‘We need to change our mindset over achieving zero COVID’
Michael is joined by Professor Peter Collignon, Infectious diseases physician & microbiologist at the Australian National University medical school, about when is the time to change our mindset on zero COVID?
Professor Collignon writes, ‘Vaccinations are very effective in saving lives. Data from the NSW outbreak, US, Britain and Israel show that once you are fully vaccinated, you get very high levels of protection against death and serious disease (hospitalisation). Vaccination also decreases viral transmission, but less so.’
‘The problem we have in Australia, is currently we still don’t have enough people vaccinated. We do have high uptake (over 80 per cent with at least first doses) in those most at risk of serious disease e.g., those older than 70 years. But still the majority of those over 12 years of age are not fully vaccinated.’
‘So, the consequences of uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 will still be substantial. But this will change as more people get vaccinated. There should be no reason that all adults before the end of this year, cannot be vaccinated with one of the two vaccines (AstraZeneca and Pfizer) we have available now – and potentially others (Moderna).’
‘But we will also need to change our mindset as vaccination rates increase. We need to change from looking at case numbers and maintaining zero COVID.
Instead, we need to look at how many people are filling our hospitals and associated fatalities.’
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