Preparing for the next COVID wave

Ben Falkenmire

writer

Ben Falkenmire

Writer

Ben Falkenmire

GPs should plan antivirals for high- risk patients

US President Joe Biden recently announced the pandemic was over. Australian Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly then said it’s not over but the emergency response is. So which one is it?

Technically we are still in a pandemic, but psychologically we have decided it’s over. That’s the verdict from Professor Nancy Baxter, Head of Melbourne University’s School of Population and Global Health.

“This is probably one of our lowest risk periods in a while. But there’s a smorgasbord of variants around the world at the moment, and it’s unclear if one’s going to become dominant or worse than BA.5,” Professor Baxter says.

“The next wave will likely come from the northern hemisphere when our immunity has declined, and it is already declining. In January it will be over six months since the BA.5 wave peaked, which is a long time since people had their primary immunisations or boosters.”

Professor Baxter urges GPs to make the most of the current lull and plan for antiviral treatments for the inevitable next wave, which could come as early as summer.

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Ben Falkenmire

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Ben Falkenmire

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