of influenza hospitalisation than non-Indigenous adults of the same age. READ MORE

Vaccine complacency threatens to undo Australia’s hard work

As UNSW Kirby Institute epidemiologists Raina MacIntyre, Valentina Costantino, and Mallory Trent have shown, the proportion of the population we need to vaccinate to achieve herd immunity varies substantially with vaccine efficacy. At 95 per cent efficacy, they calculate, 63 per cent of the population would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. If efficacy is 70 per cent, it rises to 86 per cent of the population. READ MORE

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly's interview on 7.30 ABC on 9 March 2021

Read the transcript of Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly's interview on 7.30 ABC on 9 March 2021 about coronavirus (COVID-19). READ

Why is herd immunity so important?

Prof MacIntyre is head of the biosecurity program at the Kirby Institute at the University of NSW, and is concerned that the AstraZeneca vaccine, which will likely be rolled out early this year, is not strong enough to achieve herd immunity in Australia. READ MORE

Is Israel a preview of Australia’s post-vaccine world?

On January 20, enduring its third coronavirus wave under yet another lockdown, Israel recorded its first 10,000-case day alongside more than 100 deaths.

Less than a month later, it is slowly reopening businesses. The average age of hospitalisation for severe COVID-19 dropped from 69 to 63, and the number of severe cases has declined from about 1200 to 935 within six weeks. On Sunday, there were 3400 new cases and 32 deaths in Israel. READ MORE

Coronavirus's origins may remain a mystery as the WHO leaves China with more questions than answers

Some experts are questioning the purpose of the World Health Organization's coronavirus investigative mission to China, which wrapped up this week after months of diplomatic tension with no clarity on how the virus began.

The team of experts departed the global pandemic outbreak city of Wuhan with plenty of theories, and many questions remaining unanswered about how the world-changing global pandemic first developed. READ MORE

Australians 'can still have faith' in COVID-19 vaccines despite South Africa, UK strains

The B.1.1.7 strain is one of two variants which the World Health Organization has dubbed "variants of concern".

The second is the B.1.351 strain of coronavirus, often referred to as the South African variant, which has been detected in 41 countries (including Belgium, the Netherlands and Mozambique) and is believed to be 50 per cent more transmissible than existing strains. READ MORE

Why didn’t others get hotel coronavirus?

It’s the big question around Australia’s recent infections of workers who acquired coronavirus from hotel quarantine: why did they not pass it on to anyone else, despite all being infected with the highly contagious UK strain? READ MORE

Concerns raised that quarantine hotels are being used for private guests

Epidemiologists are again calling on Australia's Governments to agree on and stick to uniform infection control quarantine standards to protect the nation.

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FEATURED:

Michael Gunner, NT Chief Minister

Dr Hugh Heggie, NT Chief Health Officer

Liz Moore, Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT Public Health Medical Officer

Professor Raina MacIntyre, University of New South Wales

Coronavirus restrictions stopped the spread of some illnesses, but gastro is not one of them

Professor Raina MacIntyre from the University of New South Wales' Kirby Institute said rates of respiratory viruses like COVID-19 and influenza dropped dramatically with measures like masks and social distancing.

But viruses that often spread through close contact with infected people, such as rhinovirus and norovirus, have not.

"It's a different mode of spread to respiratory transmission," she said. READ MORE