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Live: AMA reassures doctors over indemnity when administering AstraZeneca vaccines

24mminutes agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 5:38am

By Jessica Riga

UK PM won’t attend Prince Philip’s funeral due to COVID-19 restrictions

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will not attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral next Saturday, in order to allow “as many family members as possible” to go — amid coronavirus restrictions.

Only 30 people — expected to be the duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family — can attend the funeral at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

The public has been asked to stay away.

Share post37mminutes agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 5:24am

By Jessica Riga

South Korea to resume wider use of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, exclude people under 30

South Korean authorities says they will move ahead with a second-quarter coronavirus vaccination drive starting tomorrow as planned after deciding to continue using AstraZeneca’s vaccine for all eligible people 30 years old or over.

South Korea had said on Wednesday it would temporarily suspend providing AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to people below 60 amid a European review over cases of blood clotting in adults.

Reuters

Share post1hhour agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 4:47am

By Jessica Riga

Key Event

Victoria to downgrade Greater Brisbane, Gladstone and Byron Bay to green zones from tonight

Victoria will downgrade Greater Brisbane, Gladstone and Byron Bay from orange to green zones from midnight tonight.

The change means people travelling from those areas to Victoria will no longer need to quarantine and get tested upon arriving in the state.

Once the change is made every part of Australia and New Zealand will be considered a “green zone” under Victoria’s travel permit system.

Everyone entering Victoria from interstate needs to apply for a travel permit, which can be found online.

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Share post1hhour agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 4:40am

By Jessica Riga

The day before elections, Peru marks record COVID-19 deaths

One day before it holds presidential and congressional elections, Peru has marked a second daily record death rate from the coronavirus pandemic that is engulfing the country anew.

The health ministry said 384 deaths had been recorded, taking the total death toll to 54,669, as healthcare workers battle a shortage of medical oxygen and saturated hospitals, and the government struggles to secure sufficient vaccination supplies.

On Wednesday, Peru marked its first record number of dead — 314 — the worst since the pandemic hit the country with a first wave in March 2020.

Millions of Peruvians are expected to go out to vote at polling stations around the country to pick their next president and congressional representatives. Voting is obligatory, on threat of a $25 fine, polling station numbers have been increased to facilitate social distancing and voters have been urged to bring their own pens and wear masks.

The Andean nation of some 33 million inhabitants has so far received just over 1.5 million doses of vaccines from Sinopharm and Pfizer/BioNTech, a figure that lags behind its Latin American neighbors.

Reuters

Share post1hhour agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 4:26am

By Jessica Riga

Hello!

Big thank you to Jacqui for doing the heavy lifting this morning. 

I’ll keep you updated as we continue through the afternoon. 

Share post1hhour agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 4:24am

By Jacqueline Howard

That’s it from me today

Jessica Riga is taking the reigns and will keep you updated through the afternoon.

See you next time

Share post1hhour agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 4:12am

By Jacqueline Howard

1,160,075 vaccinations across Australia

Health Minister Greg Hunt broke down the numbers:

  • ACT: approximately 17,000 vaccinations
  • New South Wales: 151,000
  • Northern Territory: 10,000
  • Queensland: 108,500
  • South Australia: 37,000
  • Tasmania: 25,500
  • Victoria: 143, 500
  • Western Australia, 67,000
  • Plus two Commonwealth programs which have delivered over 607,000 between them

Share post1hhour agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 4:05am

By Jacqueline Howard

Key Event

Zero cases of community transmission Australia-wide

Health Minister Greg Hunt says there have been no community cases in Australia today

Share post1hhour agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 4:03am

By Jacqueline Howard

Zero local cases in SA

South Australia has recorded no new local cases and one new case in a medi-hotel.

SA Health has noted that a man in his 40’s is in ICU in a critical condition, which we can assume is the man admitted to the ICU a week ago

LoadingShare post2hhours agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 3:58am

By Jacqueline Howard

Greg Hunt is due to speak shortly.

You can tune in via the ABC News Channel or on YouTube.

Share post2hhours agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 3:34am

By Jacqueline Howard

Zero local cases in WA

Western Australia recorded no new local cases, and two cases in hotel quarantine.

Share post2hhours agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 3:17am

By Jacqueline Howard

Sydney Royal Easter Show, one of world’s biggest ticketed events this year, staged without COVID case

(ABC Rural: Hugh Hogan)

The Sydney Royal Easter Show has made an extraordinary and triumphant return after the COVID-19 pandemic shut the gates last year.

With major events cancelled here and abroad, this could be the biggest ticketed event in the world in 2021, with almost 700,000 people expected to go through the gates by the time it closes on Monday night.

Staging the event was a “massive risk”, according to the man responsible for running the event safely.

Darryl Jeffrey, the chief operating officer for the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS), said he sat down with NSW Health last year to discuss the likelihood of going ahead with the event.

He was surprised by how supportive the department was. It could have turned into a public health disaster for the RAS if there had been a COVID outbreak.

