Coronacast

Coronacast

Coronacast is a podcast that answers your questions about coronavirus. We break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through a pandemic.

Episodes

October 15, 2021 15 min
The arrival of the Delta variant really was a massive curveball that few experts saw coming. It ripped through populations overseas and quickly punched holes in Fortress Australia. It especially challenged our public health response with its incredible infectiousness and has taken hold in NSW, Victoria and ACT. But how did Delta come into existence in the first place? And as more and more of us are vaccinated, what might come ne...
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It's sometimes easy to forget that the COVID-19 pandemic affects more than just physical health. It also taken a massive toll on mental health. And according to some new research, the two pandemic factors that lead to the worst mental health outcomes are rising case numbers and lockdowns. Globally, the most affected groups are young people and women, and poorer countries in particular have seen higher mental health burdens. ...
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A lot of the discussion about COVID lately has been on the big outbreaks in NSW, Victoria and the ACT, and less about states that don't have current outbreaks. But as states like WA, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory start to plan their border reopenings, it also means COVID will eventually find its way in. So what can the smaller and still COVID free states expect in coming months? Will cases s...
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While COVID-19 is currently in two of Australia's states and the ACT, the reality is eventually it will get everywhere. And eventually, the theory goes, COVID-19 will infect everyone. Vaccination will help stop the vast majority of people getting severe symptoms which may put them in hospital, but there'll always be people who can't or won't be immunised. So does getting COVID-19 after being vaccinated help with...
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Many restrictions are being lifted in NSW today, after the state last week hit the 70 percent double vaccination target. For many, it's a time to reconnect with loved ones and start to live life once again - this time in a more COVID-normal way. But for others, the reopening is both exciting and a bit nerve wracking - as people take time to re-adjust. Also on today's show: * I'm worried about my kids going back to s...
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NSW will take its first step out of lockdown on Monday, and it'll be slightly bigger than expected. The state's new Premier has made some small changes in relation to what fully vaccinated people will be able to do in just a few days. So what can we expect to case numbers, vaccination rates, hospitalisation and ICU admissions? And what about the rest of the country - like Victoria and ACT - which will be taking the same ...
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October 7, 2021 11 min
As case numbers continue to decline in NSW and the date for opening up gets closer, the state has started to provide details on how isolation requirements for close contacts might work for the vaccinated. For vaccinated people, isolation after close contact will be halved if you're vaccinated - though movement restrictions may still apply. It's just one of many changes coming for people in NSW and Victoria - and likely ot...
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October 6, 2021 9 min
Victoria posted a new national record for new COVID cases day yesterday, with 1763 cases. There have been a number of worrying big days recently, and there are few signs that the outbreak is slowing down in any meaningful way. So what could be going on, especially considering vaccination levels in Victoria are now higher than they were in NSW when that state hit its peak several weeks ago. That's on today's Coronacast. ...
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NSW is only days away from hitting the 70 per cent double dose vaccination figure, which will see the city begin its reopening from early next week. And while Victoria is a few weeks behind, hospitalisation and ICU data there are showing dramatic drop offs in the percentages who are admitted. It's yet another success story for COVID-19 vaccines, and hopefully is a sign of even better things to come. But on today's Corona...
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'Go hard, go early' was the playbook when there was a Delta outbreak in Victoria in early August. But nearly two months later the state is on the same curve as NSW was. So why is Victoria tracking the same way NSW did when it responded more quickly? And does it mean we can expect the curve to bend when vaccination rates rise? Also on today's show: * If I successfully fend of an infection, does that help my immune sy...
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September 30, 2021 12 min
The outbreaks in NSW and Victoria are now large enough that it's impossible to follow what's happening with the detail that we once used to be able to. But one thing that we should keep an eye on is hospitalisation and deaths coming from the outbreaks. In NSW, it seems as though hospitalisations are falling - as more people come forward for vaccinations. In Victoria, the numbers are still rising. So on today's Corona...
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The medicines regulator in Australia has paved the way for home-testing COVID-19 kits to be made available from November 1st. Currently, the most common way people are tested for COVID is via a PCR test, which requires at least a day's wait, a lab and fancy equipment. But soon, people will be able to do a rapid antigen test at home and get a result in 15 minutes. So on today's Coronacast, what is a rapid antigen test? An...
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September 28, 2021 10 min
With nearly 52 per cent of Australians over 16 years now fully vaccinated, there is more and more talk about opening up once it's safe. But there are other parts of the world that are a bit ahead of us, opening up and removing all restrictions. The UK removed restrictions in July, Denmark ended COVID restrictions two weeks ago, and Norway removed restrictions over the weekend. So on today's Coronacast, what can we learn ...
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Australia's vaccination rate increasing over the weeks has been a thing of beauty to watch, and hopefully soon will help pay out dividends. But along with helping prevent the hospital system from collapsing, vaccines might be better than we thought at helping you avoid catching COVID-19 at all. A pre-print study out of the UK has recently reported back in a massive study and has been able to slice and dice all sorts of variab...
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*** AFTER THIS EPISODE, WE'RE TAKING A WEEK OFF! WE'LL BACK ON THE 27TH SEPTEMBER! *** Victorians have hit their first big vaccine milestone of 70 percent first dose coverage, and have been given a slight reprieve in lockdown restrictions. Small outdoor gatherings, increased distances of travel for shopping or exercise and reopening of outdoor exercise equipment are some of the changes. But as Melbourne - and Sydney - ta...
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September 16, 2021 9 min
NSW yesterday hit a new milestone for vaccination in Australia. More than 80 per cent of the state has now had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and it's still rocketing along. While it's still several more weeks before the 70 per cent double vaccination targets are met, for everyone under lockdown it's a wonderful thing to see. Add to that the hope that the state could be starting to see that the curve in new ...
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Fully vaccinated people in NSW are counting down the days until they can get some additional freedoms when the state reaches the 70 per cent vaccination rate. But some experts are warning that releasing the brake too quickly might see case numbers and then hospitalisations shoot up again So why could cases once again rise when 70 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated? That's on today's Coronacast. Als...
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We keep hearing that vaccination might not be enough to get us out of the grip of COVID - so what will be enough? Well, a new group of Australian experts has taken a stab at the types of interventions that may be required alongside vaccination if we are to successfully live with COVID-19. While high vaccination rates are part of it, it also includes measures like proper ventilation in buildings, vaccinating children when possibl...
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September 13, 2021 10 min
A new vaccine will be arriving next week in Australia, to help bolster vaccine rates and protect Australians from COVID-19. The Moderna vaccine, known by its brand name Spikevax or by its scientific name mRNA-1273, is the country's third vaccine to be administered to the public. The Federal Government yesterday announced additional supplies of Moderna, in addition to the ten million doses already coming later this year. So o...
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September 10, 2021 11 min
The NSW Government has released its plan on what will happen once the state passes the 70 per cent double-vaccination target. Changes for fully vaccinated people include abilities to visit more hospitality and retail venues, visit each other at home and head back into stadiums. But the 70 per cent double-vaccination target is only of eligible people, so works out to be roughly 56 per cent of the whole population. So on today'...
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