Informed, engaged communities for health

Search
Generic filters
Filter by Categories
@WePublicHealth2021
#CroakeyLIVE #Budget2021Health
#MHReform
#OutOfTheBox
#QldVotesHealth
#RCIADIC30Years
#RuralHealthJustice
#TRIPSwaiver
2021 Floods
Budget2020Health
Bushfires
Co-design
community control
COVID-19
Croakey Conference News Service
#16nrhc
#2020ResearchExcellence
#21OPCC
#BackToTheFire
#FoodGovernance2021
#GiantSteps21
#Govern4Health
#GreenHealthForum21
#GreenHealthForum22
#Heal2022
#HealthClimateSolutions21
#HealthReImagined
#HearMe21
#ICEM22
#IndigenousClimateJustice21
#NAISA22
#NNF2021
#NNF2022
#RANZCP2021
#RANZCP2022
#RethinkAddiction
#RTP22
#SAHeapsUnfair
#ShiftingGearsSummit
#ValueBasedCare
#WCepi2021
#YHFSummit
Choosing Wisely National Meeting 2022
Equally Well 2022 Symposium
GiantSteps22
Croakey Professional Services
#CommunityControl
#COVIDthinktank21
#KidneyCareTogether
ACSQHC series
ACSQHC series 2019
ACSQHC series 2020
ACSQHC series 2021
ACSQHC series 2022
CATSINaM 25 Years
Lowitja Indigenous knowledge translation series
NHLF series
Croakey projects
@WePublicHealth
@WePublicHealth2020
@WePublicHealth2022
#CommunityMatters
#CoveringClimateNow
#CroakeyFundingDrive 2022
#CroakeyLIVE #USvotesHealth
#CroakeyREAD
#CroakeyVOICES
#CroakeyYOUTH
#HealthyCOP26
#HealthyCOP27
#HousingJusticeAus
#JusticeCOVID
#LookingLocal
#MRFFtransparency
#OutOfPocket
#PHAAThinkTank 2022
#SpeakingOurMinds
#TalkingTeeth
#WorldInTurmoil
AroundTheTraps
Caring for the Frontline
COVID SNAPS
COVIDglobalMHseries
Croakey longreads
CroakeyEXPLORE
Gavin Mooney
ICYMI
Inside Story
Journal Watch
Summer Reading 2019-2020
The Conversation
The Health Wrap
TOO MUCH of a Good Thing
CroakeyGO
#CroakeyGO #NavigatingHealth
#GamblingHarms
#HeatwaveHealth
Mapping CroakeyGo
CroakeyNews
Cultural determinants of health
Digital platforms
Donor-funded journalism
Donor-funded journalism – 2020
Donor-funded journalism – 2021
Donor-funded journalism – 2022
Elections and budgets
Federal Budget 2019-20
Federal Budget 2020-21
Federal Budget 2022-23
Federal Budget October 2022
Federal Election 2022
SA election 2022
The Election Wrap (2022)
Victorian election 2022
Federal Budget 2021-22
Global health and climate change
2019-20 climate bushfire emergency
asylum seeker and refugee health
Climate emergency
disasters
Ebola
extreme weather events
flooding 2011
Flooding 2022
Global health
NHS
NSW 2022
NZ Election 2017
WHO
health
Healthcare and health reform
abortion
adverse events
Aged care
Allied healthcare
Australian Medical Association
cancer
cardiovascular disease
child health
Choosing Wisely
Chronic conditions
co-payments
Cochrane Collaboration
complementary medicines
conflicts of interest
death and dying
diabetes
digital technology
disabilities
e-health
emergency departments and care
Equally Well
euthanasia
evidence-based issues
general practice
genetics
health & medical marketing
Health and aged care workforces
health and medical education
health and medical research
Health Care Homes
health ethics
health financing and costs
Health reform
health regulation
HIV/AIDS
hospitals
HRT
infectious diseases
influenza
international medical graduates
journal articles
LGBTIQ
medical marijuana
Medicare Locals
men's health
Mental health
MyHospitals website
National Commission of Audit 2014
National Health Performance Authority
naturopathy
NDIS
NHMRC
