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Author: ABC News

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Coronacast is a podcast that answers your questions about coronavirus. We break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through a pandemic.
298 Episodes
The coronavirus variant sweeping through India appears to be a stronger more contagious version than we've previously seen. While there is still little peer-reviewed scientific information on B.1.617 variants, health authorities are increasingly becoming worried about the threats the strains present. Australia has had two close calls with 617 over the past few weeks: firstly in Sydney then again in Melbourne after it escaped from a South Australian quarantine hotel. So on today's Coronacast, does the 617 variant change everything and will we have to revisit our base assumptions? Also on today's show: * Moderna coming to Australia later this year (pending TGA approvals)
It seems that every time we talk about the timeframe of Australia's borders reopening to the world, the estimated date slips further into the future. In this week's budget, the government indicated that borders will probably remain shut until 2022 at least. And Qantas has also pushed back its plans to restart international flights by at least two months. So on today's Coronacast, what could be behind the reason for the slippages of border reopenings? Also on today's show: * Will we really need to get a vaccine every year for covid 19 for the foreseeable future? * Children don't usually get severe COVID-19, why am I seeing reports of kids dying in India? * If a combined coronavirus and flu vaccine is being developed, why can't existing coronavirus and flu vaccines be given at the same time? * I'm due for the second shot of Pfizer next week and am feeling a bit under the weather. What do I do? References A Misleading C.D.C. Number
It's Victoria's turn to hunt down coronavirus, after Victorian health authorities revealed a man tested positive to the virus yesterday morning. The man was a recent arrival from overseas, who completed his 14 days quarantine in South Australia before heading home to Victoria earlier this month. Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says he believes the man contracted the virus in hotel quarantine in South Australia. So on today's Coronacast, how could you spend two weeks in quarantine only to catch the virus just as you're leaving? Also on today's show: * I'm seeing testing fatigue. Once we're all vaccinated can we stop being tested? * I had my first shot of AstraZeneca and suffered no side effects except for maybe feeling a bit tired. Does this mean the vaccine did not work? * FDA approves Pfizer for older kids * Norman talks a bit about the Novavax vaccine which mixes a COVID shot with a flu shot
We've spoken a lot over the last year or so about coronavirus, and for good reason. But there are plenty of other viruses out there that can make us seriously sick or kill us. One is the flu, or influenza, and usually at this time of the year, we'd be seeing a solid rise in the number of reported cases. But not this year. In fact, there's so little flu around that there's actually been more COVID detected than influenza. So on today's Coronacast, what could be going on? Also on today's show: * Is there any information on how long should someone with a flu wait before I get the Pfizer vaccine? * Is there a correlation between the degree of side effects experienced immediately after your first dose of AstraZeneca and the possibility of developing clots?
A string of community transmission donut days in NSW has been a nice to see since a mystery COVID-19 case popped up in Sydney late last week. However, despite its best efforts, NSW Health has not been able to find out how the case jumped from hotel quarantine into the community. The man has clearly picked up the virus from a mystery person in the community, who could well have spread it to others. So on today's Coronacast, how worrying it is that the link hasn't been found? Also on today's show: * The virus found in Sydney - B.1.617.2 - is declared a variant of concern by the UK Government * Why don't these supposed very contagious variants seem to spread in Australia? And don't forget to check out the new season of Patient Zero! * Apple Podcasts: * ABC Listen app:
Just when you think it's getting boring in coronavirus land, you're hit with an avalanche of news. Sydney is continuing to battle an outbreak of COVID-19, as health detectives narrow in on where it might have come from. And Australia's medicines regulator has revealed five more people have developed blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, bringing the total to 11 from around 1.4 million doses since the rollout began. So what have we learned about the variant circulating in Sydney? And what's the current likelihood of developing a clot?
When NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian started her press conference yesterday, she got straight to the point: NSW had detected a case of COVID in the community. And as yet, there’s no known source. The patient has not been overseas or interstate and has no known links to hotel quarantine. He's also been infectious in the community for the last several days. So as NSW Health tries to pin down where he might have got it, Coronacast asks how this mysterious case compares to other recent outbreaks. Also on today's show: * A study shows digital contact tracing apps can work * Norman gets vaccinated * If a person isn't vaccinated and contracts COVID, is the vaccine then administered to aid in recovery? * Can I get the AstraZeneca vaccine now and Pfizer later to be even more protected? * Can you advise me please on the recommended timing between a flu shot and the AstraZeneca shot?
In a global pandemic, you have to take your successes where you can find them. Among the doom and gloom of three-quarters of a million new cases a day worldwide, it's important to look at how much progress we've made in fighting back against COVID-19. To date, more than a billion vaccines doses have been given out globally - a number that will hopefully continue to rapidly increase as more supply becomes available and distributed to those who need it most. Because - as explained on today's Coronacast - the faster we can vaccinate, the less chance we'll have of even worse variants popping into existence. Also on today's show: * Why is the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines constantly referred to as complex when the flu vaccine is rolled out every year to millions of people in Australia? * Your feedback and experiences on tracking down and getting a vaccine under the next phase of the rollout * The trouble with organ transplants and COVID-19
The next phase of Australia's vaccination program began yesterday, and millions of people aged over 50 are now eligible to receive a vaccine. But many are still finding the booking process difficult and confusing, and while vaccines are available it can take a bit of work to find one. Before now, only the vulnerable and front line workers have been eligible, so health officials and experts will be hoping that finally we'll see a dramatic increase in the COVID-19 vaccination rate. So will we finally see a jump in vaccinations? Also on today's show: * I've heard that the vaccine immunity lasts only for 6 months. So does that mean that I'll need another 2 shots of the vaccine when Australia finally opens up, and I want to travel? * I am a First Nations person who is 36 with no other comorbidities. Is it clear yet when Pfizer will be available to me?
