Omicron variant cases surging, authorities warn

By Our Reporter
Representative image. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Authorities are warning that an Omicron sub-variant is on track to become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Victoria.

Cases of the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variant combination have increased at a rapid rate over recent weeks, according to health authorities, with this one set to overtake the BA.2 variant as the dominant strain, according to a news bulletins are provided by the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council, NEMBC MEDIA.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says that a rise in waste water detection of the new variant is the indication that it is spreading.

Professor Sutton says these numbers are following a similar pattern to New South Wales and Queensland, and that this particular strain is better at evading vaccine immunity.

Across Victoria almost 68 percent of people aged 12 years and older are now up to date with three COVID-19 vaccination doses, while over 94 percent have received two doses.

In addition, over 56 percent of children aged five to 11 years in the state have now received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

Victoria has recorded over seven and a half thousand (7,758) new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 with 11 lives lost as of June 28.

Australia’s third COVID wave was biggest killer

According to a new study conducted by Monash University, Australia’s third wave of COVID-19 was its deadliest.

The in-hospital mortality study was done in collaboration with the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society.

Data was collected from 78 hospitals, 59 intensive care units and nearly two and a half thousand patients and looked at the period between June to November last year.

The results of this research show that four times as many COVID patients were admitted to intensive care units during the third wave of the virus, compared with the first two waves combined.

Moderna vaccine provides ‘good clinical protection’

Early trial data has shown Moderna’s experimental booster vaccine provides good clinical protection against Omicron subvariants.

The latest subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, have now become the dominant strains of COVID-19, both in Australia and overseas.

Pharmaceutical company Moderna is in the process of developing an experimental COVID vaccine booster dose, updated to provide protection against these new strains.

Preliminary results from the clinical trial have yet to be peer reviewed, however Chief Medical Officer for the company Paul Burton, says these results indicate a good level of clinical protection.

Health Message

Free flu vaccinations are available until the end of this week, 30 June.

Everyone aged 6 months and older is recommended to get the flu vaccine, especially people aged 65 years and over.

The COVID-19 vaccine does not protect against influenza, so a separate flu vaccination is highly recommended.

The best protection for families and communities this winter is to get vaccinated against both flu and COVID-19.

(NEMBC Multilingual News)

The Indian Sun acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

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