non communicable diseases
Nursing and midwifery
oral health
organ transplants
out of pocket costs
pain
palliative care
paramedics
pathology
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
pharmaceutical industry
pharmacy
Pregnancy and childbirth
Primary Health Networks
Primary healthcare
private health insurance
Rural and remote health
Safety and quality of healthcare
screening
sexual health
Social media and healthcare
Strengthening Medicare Taskforce 2022
suicide
surgery
swine flu
telehealth
tests
TGA
trauma
women's health
youth health
Indigenous health
#CTG10
#NTRC
Acknowledgement
cultural safety
Indigenous education
Lowitja Institute
NT Intervention
social and emotional wellbeing
Uluru Statement
WA community closures
News about Croakey
Public health and population health
#PreventiveHealthStrategy
#UnmetNeedsinPublicHealth
air pollution
alcohol
consumer health matters
COVIDwrap
environmental health
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
food and nutrition
gambling
Government 2.0
gun control
health communications
health impact assessment
Health in All Policies
Health inequalities
health literacy
human rights
illicit drugs
injuries
legal issues
marriage equality
Media Doctor Australia
media-related issues
Monkeypox
nanny state
National Preventive Health Agency
obesity
occupational health
physical activity
plain packaging
prevention
Public health
Public interest journalism
road safety
sport
sugar tax
tobacco control
transport
vaccination
violence
Web 2.0
weight loss products
Royal Commission
Social determinants of health
commercial determinants of health
discrimination
education
Housing
justice
Justice Reinvestment
NBN
Newstart/JobSeeker
poverty
Racism
social policy
Summer reading 2020-2021
Summer reading 2021-2022
Tasmanian election 2021
The Croakey Archives
#cripcroakey
#HealthEquity16
#HealthMatters
#IHMayDay (all years)
#IHMayDay 2014
#IHMayDay15
#IHMayday16
#IHMayDay17
#IHMayDay18
#LoveRural 2014
Croakey Conference News Service 2013 – 2019
2013 conferences
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation Forum 2013
Australian Health Promotion Association Conference 2013
Closing the Credibility Gap 2013
CRANAplus Conference 2013
FASD Conference 2013
Health Workforce Australia 2013
International Health Literacy Network Conference 2013
NACCHO Summit 2013
National Rural Health Conference 2013
Oceania EcoHealth Symposium 2013
PHAA conference 2013
2014 conferences
#IPCHIV14
AIDA Conference 2014
Congress Lowitja 2014
CRANAplus conference 2014
Cultural Solutions - Healing Foundation forum 2014
Lowitja Institute Continuous Quality Improvement conference 2014
National Suicide Prevention Conference 2014
Racism and children/youth health symposium 2014
Rural & Remote Health Scientific Symposium 2014
2015 conferences
#CPHCEforum
#CRANAplus15
#HSR15
#NRHC15
#OTCC15
Population Health Congress 2015
2016 conferences
#AHHAsim16
#AHMRC16
#ANROWS2016
#ATSISPEP
#AusCanIndigenousWellness
#cphce2016
#CPHCEforum16
#CRANAplus2016
#IAMRA2016
#LowitjaConf2016
#PreventObesity16
#TowardsRecovery
#VMIAC16
#WearablesCEH
#WICC2016
2017 conferences
#17APCC
#ACEM17
#AIDAconf2017
#BTH20
#CATSINaM17
#ClimateHealthStrategy
#IAHAConf17
#IDS17
#LBQWHC17
#LivingOurWay
#OKtoAskAu
#OTCC2017
#ResearchTranslation17
#TheMHS2017
#VMIACConf17
#WCPH2017
Australian Palliative Care Conference
