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Covid Australia: No vaccinated patients in intensive care proves AstraZeneca and Pfizer is working

Vaccinations are demonstrably saving the lives of Sydneysiders, proven by new data which revealed there isn't a single fully-immunised Covid patient in intensive care.

Australia’s acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd, confirmed on Monday that the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are keeping people out of hospital, even as high case numbers in New South Wales persist.

Of the 2,700 cases of the Delta variant that have been recorded in NSW throughout this outbreak, 93 per cent of diagnoses were in unvaccinated people.

A further six per cent of known cases were identified in people who have only had a single jab, meaning they weren't entirely protected.

That leaves just one per cent if the infected NSW population who have had both jabs - but not a single one of them wound up in intensive care as a result of the virus.

Of the 2,700 cases of the Delta variant that have been recorded in NSW throughout this outbreak, 93 per cent of diagnoses were in unvaccinated people. A further six per cent of known cases were identified in people who have only had a single jab, meaning they weren't entirely protected

Australia’s acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd, confirmed on Monday that the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are keeping people out of hospital. Pictured: People lining up for Covid testing in Brisbane

Vaccinations are demonstrably saving the lives of Sydneysiders, proven by new data which revealed there isn't a single fully-immunised Covid patient in intensive care. Pictured: Isla Fisher getting her vaccine

There are 53 Covid patients in intensive care units throughout NSW. Professor Kidd said 96 per cent were unvaccinated.

Four per cent have had one shot.

None of the 15 deaths recorded that have been linked to this outbreak were fully vaccinated.     

The statistics illustrate what Premier Gladys Berejikilan, her right-hand woman Dr Kerry Chant, and experts globally have been saying since the rollout of the vaccine: It is designed to keep you out of hospital.

Anti-vaccination rhetoric has relied on the fact that people can still contract and pass on Covid even after the jab. 

Australia’s acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd, confirmed on Monday that the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are keeping people out of hospital, even as high case numbers in New South Wales persist

Queensland is in the midst of a Delta outbreak, with cars lining up in Labrador for Covid testing

Pictured: People queuing to receive their vaccine at the hub in Homebush

KEY FACTS 

- 93 per cent of Covid cases in NSW were in unvaccinated people

- Six per cent of Covid cases in NSW were in partially vaccinated people 

- Of 53 Covid patients in intensive care, 96 per cent are unvaccinated

- The other four per cent are partially vaccinated

- There have been no Covid deaths during this outbreak in fully vaccinated people 

But studies show those who do catch Covid after they've been vaccinated are far less likely to have a severe case or die. They're also less likely to transmit the virus, though it is still possible.

When Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a roadmap out of repeated lockdowns last week, he made clear that high vaccination rates remain the key. 

Hopes of Australia fast-tracking its struggling vaccine rollout have been thrown into doubt however by Queensland's stubborn chief medical officer Dr Jeanette Young, who is refusing to endorse the AstraZeneca jab for young people.

Dr Young was steadfast in her refusal on Monday to endorse the vaccine for Queenslanders under the age of 60, placing her firmly at odds with her counterpart in NSW Kerry Chant who is urging Sydneysiders to get jabbed regardless of age.  

She maintains the AZ vaccine should only be available to people over the age of 60, even though Australia's regulatory body has changed their advice to encourage all Australians to come forward. 

None of the 15 deaths recorded that have been linked to this outbreak were fully vaccinated

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation's latest advice states that increased transmissibility of the Delta variant outweighs any minor risks associated with the AstraZeneca jab. 

'In a large outbreak, the benefits of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca are greater than the risk of rare side effects for all age groups,' the advice states.

'ATAGI reiterates that all adults in greater Sydney should strongly consider the benefits of earlier protection with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca rather than waiting for alternative vaccines.'  

Six Australians have died as a result of developing blood clots after receiving their AstraZeneca jab, out of about 12.3million doses administered.  

But Dr Young is standing by the advice she gave to Queenslanders in mid June after  NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian - on the advice of her own chief health officer, Kerry Chant - made a public plea for Sydneysiders to get jabbed, regardless of their age. 

'I don't want an 18-year-old in Queensland dying from a clotting illness who, if they got COVID, probably wouldn't die,' Dr Young said at the time.

Many felt Dr Young had the luxury of holding that opinion because her state had remained relatively Covid-free and contained outbreaks with short, sharp lockdowns.

On Tuesday, a further 16 Covid cases were recorded in Queensland, prompting more people to go out and get tested

On Monday, Dr Young confirmed her opinion had not changed.    

'I said I didn't want 18-year-olds to have AstraZeneca. And I still don't. Even now,' she said, adding that nobody under the age of 60 should consider AstraZeneca.

Meanwhile Dr Chant appeared on our screens just one hour after Dr Young this morning, appealing for young people to get vaccinated in droves. 

When asked about Dr Young's comments, Dr Chant said: 'My view is that we follow the ATAGI advice and ATAGI has looked at risk benefits. The advice is for people to have the discussion about the risks and benefits.

'Everyone has got their personal considerations. They live in different parts of the city. Their risk is different and so for me, it is around informed consent,' she said.   

Dr Chant said anyone who has waited more than four weeks since getting their first dose of AstraZeneca should book in for their second jab immediately.

Australians living in areas with coronavirus outbreaks were urged to shorten the time between their first and second AstraZeneca jabs to four to eight weeks instead of the usual 12 on July 24 by ATAGI.

'Can I stress that August is the month where we all should come forward and get vaccinated,' Ms Berejiklian said.

New South Wales recorded another 207 cases of Covid-19 on Monday as Sydney continues to grapple with an outbreak of the highly-contagious Delta variant

Pictured: People exercising near the Brisbane River during Queensland's snap lockdown

'It will be a combination of seeing where the case numbers are in a month's time as well as the rate of vaccination that determines what August 29 looks like.'

The NSW premier said the priority was vaccinating the state's 'mobile' residents aged between 20 and 40 - particularly in the eight local government areas in Sydney's west and south-west where the virus is spreading the most rapidly. 

She said on Monday health officials would have to get 9.2 million jabs in arms across the state to reach a vaccination target of 70 per cent, which she has repeatedly said would trigger an easing of lockdown restrictions.

'Vaccines are working extremely effectively,' she said. 'We still don't know of anybody in intensive care [in NSW] who has received both doses of the vaccine.

Australian Defence Force personnel are pictured enforcing the city's lockdown in Fairfield in Sydney's south-west on Monday morning

'We are at 3.9 million jabs already. Five million jabs means we're halfway to the 80 per cent target and 9.2 million jabs gets us to 70 per cent.' 

NSW's vaccination rate sits at about 15 per cent for those who have received both jabs and 32 per cent have received only one dose.

But with 82,000 doses distributed in 24 hours and 4.5 million more Pfizer jabs to be delivered to Australia in August, federal health officials are confident NSW could carry out about 650,000 vaccinations a week.

At that rate, NSW could hit its target of 70 per cent coverage by early September.  

Meanwhile in Queensland, 921,750 vaccine doses have been administered in total.  

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