For the second time in a fortnight, residents of Perth are facing lockdowns or increased restrictions due to a coronavirus outbreak from hotel quarantine. Last week, a security guard contracted the virus in a WA quarantine hotel. From there, it's broken into the community with at least two close contacts testing positive. It's again put a spotlight on hotels being used for quarantine and has disrupted the lives of millions of West Australians. So on today's Coronacast, what do we know about the latest outbreak and are more lockdowns coming? Also on today's show: * Does the AstraZeneca vaccine protect against serious illness from the serious variants? * Will Australia be getting the Moderna vaccine. If so can it approved and be released this year? * And a study about a man who suffered from COVID-19 for 8 months!
There's been a lot of talk over the last few months about coronavirus vaccines and how they'll hopefully end the pandemic sooner rather than later. But it'll be years before the world's entire population is vaccinated, and variants will also continue to provide a threat. So the world needs COVID treatments - drugs to help manage a patient's illness and stop them dying if they contract the virus. On today's Coronacast, what can we make of an-anti COVID pill from Pfizer which is now in early clinical trials? Also on today's show: * A study on why you don't want to be COVID positive and pregnant and another on pregnancy and vaccines And it's Friday. So you know what that means.
One of the biggest unknowns in the pandemic was whether or not vaccination would stop you getting infected with coronavirus, or just stop you getting sick. It sounds like much the same thing, but the difference is actually huge. Stopping infection means you don't have the virus at all, and thus won't go on to infect others. A study in the journal The Lancet has looked at both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines and found that they do indeed stop infection, which is great news - but sadly not all the time. That's on today's Coronacast. Also on today's show: * If you are a blood donor and have been vaccinated, will the antibodies you have developed help the recipient of your blood? * I've already received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Is it safe for me to swap over and get Pfizer if it is available to me? I'm in category 1B as I'm a health worker.
The UK variant, or as it's known the Kent variant or B117, is taking over the United Kingdom and other countries it's spread to. It's dominance is due to it to being far more transmissible than other variants, but according to new research just being more contagious doesn't mean it's more deadly. In fact, the study has found that it might be less deadly in people with severe COVID-19. But as with all things coronavirus, conditions apply. That's on today's Coronacast. Also on today's show: * Is relative youth a proven causal link for the blood clotting problem or is it merely a correlation? * Is 14 days still the incubation period? * Is the 50 year old cut off an immune phenomenon related to menopause status? * What is the current advice regarding vaccination and pregnancy?
Residents of Perth are out of a snap three day lockdown, with many hoping life will again return to normal over the coming days. The lockdown orders were lifted at midnight, after zero new cases were found yesterday, and testing numbers over the last three days have been high. However the debate about hotel quarantine is on-going. So on today's Coronacast, what could be a good way to allow Australians to return from overseas, but reduce the risk for people already at home? Also on today's show: * Which countries have banned travel from India? * What magic occurs when you turn 50 that makes AstraZeneca ok? * How do you know you have a blood clot?
Residents of Perth and the Peel region were given a boost of hope yesterday, when no new cases of coronavirus were discovered. The areas are in a lockdown until at least midnight tonight, after coronavirus escaped hotel quarantine late last week and has spread into the community. WA Premier Mark McGowan says it's too early to predict what will happen with the lockdown after Monday And it's also promoted another debate about who should run hotel quarantine: the states or the federal government. Also on today's show: * We get some better numbers from ATAGI on the chance of blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine, depending on how old you are.
At the start of the year when vaccines were starting to roll out, there was much hope that maybe, just maybe, the worst was behind us. But oh no. Not in this global pandemic. Suddenly we had several variants of concern to worry about, vaccines remained in very short supply and countries argued with each other for who needed it more. So today, Coronacast is doing a bit of a stocktake - taking a step back to have a look at we are and what might come next. Also on today's show: * Quick Fire Friday and today the answers are quick. We promise.
The European Medicines Agency has reported that it's aware of 25 cases of rare blood clots from people who have had the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, and 5 cases from people who have had the Moderna vaccine. The numbers were revealed during a press briefing into blood clotting issues related to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. It's the first time such a number has been reported by a medical regulator, and may suggest very rare clotting events may not be confined only to AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson. The co-chair of Australia's vaccination advisory group Professor Allen Cheng has told Coronacast that there is still a lot of uncertainty, especially if reported cases have been fully investigated. So on today's Coronacast, what has the EMA said and is it real? References: EMA press conference
The number of daily COVID-19 cases in India has been surging in recent weeks, and some are putting it down to a so-called double mutant COVID variant. New case records are being set nearly daily, and the number of people dying from COVID is also growing fast. The huge surge in cases is also being felt here, with the most recent NSW data showing people arriving from India are making up 20 percent of all cases in hotel quarantine. So on today's Coronacast, what could be behind the surge in India? Also on today's show: * NZ vaccinated border worker tests positive for COVID-19 * What is the treatment for those who get the blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine? * What do we know about mixing vaccines?
The Federal Government is hoping for a vaccine rollout reset, and it may come later this week with National Cabinet agreeing 'in principle' to bring forward vaccinations for those over 50 Currently, people in phase 1a and 1b can get access to vaccinations - which is mostly the AstraZeneca vaccine. As local production of the AstraZeneca vaccine ramps, it may be very soon when the doors are opened to everyone who's over 50. So on today's Coronacast, the washup from yesterday's National Cabinet. Also on today's show: * ATAGI releases some slides * Is there any data on the blood groups of the people who have experienced clotting? * What about for people who have had blood clots in the past?
With every vaccination, we are a step closer to returning back to something that resembles the normal life we had before the coronavirus pandemic. And one of the big hopes is that people will once again be able to travel overseas to visit family, for work or for holidays. Airlines are taking bookings for later in the year, and report strong bookings so far. The Prime Minister was also yesterday talking about international travel opening up, albeit slowly and for essential travel. So on today's Coronacast, how likely is it we'll be travelling internationally again by October? Also on today's show: * Why variants are again the unknown when it comes to a normal life * Coronavirus slips out of one hotel quarantine room and into another in Sydney * Is the University of Queensland vaccine is still being developed? * A GP says roughly 10 percent of patients are pulling out from receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine
Comments (40)