2018 conferences
#6rrhss
#ACEM18
#AHPA2018
#ATSISPC18
#CPHCE
#MHED18
#NDISMentalHealth
#Nurseforce
#OKToAsk2018
#RANZCOG18
#ResearchIntoPolicy
#VHAawards
#VMIACAwards18
#WISPC18
2019 Conferences
#ACEM19
#CPHCE19
#EquallyWellAust
#GiantSteps19
#HealthAdvocacyWIM
#KTthatWorks
#LowitjaConf2019
#MHAgeing
#NNF2019
#OKtoAsk2019
#RANZCOG19
#RANZCP2019
#ruralhealthconf
#VMIAC2019
#WHOcollabAHPRA
Croakey Professional Services archive
#CommunityControl Twitter Festival
Croakey projects archive
#IndigenousHealthSummit
#IndigenousNCDs
#JustClimate
#JustJustice
Croakey register of influence
Croakey Register of Influencers in Public Health
Croakey Register of Unreleased Documents
Naked Doctor
Poems of Public Health
Summer Reading 2016-2017
Summer Reading 2017-2018
The Koori Woman
Wonky Health
CroakeyGO archive 2017 – 2018
CroakeyGo 2017
#CroakeyGO Adelaide 2017
#CroakeyGO Melbourne 2017
#CroakeyGO Newcastle 2017
#CroakeyGO Sydney 2017
CroakeyGo 2018
#CroakeyGO #QuantumWords 2018
#CroakeyGO #VicVotes 2018
#CroakeyGO Albury 2018
#CroakeyGO Callan Park 2018
#CroakeyGO Carnarvon 2018
#CroakeyGO Marrickville 2018
#CroakeyGO Palm Island 2018
Elections and Budgets 2013 – 2019
#AusVotesHealth Twitter Festival 2019
#Health4NSW
#HealthElection16
Federal Budget 2009-2010
Federal Budget 2010
Federal Budget 2011
Federal Budget 2012-2013
Federal Budget 2013-14
Federal Budget 2014-15
Federal Budget 2015-16
Federal Budget 2016-17
Federal Budget 2017/18
Federal Budget 2018-19
Federal Election 2010
Federal Election 2013
Federal Election 2016
Federal Election 2019
NSW Election 2015
NSW Election 2019
NT Election 2016
Qld Election 2015
Victorian Election 2014
WA election 2021
Support non-profit public interest journalism
Search
Generic filters
Filter by Categories
@WePublicHealth2021
#CroakeyLIVE #Budget2021Health
#MHReform
#OutOfTheBox
#QldVotesHealth
#RCIADIC30Years
#RuralHealthJustice
#TRIPSwaiver
2021 Floods
Budget2020Health
Bushfires
Co-design
community control
COVID-19
Croakey Conference News Service
#16nrhc
#2020ResearchExcellence
#21OPCC
#BackToTheFire
#FoodGovernance2021
#GiantSteps21
#Govern4Health
#GreenHealthForum21
#GreenHealthForum22
#Heal2022
#HealthClimateSolutions21
#HealthReImagined
#HearMe21
#ICEM22
#IndigenousClimateJustice21
#NAISA22
#NNF2021
#NNF2022
#RANZCP2021
#RANZCP2022
#RethinkAddiction
#RTP22
#SAHeapsUnfair
#ShiftingGearsSummit
#ValueBasedCare
#WCepi2021
#YHFSummit
Choosing Wisely National Meeting 2022
Equally Well 2022 Symposium
GiantSteps22
Croakey Professional Services
#CommunityControl
#COVIDthinktank21
#KidneyCareTogether
ACSQHC series
ACSQHC series 2019
ACSQHC series 2020
ACSQHC series 2021
ACSQHC series 2022
CATSINaM 25 Years
Lowitja Indigenous knowledge translation series
NHLF series
Croakey projects
@WePublicHealth
@WePublicHealth2020
@WePublicHealth2022
#CommunityMatters
#CoveringClimateNow
#CroakeyFundingDrive 2022
#CroakeyLIVE #USvotesHealth
#CroakeyREAD
#CroakeyVOICES
#CroakeyYOUTH
#HealthyCOP26
#HealthyCOP27
#HousingJusticeAus
#JusticeCOVID
#LookingLocal
#MRFFtransparency
#OutOfPocket
#PHAAThinkTank 2022
#SpeakingOurMinds
#TalkingTeeth
#WorldInTurmoil
AroundTheTraps
Caring for the Frontline
COVID SNAPS
COVIDglobalMHseries
Croakey longreads
CroakeyEXPLORE
Gavin Mooney
ICYMI
Inside Story
Journal Watch
Summer Reading 2019-2020
The Conversation
The Health Wrap
TOO MUCH of a Good Thing
