Bivalent BA.4-5 or BA.1 mRNA-booster given as a fourth dose associated with increased protection against COVID-19 hospitalization and death

In a recent study posted to the withRxiv* preprint server, researchers compared the efficiency of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron BA.4-5 and BA.1 bivalent messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)-booster vaccines. Study: Comparative effectiveness of the bivalent BA.4-5 and BA.1 mRNA-booster vaccines in the Nordic countries. Image Credit: Firn/Shutterstock Background A few clinical … Read more

Queensland’s COVID protocols downgraded from amber to green, so what’s changed?

COVID-19 will continue to place significant pressure on Queensland’s health system in 2023 with more waves predicted throughout the year, the state’s Chief Health Officer John Gerrard says. As Queensland’s fourth Omicron wave recedes, Dr Gerrard said it was impossible to know whether the virus would eventually become seasonal, like the flu. “What exactly happens … Read more

Queensland reopening its borders ‘seems like a lifetime ago’. How has the state fared with COVID since?

Experts have warned COVID-19 is as “serious as it ever was”, one year on from Queensland re-opening its borders. On December 13 last year, Queensland was relatively COVID free. Now the state has recorded more than 1.7 million cases. Within weeks of the border re-opening, the first wave hit Queensland. Large lines formed outside testing … Read more

Queensland researchers find immune-boosting drug could ease COVID severity if antivirals fade

Queensland researchers have identified a key cause of severe COVID-19, paving the way for a potential new treatment. Key points: The drug differs from antivirals, targeting the immune system rather than the virus The drug has successfully been tested in mice An expert says antivirals might be less effective if changes in the SARS-CoV-2 virus … Read more

Queensland’s COVID-19 mandate for masks on public transport to be scrapped

Queensland is ending the requirement for people to wear face masks while on public transport. Key points: The rule will be relaxed for staff and commuters from midnight The Health Minister asked the public to respect those who chose to continue wearing masks Masks will still be required in vulnerable settings, by close contacts and … Read more

Queensland in ‘new stage’ of COVID-19 pandemic, changes to vaccine mandate, reliance on health directives and reporting flagged

Queensland’s Health Minister says the state has reached “a new stage of the pandemic” and authorities will move to change its approach to managing COVID-19. Key points: Daily reporting of COVID statistics will be wound back from this weekend A blank COVID-19 vaccine mandate direction for private health care workers will be lifted The national … Read more

Queensland’s latest COVID wave has passed, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says

Queensland has passed the peak of the third COVID wave with it expected to end in the coming weeks, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says. Ms Palaszczuk made the announcement at the Ekka today with hospitalization numbers falling steadily since last month. “We actually peaked around July 25 … that’s excellent news,” she said. Chief Health Officer … Read more

Going to the Ekka? Here are the best ways to avoid getting sick with COVID-19, monkeypox or the flu

As throngs of people flock to the Ekka showgrounds, authorities are concerned about a potential spike in COVID-19 and influenza cases in the Queensland community. A string of illnesses remain in the community with COVID cases still high, the flu season not yet over and cases of monkeypox being reported interstate. With some 1,300 head … Read more

Queensland records one of its highest COVID death tolls in a single reporting period

Queensland has recorded one of its highest death tolls of the pandemic, with 27 COVID-related fatalities in the latest reporting period. Key points: About 50 per cent of COVID deaths are in aged care facilities The death toll in the reporting period can include deaths recorded outside of a single day The Acting CHO said … Read more

Queensland COVID-19 cases remain high as Deputy Premier offers condolences after death of toddler

Deputy Premier Steven Miles has expressed his sympathies to the family of a toddler who passed away from COVID-19 on the weekend. Key points: Among the recorded deaths there was one person in their 50s, four in their 70s, six in their 80s, seven in their 90s and one person over 100 The number of … Read more