When the latest Covid wave will peak in Australia – as experts warn of millions of cases and new vaccines are rolled out
Experts have warned Australia could be at risk of millions of Covid cases as a new wave hits the country and new vaccines are rolled out.
Australia is experiencing its eighth wave of Covid infections, with Omicron subvariants EG.5 (Eris) and BA.2.86 (Pirola) circulating through the country.
The World Health Organization says it is ‘monitoring’ Pirola, but has classified Eris as a variant of interest given its prevalence.
Infectious diseases doctor Professor Peter Collignon said the current wave would soon reach its peak.
Experts have warned Australia could see millions of new Covid-19 viruses as new strains circulate across the country (stock image pictured)
“This wave has been going on for weeks and usually peaks around the six-week mark,” he told Ny Breaking Australia.
“By mid-December, we will likely see cases return to October’s numbers.”
He said cases should decline by Christmas, which is good news for Aussies as the holidays approach.
Although cautious about predicting how many people could become ill from the current wave, Professor Collignon said ’10-15 percent’ of the population could be affected.
That means the country could see around 3.85 million cases in the coming months.
“If we see two to three waves a year, it means that 20 to 30 percent of the population could get sick, which is much more than those who get the flu or the common cold,” he said.
Professor Collignon said late spring is a typical time to see many cases.
He also said cases could rise in January if people visiting Europe and the US in the depths of the northern winter bring back the virus.
Professor Peter Collignon said the country could see around 3.85 million cases in the coming months (stock image pictured)
Professor Brendan Crabb, CEO of the Burnet Institute, told the ABC it was likely a few hundred thousand Australians currently had the virus.
He also said it was possible that three to five million Aussies could be affected by the virus in the coming months.
Professor Crabb acknowledged that Covid is no longer an ’emergency’ but has warned people to still exercise caution.
“If we as a world don’t make a deliberate effort to reduce the amount of transmission, it will be difficult to end this ongoing problem,” he said.
‘It would be fantastic if the [new] The vaccine was already in people’s hands before they came into contact with the virus.’
Professor Collignon urged people to take precautions in the coming months by avoiding crowded indoor spaces and continuing to wear masks indoors.
“People need to consider an outdoor environment when entertaining,” he said.
The federal government announced on Monday that updated Covid vaccines will be available from December 11.
Pfizer’s monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccine will be available for use in eligible people ages 5 and older, while Moderna’s monovalent
The federal government announced on Monday that updated Covid vaccines will be available from December 11 (stock image pictured)
The new vaccines were approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in October, but ATAGI is also required to review them and provide advice to Health Secretary Mark Butler on their use.
On Monday evening, Mr Butler accepted ATAGI’s advice and announced the rollout in December.
“These new vaccines will help protect Australians against current forms of COVID-19 and demonstrate the Government’s continued commitment to providing access to the latest and most effective vaccines,” he said.
There is no change to current vaccine eligibility recommendations by ATAGI, which can be checked online.