CroakeyGO
#CroakeyGO #NavigatingHealth
#GamblingHarms
#HeatwaveHealth
Mapping CroakeyGo
CroakeyNews
Cultural determinants of health
Digital platforms
Donor-funded journalism
Donor-funded journalism – 2020
Donor-funded journalism – 2021
Donor-funded journalism – 2022
Elections and budgets
Federal Budget 2019-20
Federal Budget 2020-21
Federal Budget 2022-23
Federal Budget October 2022
Federal Election 2022
SA election 2022
The Election Wrap (2022)
Victorian election 2022
Federal Budget 2021-22
Global health and climate change
2019-20 climate bushfire emergency
asylum seeker and refugee health
Climate emergency
disasters
Ebola
extreme weather events
flooding 2011
Flooding 2022
Global health
NHS
NSW 2022
NZ Election 2017
WHO
health
Healthcare and health reform
abortion
adverse events
Aged care
Allied healthcare
Australian Medical Association
cancer
cardiovascular disease
child health
Choosing Wisely
Chronic conditions
co-payments
Cochrane Collaboration
complementary medicines
conflicts of interest
death and dying
diabetes
digital technology
disabilities
e-health
emergency departments and care
Equally Well
euthanasia
evidence-based issues
general practice
genetics
health & medical marketing
Health and aged care workforces
health and medical education
health and medical research
Health Care Homes
health ethics
health financing and costs
Health reform
health regulation
HIV/AIDS
hospitals
HRT
infectious diseases
influenza
international medical graduates
journal articles
LGBTIQ
medical marijuana
Medicare Locals
men's health
Mental health
MyHospitals website
National Commission of Audit 2014
National Health Performance Authority
naturopathy
NDIS
NHMRC
non communicable diseases
Nursing and midwifery
oral health
organ transplants
out of pocket costs
pain
palliative care
paramedics
pathology
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
pharmaceutical industry
pharmacy
Pregnancy and childbirth
Primary Health Networks
Primary healthcare
private health insurance
Rural and remote health
Safety and quality of healthcare
screening
sexual health
Social media and healthcare
Strengthening Medicare Taskforce 2022
suicide
surgery
swine flu
telehealth
tests
TGA
trauma
women's health
youth health
Indigenous health
#CTG10
#NTRC
Acknowledgement
cultural safety
Indigenous education
Lowitja Institute
NT Intervention
social and emotional wellbeing
Uluru Statement
WA community closures
News about Croakey
Public health and population health
#PreventiveHealthStrategy
#UnmetNeedsinPublicHealth
air pollution
alcohol
consumer health matters
COVIDwrap
environmental health
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
food and nutrition
gambling
Government 2.0
gun control
health communications
health impact assessment
Health in All Policies
Health inequalities
health literacy
human rights
illicit drugs
injuries
legal issues
marriage equality
Media Doctor Australia
media-related issues
Monkeypox
nanny state
National Preventive Health Agency
obesity
occupational health
physical activity
plain packaging
prevention
Public health
Public interest journalism
road safety
sport
sugar tax
tobacco control
transport
vaccination
violence
Web 2.0
weight loss products
Royal Commission
Social determinants of health
commercial determinants of health
discrimination
education
Housing
justice
Justice Reinvestment
NBN
