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COVID-19 SPECIAL

Why are Sydney’s COVID cases rising despite lockdowns and vaccination? Prof Michael Kidd explains

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd. Source: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Prof Michael Kidd explains how COVID-19 continues to pose a challenge for Greater Sydney in particular. He remains concerned about children under 12 who can’t be vaccinated and the risk posed by adults refusing to take the jab.

Prof Kidd blamed the Delta variant of COVID-19 for the sharp rise in new infections despite the strict lockdowns in Greater Sydney and other parts of New South Wales.

He particularly remains concerned about the safety of children under 12 and also believes Australia will not achieve herd immunity.


Highlights:

  • Australia approves Pfizer vaccine for children between 12 and 15
  • ‘No country has achieved herd immunity despite the high rate of vaccination’: Prof Kidd
  • Prof Kidd concerned about risk posed by 20-30 per cent adults who refuse vaccine 

In an interview with SBS Hindi, Prof Kidd urged people to adhere to public health restrictions.

“This is the real challenge with the Delta variant, which as we know, is more contagious and easily transmitted from one person to another,” Professor Kidd said

“What we are seeing is if one person in a family is infected with the Delta variant, everybody in the household gets infected. The Delta variant is causing more serious diseases in younger people than what we saw last year,” he added.

The more people are infected with COVID-19, the more people are at risk of becoming seriously unwell, the more people will tragically die from the COVID-19 

New South Wales has been recording more than 600 cases a day for the past three days.
New South Wales has been recording more than 600 cases a day for the past three days.
AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Urging all eligible people to take the COVID-19 vaccine, Professor Kidd denied rumours that authorities had manipulated data on new infections to push more people towards vaccination. 

“The conspiracy theories are absolute nonsense and there is no truth to them. People need to be aware of the facts and if you want to know where to find the facts about this pandemic, then go to the Australian government’s Department of Health website.

Don’t believe the nonsense that you may see on social media and other people share with you. Instead, go to the source of the facts and find out what actually happens

Some members in the New South Wales community had raised doubts after a sharp rise in the number of new infections despite lockdowns. Over the last three days, the state has been recording more than 600 cases a day.

New South Wales recorded more than 600 new COVID-19 cases on both Wednesday and Thursday.
New South Wales recorded more than 600 new COVID-19 cases on both Wednesday and Thursday.
AAP Image/Joel Carrett

Prof Kidd also commented on herd immunity, a concept much talked about these days across the world.

We don’t know what herd immunity looks like for COVID-19. We haven’t seen any country which has achieved herd immunity

“One of the problems we have at the moment is that there are no vaccines licenced for use in children under the age of 12. In Australia, we just licenced the Pfizer vaccine for children aged between 12 and 15.

“We are rolling that out as a priority for children with chronic health concerns and Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander children,” Professor Kidd added.

Professor Kidd said those eligible for vaccines must take their shots to protect Australian children under 12 as they can’t be vaccinated at the moment.

When asked how confident he was about 80 per cent of the population being fully vaccinated by the end of the year, Professor Kidd said it’s really up to residents to get themselves vaccinated.

I am worried about the 20 per cent or 30 per cent of people who will not be vaccinated at the time when we start to open Australia up

"Because those people will still be at the risk of catching COVID-19, becoming seriously unwell and dying. And I don’t want that to happen to anybody in our country,” he said.

Professor Kidd added that they are following the research being carried out in Australia and overseas on the booster dose and how long protection lasts from the currently available vaccines.

“One of the things about COVID-19 is that we don’t know what will happen over the coming weeks and months,” he said.

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