Malcolm Scott AZ vaccine 29% effective against asymptomatic covid19 b117 patients (British variant). What i think they are saying in the study is that the AZ vaccine will allow asymptomatic spread to continue thru the community. That vaccine is now dead in the water.

Mar 31st

Brendan Moelands

i have met so many people that have no interest in this now hearing theres different strains? how does the magic needle know which one you are protected from?

Mar 13th

Alex K.

people squeamish about needles, are you kidding me? GROW UP YOU SPOILT BRATS!

Mar 8th

sunset painting

as you said, a little cruel your comment about smokers. they do not ‘want’ to kill themselves that is an illogical and horrid thing to say. it is an addiction that is harder to stop than heroin and many try over and over to stop snd feel immense shame at not being able to. i do not smoke myself but knoe many that struggle to quit. smokers are often people that have either started when they were yound and didn’t know better then were already addicted, or have serious anxiety and it helps them relax-for many, feeling less anxious trumps the health concerns because the anxiety is so difficult.

Feb 3rd

behdad nikoueian shirvan

keep on casting please. i like your records.

Jan 23rd

James Franklin


Dec 24th

Kylie Munson (Red Star Sport Horses)

n89ok91 ki o oo

Oct 21st

Alanna Clare

Someone got in trouble

Oct 14th

Julie Fry

an excellent podcast that is fantastic for accurate information.

Aug 14th

Alex K.

Abbotoirs are essential services? hundreds of millions of people in India and a proportion of Australians are vegetarian.

Jul 23rd

K Clarke

masks are still so expensive! this is why you see so little being worn in general public. 10 surgical type masks in the chemist in my local a few days ago were $30.

Jul 14th
Reply (1)

Leonnie Stewart

Thanks for the explanations !

Jun 24th

K Clarke

Thank you for being my most trusted and timely source of information over this worrying period.

Jun 17th

Leonnie Stewart

Thanks for the excellent updates!

Jun 17th

Heather Phillipson

This episode keeps repeatedly playing.

Jun 9th

Michele Bottroff

SA is doing really well too. Why are we always neglected in the spruiking of success?

May 21st


This is a brilliant podcast that's short but provides well researched, good quality and entertaining material.

May 2nd

Alex K.

yesterday's episode #26 wouldn't play for me... "unknown error". any reason?

Apr 8th


Hard to trust anything coming from ABC News

Apr 4th

Calm Eron

ABC Australian ABC is a very good quality trustworthy source. The presenters Dr N. Swan is a practicing GP-journalist & is used to delivering an informed, non-alarmist message. It is co-hosted by Tegan Taylor a medical journo. but not aGP. Other plus points. Only ever about 10 minutes never more than 11 or 12 & is available overnight, daily. 🙏NAMASTAI

Apr 1st
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