Newstart/JobSeeker
poverty
Racism
social policy
Summer reading 2020-2021
Summer reading 2021-2022
Tasmanian election 2021
The Croakey Archives
#cripcroakey
#HealthEquity16
#HealthMatters
#IHMayDay (all years)
#IHMayDay 2014
#IHMayDay15
#IHMayday16
#IHMayDay17
#IHMayDay18
#LoveRural 2014
Croakey Conference News Service 2013 – 2019
2013 conferences
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation Forum 2013
Australian Health Promotion Association Conference 2013
Closing the Credibility Gap 2013
CRANAplus Conference 2013
FASD Conference 2013
Health Workforce Australia 2013
International Health Literacy Network Conference 2013
NACCHO Summit 2013
National Rural Health Conference 2013
Oceania EcoHealth Symposium 2013
PHAA conference 2013
2014 conferences
#IPCHIV14
AIDA Conference 2014
Congress Lowitja 2014
CRANAplus conference 2014
Cultural Solutions - Healing Foundation forum 2014
Lowitja Institute Continuous Quality Improvement conference 2014
National Suicide Prevention Conference 2014
Racism and children/youth health symposium 2014
Rural & Remote Health Scientific Symposium 2014
2015 conferences
#CPHCEforum
#CRANAplus15
#HSR15
#NRHC15
#OTCC15
Population Health Congress 2015
2016 conferences
#AHHAsim16
#AHMRC16
#ANROWS2016
#ATSISPEP
#AusCanIndigenousWellness
#cphce2016
#CPHCEforum16
#CRANAplus2016
#IAMRA2016
#LowitjaConf2016
#PreventObesity16
#TowardsRecovery
#VMIAC16
#WearablesCEH
#WICC2016
2017 conferences
#17APCC
#ACEM17
#AIDAconf2017
#BTH20
#CATSINaM17
#ClimateHealthStrategy
#IAHAConf17
#IDS17
#LBQWHC17
#LivingOurWay
#OKtoAskAu
#OTCC2017
#ResearchTranslation17
#TheMHS2017
#VMIACConf17
#WCPH2017
Australian Palliative Care Conference
2018 conferences
#6rrhss
#ACEM18
#AHPA2018
#ATSISPC18
#CPHCE
#MHED18
#NDISMentalHealth
#Nurseforce
#OKToAsk2018
#RANZCOG18
#ResearchIntoPolicy
#VHAawards
#VMIACAwards18
#WISPC18
2019 Conferences
#ACEM19
#CPHCE19
#EquallyWellAust
#GiantSteps19
#HealthAdvocacyWIM
#KTthatWorks
#LowitjaConf2019
#MHAgeing
#NNF2019
#OKtoAsk2019
#RANZCOG19
#RANZCP2019
#ruralhealthconf
#VMIAC2019
#WHOcollabAHPRA
Croakey Professional Services archive
#CommunityControl Twitter Festival
Croakey projects archive
#IndigenousHealthSummit
#IndigenousNCDs
#JustClimate
#JustJustice
Croakey register of influence
Croakey Register of Influencers in Public Health
Croakey Register of Unreleased Documents
Naked Doctor
Poems of Public Health
Summer Reading 2016-2017
Summer Reading 2017-2018
The Koori Woman
Wonky Health
CroakeyGO archive 2017 – 2018
CroakeyGo 2017
#CroakeyGO Adelaide 2017
#CroakeyGO Melbourne 2017
#CroakeyGO Newcastle 2017
#CroakeyGO Sydney 2017
CroakeyGo 2018
#CroakeyGO #QuantumWords 2018
#CroakeyGO #VicVotes 2018
#CroakeyGO Albury 2018
#CroakeyGO Callan Park 2018
#CroakeyGO Carnarvon 2018
#CroakeyGO Marrickville 2018
#CroakeyGO Palm Island 2018
Elections and Budgets 2013 – 2019
#AusVotesHealth Twitter Festival 2019
#Health4NSW
#HealthElection16
Federal Budget 2009-2010
Federal Budget 2010
Federal Budget 2011
Federal Budget 2012-2013
Federal Budget 2013-14
Federal Budget 2014-15
Federal Budget 2015-16
Federal Budget 2016-17
Federal Budget 2017/18
Federal Budget 2018-19
Federal Election 2010
Federal Election 2013
Federal Election 2016
Federal Election 2019
NSW Election 2015
NSW Election 2019
NT Election 2016
Qld Election 2015
Victorian Election 2014
WA election 2021