Numbers at the show were capped at 60,000 people a day — a big cut given 129,000 people passed through the gates on Good Friday in 2019.

“There are 74 cameras mounted across the site at entry and exit doors and it’s counting people in and out,” Mr Jeffrey said.

The system tracks body mass and traffic lights at the entry indicates when venues are getting close to COVID capacity.

(ABC Rural: Hugh Hogan)

Show society groups from around Australia have visited the Sydney Royal to see what lessons have been learnt.

Other countries are also interested, according to Mr Jeffrey.

“We’ve got some people here from America working on some of our system and their people were saying ‘You’ve got how many there? What’s going on?'”

“They could not believe what we were doing.”

It could well be that, like the Australian film industry, major global events may come to Australia on the back of the success of the Royal Easter Show.

Read the full story here.

Share post3hhours agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 2:46am

By Jacqueline Howard

Victorian health services encouraged to reschedule vaccine appointments as states await federal health advice

Victorian health services are working to understand new consent processes for the AstraZeneca vaccine, following a day of confusion that led to people under 50 getting turned away from vaccination centres in Melbourne.

Dozens of healthcare workers who rocked up for pre-booked appointments on Friday morning were knocked back, after the federal government announced Pfizer would become the preferred vaccine for that age group.

People under 50 can still choose to get the AstraZeneca vaccine if the benefits outweigh the risks, but on Friday the states were still waiting for the federal government to formalise the consent process.

The Victorian health department says these consent forms have now been made available by the Commonwealth, with further information coming.

“Health services need time to ensure a clinical and operational understanding of these materials and will be working across the weekend to familiarise and train staff in any new processes required,” an update from the department yesterday afternoon said.

“This is a dynamic situation and advice can change based on new information.”

Victorian health services had been encouraged to reschedule all people who were booked to receive their first AZ dose before April 12, unless they could offer Pfizer instead.

Share post3hhours agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 2:42am

By Jacqueline Howard

Zero local cases in NT

The NT has recorded zero local cases and five in hotel quarantine.

Share post3hhours agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 2:38am

By Jacqueline Howard

AMA assures no legal risks to GPs administering AstraZeneca

The Australian Medical Association is reassuring GPs they are protected when administering the AstraZeneca vaccine, amid reports some doctors are refusing to offer it to people aged under 50 due to legal risks.

It follows the Federal Government announcing the Pfizer vaccine would become the “preferred” COVID jab for that age group.

People under 50 can still give consent to receive AstraZeneca, but some GPs are concerned about legal liability if a patient suffers serious or fatal side effects.

AMA National Vice-President Chris Moy said if a patient made an informed decision to receive the vaccine, GPs are protected under professional indemnity insurance.

“A doctor’s job is not to tell a patient necessarily what to do, but it’s really to offer treatment for the medical benefit, to explain the risks and benefits, to answer their questions and then to be sure that a patient is giving informed consent about a treatment,” he said.

Dr Moy said the AMA has also received “reassurance” from both the head of the federal health department Brendan Murphy and the Health minister.

“It is quite clear we are protected under a professional indemnity insurance. In addition the government have provided an indemnity for the manufacturers of the vaccine so there’s a clear side effect of the vaccine that the government are providing indemnity in that area,” he said.

The federal government made consent forms and processes reflecting the new AstraZeneca advice available to the states yesterday.

Share post3hhours agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 2:18am

By Jacqueline Howard

We will be hearing from Health Minister Greg Hunt at 2:00pm

Share post4hhours agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 1:51am

By Jacqueline Howard

Still no indication of when Victoria might reclassify Brisbane’s orange zone

Thanks again for all your hard work on the blog! Has VIC given any indication of when Brisbane might be downgraded to a green zone? thankyou!

-Border Bob

Looking for this answer felt like the COVID blog days of old, rummaging through the DHS replies on Twitter to see if they had answered a question with information not on the website.

So, there is no indication on the DHS website as to when Brisbane’s orange zone might become green. 

The latest I could find from the DHS’s Twitter was from Thursday, when they were directly asked this question and responded by linking to the website.

So no, no update I’m afraid.

Share post4hhours agoSunSunday 11 AprApril 2021 at 1:42am

By Jacqueline Howard

More on that historic case noted in Queensland’s figures today

Queensland Health says it is investigating why the case returned four negative PCR tests (nose and throat swabs), but a positive serology test (blood test) while in self-isolation.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the case, who attended the Byron Bay party, had been in self-isolation and there was no risk to the community.

“This case is linked to the second Brisbane cluster that originated from a Princess Alexandra Hospital nurse, taking the total number of cases linked to that cluster to 13,” she said.

“As this person had attended the party where COVID-19 spread to a number of people, they were placed into self-isolation at home and a testing routine commenced.

“The case is still under investigation, particularly why they had returned four negative PCR tests while in self-isolation, but then a positive serology test.

“It may have been a very low viral load, but we need to look into it further to be sure.

“I am very grateful to this person for following the advice and doing all the right things to protect the community.

“We are confident there is no risk to the community from this individual, which means there will be no contact tracing locations for this case.”

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