Australians fare well in health report card despite ongoing COVID impact

Australians’ overall health continues to fare well when compared with similar countries despite significant impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing burden of chronic conditions. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) biennial flagship report card of Australians’ health was launched this week by Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler. The […]

Almost one in five suffering from long COVID

Almost one in five Australians who have tested positive for COVID, experience symptoms of long COVID, new research shows. An Australian National University (ANU) study of more than 11,000 Australians who tested positive to COVID-19 in 2022 shows almost one in five were still experiencing ongoing symptoms three months after their initial diagnosis. The study […]

Australia’s long COVID response lagging, study finds

Australia’s long COVID response is falling short of international standards and needs an urgent overhaul, a new study has warned. The RMIT University and Northern Health research examined the country’s long COVID services, guidelines, and public health information, compared to international standards, finding Australia is lacking in several categories. These include early investigation, accessibility and […]

Monovalent vs Bivalent Vaccines for COVID-19

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has advised the Australian Government regarding the use of new monovalent Omicron XBB.1.5 vaccines for eligible recipients. The new monovalent vaccines will be available from 11 December 2023, coinciding with the expected rise in COVID-19 cases over the holiday period. With a relatively large number of people with […]

Evidence Brief: The World Health Organization’s Statement on the antigen composition of COVID-19 vaccines

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition (TAG-CO-VAC) assesses how the SARS-CoV-2 virus’ evolution might impact on COVID-19 vaccine antigen composition and advises the WHO on whether changes are needed to the antigen composition of future COVID-19 vaccines. This helps vaccine developers and decision makers decide on how to commit […]

Evidence Brief: Omicron Subvariant Arcturus

SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Omicron subvariant XBB.1.16 (‘Arcturus’) was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on 9 January 2023. It was designated as a ‘variant under monitoring’ on 2 March 2023.1 Following sustained increases in reported cases, on 17 April 2023, the WHO designated Arcturus as a ‘variant of interest’ (VOI). The variant has been […]

New COVID-19 leave grants to support aged care workers

New Aged Care Worker COVID-19 leave grants will be available from 1 April to support permanent or casual aged care workers caring for older Australians most at risk of severe illness, the federal government has announced. Workers will be able to receive a payment of up to $750 directly from their employer when they are […]

Nursing ethics: Lessons from a global pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a time of moral reckoning, says independent scholar and nurse ethicist Dr Megan-Jane Johnstone AO. “Primarily because it has called into question the taken-for-granted values, norms and role expectations of society and the adequacy of accepted professional ethical frameworks for guiding just (fair) decision-making and behaviours during a pandemic.” In […]

Rollout of fifth COVID-19 booster shot on way for Australian adults

All adults who have not had a COVID-19 booster or a confirmed case in the past six months will be able to get another booster to give them additional protection against severe illness from COVID, as advised by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). The recommendation for additional boosters comes into effect on […]