COVID SNAPS: mind your language, word of the year, and some sobering lessons from Sweden

A strong body of international evidence shows that poorer public health performance in controlling COVID is associated with worse economic performance, writes Professor Kathy Eagar, Director of the Australian Health Services Research Institute at the University of Wollongong, in her latest column.

“Contrary to much political commentary, there is not a trade-off between controlling COVID and economic growth,” she says.


Kathy Eagar writes:

The quote of the week is from journalist Matilda Boseley: “Personally my favourite ‘Australian way of life’ is not dying in a natural disaster, but hey, maybe that’s just me”.

The word of the week and the year is: “Vax”. It has been chosen as the word of the year for 2021 by lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

“When you add to that its versatility in forming other words – vaxxie, vax-a-thon, vaxinista – it became clear that vax was the standout in the crowd.”

I must admit that ‘vaxinista’ is a personal favourite.

Acronym of the week is DIY RAT, and challenge of the week is to mention DIY RAT in conversation at least once this week. Double points if you combine it with ‘cost effective’.

Australian COVID at a glance

Here is a summary of the COVID state of the nation yesterday.

See cases by LGA for both Victoria and NSW. Melbourne still has a full bingo card but it is great to see improvements elsewhere.

Reff round up

The Effective Reproduction number or the Reff or the RO tells you how quickly the virus is spreading. When the Reff is greater than 1.0, cases are increasing. When the Reff is less than 1.0, cases are decreasing. Thanks Professor Adrian Esterman for his daily calculation of the Reff.

NSW: 249 cases and 3 deaths today. 5-day moving average is 204 (277 last week), Reff 0.93 (0.83 last week) – cases have been quite stable until the last few days when they have started to increase. While a few days isn’t a trend, it’s likely that we are starting to see a slow but gradual increase of cases due to the end of lockdown.

Victoria: 1,343 cases and 10 deaths today. 5-day moving average has dropped to 1,184 (1,589 last week) and the Reff is 0.82 (0.86 last week) – Victoria has had slow but steady improvements over the last week. Now we wait to see if there will be a Melbourne Cup effect.

ACT is still managing very low numbers. Qld, SA, Tas, WA, NT: moving average 0, Reff 0.

Vaccination round up

Brilliant ACT. What else is there to say?

Below is a graph comparing countries based on their vaccination take-up rate. The X-axis across the bottom shows the percentage of the population vaccinated in each country and the Y-axis (running up the side) shows the rate at which vaccines have been administered over time.

The USA is the orange line. After a good start, the USA daily vaccination rate started to decline after only 35 percent of the population was vaccinated. New Zealand has been doing better than us with the daily vaccination rate much higher. The stand out is Portugal. Their rate of decline is much slower than Australia and they have a much higher percentage of the population vaccinated.

Australia is the black line. Our rate of vaccinations each day increased until we hit about 70 percent of the population being vaccinated. Since then our daily vaccination rate has slowly declined.

If our trend continues, we will bottom out with about 90 percent of the population vaccinated. Thanks Behrooz for this graph.

