Renewed push for vaccination as Covid cases rise

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer is renewing his push for people to get up to date with their vaccinations due to ongoing and widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the community.

Dr John Gerrard said the number of positive cases had risen in the past week and were expected to keep trending upward until the fourth wave peaked.

“Reported positive cases between 30 November and 7 December reached 13,632, which is an increase of 21 per cent compared to the week prior, while the number of hospitalisations remained the same,” Dr Gerrard said.

“It is encouraging to see the number of hospitalisations remain low in comparison to previous waves, but a large number of people aged over 60 not up-to-date with their vaccinations are being infected.

“People in this group are at significant risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19, so it is vital they receive four doses of the vaccine.

Dr Gerrard said Queensland Health continued to track infections to inform its response to COVID-19 and assist in determining what impact future waves may have on the community.

“More than 80 per cent of people reporting positive results in this wave are still first infections,” he said.

“As time goes on, it is natural that people who have not yet had COVID-19 will become infected.

“Given this, I am hopeful future waves will be even milder as hybrid immunity to COVID-19 becomes more widespread.”

Dr Gerrard said antiviral treatments were also an effective response to COVID-19, particularly for people over the age of 70.

“Queenslanders over the age of 70 should have a plan to obtain antiviral treatments if they do get infected,” he said.

“There has been an increase in the use of antiviral treatments during this fourth wave, and I am hopeful this will continue.”

Dr Gerrard said the rate of COVID-19 infections meant Queensland’s COVID-19 traffic light system would remain on amber, which meant people were advised to wear a mask in healthcare settings, indoors if they could not socially distance, and on public transport.

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