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.... Show More

Episodes

March 4, 2021 8 min
With the passing of another day, more Australians have been vaccinated against COVID. But as more and more of us get either the Pfizer vaccine or the Astra vaccine, proving it may become important as we take steps to reopen borders and the economy. One strategy that's been tried overseas in countries like Israel are what's known as vaccine passports - the idea being that to get into a movie or a gym, you need to prove you...
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The first week of coronavirus vaccinations has now rolled out across Australia, and the data show that already we've missed our goals. According to analysis by the ABC, the country has fallen short of its target, delivering half the expected number of shots. Health Minister Greg Hunt says the Federal Government remains committed to meeting the end of October target. So on today's Coronacast, what have been some of the ea...
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With limited amounts of coronavirus vaccines available, health care organisations are taking extreme steps to ensure not a drop is wasted. Rollout plans that would normally take many months to develop have been done in mere weeks to ensure essential workers at the nation's borders are as protected as possible. On today's Coronacast, how is the rollout going on the front line of the vaccine rollout? And how are organisatio...
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The AstraZeneca vaccine has arrived in Australia, and the Federal Government says it will start rolling out to people in the priority phase 1a group within the next few weeks. But the evidence suggests it's not as effective as the Pfizer shot at protecting people against new variants and preventing transmission. Australia's main risk from another coronavirus outbreak is a hotel quarantine leak, so is the Astra vaccine the...
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At the moment life has returned to a COVID-normal in Australia with state borders gradually reopening after the outbreak in Melbourne. It comes as vaccines continue to rollout across the country, and a small but regular supply of the Pfizer shot arrives. So now we have access to a vaccine, how will that change how we respond to any outbreak that happens from now on? On today's Coronacast, will it be business as usual - ie lo...
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February 25, 2021 15 min
An 88-year-old man and a 94-year-old woman in Queensland were given the incorrect doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday. It's still under investigation how much extra they were given, and the doctor who administered the drug has been stood down from the vaccine program. It was revealed yesterday that the doctor had not completed the required vaccination training. So on today's Coronacast what happens if you receive too ...
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If you don't have an auto-immune disease, you probably know and love someone who does. These are diseases where the body's immune system attacks healthy cells, and they include conditions like type 1 diabetes, coeliac disease, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. And plenty of people with these conditions have been asking the ABC: what happens if you have an auto-immune disease and get coronavirus? And is it safe for me to h...
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As the coronavirus vaccine rollout continues across the country, it's left many wondering when it'll be their chance to go and get a shot. So far, there hasn't been a huge amount of specific information released as to when larger groups of Australians will be vaccinated. So on today's Coronacast, what we know about when the vaccine is coming for large groups of Australia and what we don't yet know. Also on to...
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Australia's coronavirus vaccination campaign started a day earlier than expected yesterday, with an 85 year-old World War Two survivor being the first in the country to receive a COVID vaccine. Ever since the pandemic began last year, vaccinations have been keenly anticipated as a way of hopefully returning to a more normal life. But if international modelling is anything to go by, it could be a while longer before things lik...
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Scientists are slowly discovering more about the so-called UK strain, or more precisely the variant of coronavirus known as B.117. The variant of concern is often said to be more infectious and faster moving, and now scientists think it might keep its human host infectious for longer. It could have ramifications for the way our hotel quarantine system is run. So on today's Coronacast, what else have scientists worked out ab...
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The World Health Organisation has reported that the number of new coronavirus cases around the world has fallen 16 per cent compared to the week before. In more good news, the number of deaths has also fallen 10 per cent. It comes as the global vaccine rollout continues, with millions of doses being administered. So on today's Coronacast are vaccines finally starting to see off the worst of the pandemic? Or could the fall be...
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The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in Australia, but it comes with fine print around who should get it. In its approval, the Therapeutic Goods Administration noted that the "decision to immunise an elderly patient should be decided on a case-by-case basis with consideration of age, co-morbidities and their environment". While there are no safety concerns for people who are aged over 65, there weren&#...
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142,000 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine have arrived in Australia, and will soon be divvied up and given to people next week. While it's a great start, it's only the beginning of a very long process to get as many as people across Australia vaccinated by the end of the year. It's a huge challenge, and obstacles include keeping the Pfizer vaccine cold enough, making sure the right people receive it first and ke...
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The Holiday Inn outbreak in Melbourne has continued to grow, despite the city being in hard lockdown now for two days. Additional exposure sites have been identified, with the popular Queen Victoria Market being added to the ever-growing list. The five-day lockdown was sold as a 'circuit breaker' to put a stop to the so-called UK coronavirus variant before it could spread too far. So on today's Coronacast with all th...
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The Holiday Inn cluster in Melbourne has continued to grow, with close contacts yesterday testing positive to COVID and more exposure sites being added to the growing list. So far, 11 people are connected to the outbreak which started in a Melbourne hotel quarantine facility before being spread to workers and another resident. Other states are keenly looking on - deciding if they should once again throw up border closures and res...
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Melbourne has temporarily shut down one of its quarantine hotels for deep cleaning after several different people seemed to catch it from within the facility. The 'working theory', according to Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton, is that the virus may have spread further than expected because someone with COVID in the hotel had to use a nebuliser for medical reasons. It's one of a couple of times in the pas...
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Never before have we watched vaccines being developed in real time, and so rapidly. There's elation one day as a vaccine is announced to be safe and highly effective; disappointment another day when it's revealed it doesn’t work as well against new variants. And the backdrop to this is wonder and sometimes suspicion that these vaccines are able to have been developed so quickly. So today on Coronacast, how you can mak...
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South Africa says it's suspending the rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine while it goes through the results of a recent study which has thrown the vaccine's effectiveness into question. Data from a recent study showed the vaccine only gave small amounts of protection against mild-to-moderate infection caused by the country's dominant coronavirus variant. The country's dominant coronavirus variant is the so-c...
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A hallmark of the coronavirus pandemic has been the related "infodemic" of fake news that has circulated online. But while many have tried valiantly to set the story straight, fact-based debunking is often a tougher sell than a wild conspiracy theory. Now experts are trying a different approach: they've come up with a game where you play the role of a fake-news generator in an attempt to get people to recognise misi...
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The Federal Government has revealed that it has sourced another 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, bringing the total ordered for Australia to 150 million. Most Australians will still be given the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine if it is approved by the regulator. Also, it's been announced that everyone in Australia, including all visa holders, will be given a vaccine for free and it's hoped the rollout will be completed ...
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