Magic vaccination rates

Here is the latest update on vaccination rates for NSW statistical areas. Regions are listed in order.

Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury has the highest rate. Richmond Tweed has improved and no longer has the wooden spoon. It now belongs to Sydney City and Inner South. Just a reminder that these are the percentage of people over 16, not the whole population.

If you look at the increases over the last few weeks, you will see that the rate of increase is slowing down. This is consistent with the pattern in the international graph I included above.

In total, 26 areas are at 80 percent or better, up from 23 last week. Only two are still to reach the 80 percent threshold.

Illawarra has had a 3.3 percent improvement in the last week but the Hunter has leapfrogged over us. Nothing like an outbreak of COVID in the Hunter to improve vaccination rates.

Vaccinating children

American children aged 5 to 11 can begin to be vaccinated against COVID within the next day or two after the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) advised the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that Pfizer’s paediatric vaccine should be used in this age group. The vote was 14 in favour, 0 against.

As I flagged in my update last week, we will need to wait while our approval processes drag on. I think it is still safe to assume that it will be possible for all 5-12 year olds to be offered the vaccine in time for school Term 1 in 2022.

The sooner the better from my perspective and you can see the reason why in this graph, which shows the age profile of cases by week for NSW.

Young children represent a higher percentage of cases every week and people under 20 accounted for 49 percent of all cases in the last week. Be careful in interpreting this as cases are also falling every week. This graph is percentages not case numbers.

Mind your language: two doses is not “fully vaccinated”

We’ve all be busy for months tracking the daily figures on how many people are “fully vaccinated”.

This has been in response to government plans to open up the economy when 80 percent of us are “fully vaccinated”. In practice, the government interpretation of “fully vaccinated” is that 80 percent of people over 15 years of age have had two doses of vaccine.

But we’ve had the language all wrong. We are not “fully vaccinated” after two doses. We are all going to need at least three doses, maybe more, to be “fully vaccinated”.

We know this because of the experience in Israel. Israel was one of the first countries to vaccinate a high percentage of the population. Israel initially reported significant reductions in cases and deaths. But, after six months or so, cases and deaths started to increase rapidly again. Cutting a long story short, the reason for the fourth surge of cases in Israel is that vaccine effectiveness wans over time.

A very important study out of Israel has just been published in The Lancet. It is on my recommended reading list at the end of this update.

This study adds to a growing body of data about vaccine effectiveness. Over 728,000 people were given three doses of vaccine and they were compared in a controlled study to 728,000 matched controls who had only two jabs. Compared to the two jab control group, the three jab group had a 93 percent reduction in COVID hospitalisations and an 81 percent reduction of deaths.

These massive reductions are not comparisons to being unvaccinated. They are the differences between getting two doses and getting three doses.

This study is so powerful that it confirms some key conclusions. Vaccine-induced immunity wanes by about six months for all vaccines. This is due to a combination of both time and the Delta variant. Third shots are highly effective for restoring immunity. We should stop thinking about the third jab as an optional ‘booster’. Protection against COVID requires a third shot to achieve high, durable efficacy.

Being six months behind Israel, Australia has the opportunity to watch whether immunity after the third jab also declines at the same rate.  We can’t rule out that we might need a fourth and a fifth to be fully vaccinated over time.

Finally, third dose programs should not be seen to be in competition with the idea of achieving global vaccination equity. We need to achieve both.

Australia has now approved a third dose for everyone. You will be eligible for it six months after your second dose.

Lessons from Sweden

You might remember that Sweden caused quite a stir in 2020 when it took a very different approach to COVID management. The Swedes proudly argued that Swedes are very sensible and that the community could just get on and live life normally.

They resisted public health measures introduced by other comparable countries. The Swedish Public Health Agency argued that they would be able to achieve ‘herd immunity’ through safe exposure to the virus with minimal loss of life. In doing so, they became a natural control group to evaluate the impact of public health measures in other countries.

