Living With Delta Involves Getting Annual Booster Shot: Australian Premier

By Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca Zhu is an Australian reporter based in Sydney. She focuses on the Australian economy, property, and education. Contact her at rebecca.zhu@epochtimes.com.au.
September 3, 2021 Updated: September 3, 2021

As New South Wales (NSW) learns to live with COVID-19, health procedures will eventually become available through normalised processes such as a yearly booster shot, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“Living with Delta means social distancing, QR codes, vaccine passports, it also means once a year getting a booster or a jab to vaccinate,” Berejiklian told media today. “Most people will get it from their workplace or through GPs, much in the same way you get your flu shot.”

However, an infectious disease expert, Australian National University’s Professor Peter Collignon, recently said evidence suggested that booster shots were not yet needed in Australia.

Israel is one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, and it has begun to offer booster shots to all citizens after health officials announced that the effectiveness of Pfizer against the CCP virus waned after six months.

Despite high vaccination levels, the country is currently struggling with a new wave of infections and hospitalisations. As a result, Sweden has banned all travellers from Israel.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also secured an additional 85 million Pfizer vaccines, enough to enable booster coverage throughout 2022.

NSW recorded 1,431 new daily cases and 12 deaths, and Berejiklian warned the public that the numbers would continue to rise into October, which is anticipated to be the worst month for the state’s health system.

“That’s why we’re just asking people, especially in the next fortnight … every time any of us leave the house we need to assume we have the virus,” she said. “So even with a mask, you need to have good social distancing.

Berejiklian said continued lockdowns were unsustainable, so people need to learn to live with the CCP virus and treat it similarly to the flu.

Yesterday, Berejiklian said people needed to confront the truth and put COVID-19 deaths “into perspective,” pointing to the annual flu deaths prior to the pandemic.

“The sad reality is outside of a pandemic, we lose between 600 and 800 people every year to the flu,” she said. “At the moment, there are 8 million citizens who don’t have a choice about when they leave their homes—that is no way to live.”

She also called for a gradual shift in focus away from daily case numbers and towards the number of people in intensive care and vaccination numbers.

“September and October will be the most challenging because we’ll be going through the phase of dealing with extra ICU hospitalizations,” she said. “But we’ll also be going through both the exciting but challenging time of opening up.”

While the NSW health system has been working on expanding its ICU bed capacity to almost 2,000, including staff, Berejiklian admitted the system would become stretched as numbers peak in the coming weeks.

Next week, the NSW government will release detailed plans for the health system to handle the stress.

Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca Zhu is an Australian reporter based in Sydney. She focuses on the Australian economy, property, and education. Contact her at rebecca.zhu@epochtimes.com.au.