The battle against COVID-19 is not over even if it’s in the news less these days. And now the health authorities have expressed concern that it may be spreading once more, putting seniors in particular at risk.
Hospitalisations have spiked, with 146 people in Queensland hospitals with the virus, twice the number two weeks ago.
Queensland Health chief health officer Dr John Gerrard said the rise in cases was largely due to low booster rates in older Queenslanders and possibly the emergence of the new BA.2.86 variant, known also as Pirola.
The low booster rates are a serious concern, and the authorities have called for Queenslanders aged 65 and older to make sure they are up-to-date with their booster shot.
Dr Gerrard said Queenslanders who were older or who had medical comorbidities that put them at higher risk should get a booster vaccine shot if they had not had one in 2023.
“We are seeing a clear increase in COVID-19 transmission in Queensland,” Dr Gerrard said.
“The number of people hospitalised with the virus has doubled over the past two weeks and I expect hospital admissions will rise in the coming week.
“Now is a good time to get a COVID-19 booster if you are aged 65 or over and haven’t had one in 2023.
“This is even more important for people over 75 years if it has been more than six months since your last dose.”
Dr Gerrard said it was essential Queenslanders did not become complacent about the risk of COVID-19.