The table below summarises COVID outcomes for Sweden compared to Australia and compared to the other Nordic countries.  In summary, Sweden ranks last among the Nordic countries. Australia has done much better than any of the Nordic countries.

With a population of just over 10 million people, Sweden has had over one million cases. This is 17 times more than the case rate in Australia. Sweden’s death rate is even higher – a per capita death rate 22 times higher than Australia and three times higher than Denmark.

The Swedish Government established a Corona Commission to evaluate Sweden’s national response to COVID and it has recently reported. It makes for sobering reading.

In essence, the key finding is that Sweden designed and implemented a strategy for the upper-middle class. Sweden’s key recommendations – working from home, avoiding public transport and avoiding crowded spaces – gave no real consideration for low-income residents and service workers. Sweden ignored other key measures (especially masks) that would have protected people who could not work from home.

They concluded that “Sweden’s handling of the pandemic has been marked by a slowness of response. The initial disease prevention and control measures were insufficient to stop or even substantially limit the spread of the virus in the country.”

They found no justification for not implementing public health measures earlier, and described Sweden’s pandemic preparedness as inadequate.

Similar to the experience of healthcare workers in Australia, they reported that adaptation (of healthcare) has been achieved at the price of extreme pressure on staff and of cancelled and postponed care. “We will therefore live with the consequences of the pandemic for a long time to come.”

Sweden’s Corona Commission concluded that COVID has had a disproportionate impact on residents with lower educational and income levels, and those born outside of Sweden. Sound familiar?

In terms of economic performance and recovery, there is now a strong body of international evidence that poorer public health performance in controlling COVID is associated with worse economic performance.

Contrary to much political commentary, there is not a trade-off between controlling COVID and economic growth. If you don’t manage COVID, you can’t manage the economy. Whoever would have thought it?

The good news conclusion for Australia is that, while it was tough for the people of Victoria and NSW, we can look at the Swedish experience to confirm that Australian lockdowns and other associated public health measures have been worth it.

Recommended reading and viewing

Cross-country effects and policy responses to COVID-19 in 2020: The Nordic countries. Economic Analysis and Policy

An excellent resource on rapid antigen self-tests (DIY RAT)

Vax declared Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year

Effectiveness of a third dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for preventing severe outcomes in Israel: an observational study. The Lancet

A very confronting question: are health workers not valuable enough to share vaccines to protect them? Watch this and weep as Annette Kennedy, President of the International Congress of Nurses, speaks about the deaths of 115,000 health workers in the pandemic so far and the urgent need to close the vaccine equity gap. (Also on Twitter from the World Health Organization).


Croakey thanks and acknowledges Professor Kathy Eagar for this column, which is based upon a regular COVID update that she emails her networks, combining a mixture of evidence, observation and pithy humour. On Twitter, follow @k_eagar

Bookmark this link to follow the series.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

#CroakeyFundingDrive
5 – 11 December

All week:
#HealthEquityMatters2023

Monday, 5 December:
#AppreciationDay

Tuesday, 6 December:
#ResearchTranslation

Friday, 9 December:
#PetsofCroakey

Sunday, 11 December:
#HealthEquityMatters2023

**
Subscriptions to the Croakey bulletin are free this week.

Search by: Categories or tags

Search
Generic filters
Filter by Categories
@WePublicHealth2021
#CroakeyLIVE #Budget2021Health
#CroakeyNews
#FirstNations
#health
#MHReform
#OutOfTheBox
#QldVotesHealth
#RCIADIC30Years
#RuralHealthJustice
#TRIPSwaiver
2021 Floods
Budget2020Health
Bushfires
Co-design
community control
COVID-19
Croakey Conference News Service
#16nrhc
#2020ResearchExcellence
#21OPCC
#BackToTheFire
#FoodGovernance2021
#GiantSteps21
#Govern4Health
#GreenHealthForum21
#GreenHealthForum22
#Heal2022
#HealthClimateSolutions21