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COVID live updates: All the coronavirus news in one spot

Get up to speed with all of the coronavirus news from across Australia in our live COVID blog.
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Live updates

By Simon Smale

COVID numbers around the states

If your state is not listed yet, it's because we haven't been given that information.

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7m ago7 minutes agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 2:54am

By Simon Smale

Some of your booster reaction stories

Greg Hunt said 683,000 people have already received their vaccine booster.

Here are some of your responses to having had it, for those of us who have not yet been boosted.

For Boosting Soon -I had my Pfizer booster a week ago, after primary doses of AZ. I had no noticeable side effects to AZ (other than a mildly sore arm) but about 30 hours after my booster I did have a bad headache, slightly elevated temperature, and felt a bit icky. Back to normal around 12hrs later, though the very sore arm lasted several days this time. All worth it!

Re boosters: I had the 2 Astra shots originally. The 1st dose left me a bit rough for some days. No issues at all with 2nd dose. Had the Pfizer booster a few weeks back - no problem at all. Not even a sore arm.


Boosting soon - I had a Pfizer booster 6months after my 2nd AZ. Had a sore arm and a slight fever for a few hours the next day, but it was 10x better than the side effects I got from AZ


I had my first two AZ early this year and have just had my Pfizer booster. Other than an incredibly sore arm the only other side effect I have is smuggness at being triple vaxxed

-Double AZ single pfizer

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15m ago15 minutes agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 2:45am

By Simon Smale

Booster shots pre-travel

Had there been any updated guidance in light of Omicron about wary booster shots for international travel? Partner had his 3 months ago but keen to have extra protection as travelling to UK

PLEASE HELP - due to travel on Friday

-Booster help

Hi Booster help.

Nothing about this particular circumstance in Greg Hunt's press conference earlier, where they simply said that the gap had been reduced from six months to five. 

However, as ever, when it comes to personal health advice, you'd be far better served talking to your doctor.

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19m ago19 minutes agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 2:41am

By Simon Smale

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26m ago26 minutes agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 2:34am

By Simon Smale

Glenelg East F45 listed as latest South Australia exposure site

Gym-goers in Glenelg East have become the latest group of South Australians to be forced into quarantine following a positive COVID-19 case. 

There have been 85 locations of concern listed, including three classes at the Glenelg East F45.

Check out the full list here.

There are currently 54 active cases in South Australia after another seven cases were declared yesterday.

Two of the active cases have now been confirmed as being the Omicron variant, the first to be recorded in the state.

Any close contacts of Omicron cases will be required to carry out 14 days isolation, even if they are vaccinated.

Reporting by Sarah Mullins

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40m ago40 minutes agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 2:20am

By Simon Smale

Re-watch the Queensland press conference

I know some people don't like watching the press conferences over Facebook, so if you missed Queensland's presser earlier, here's the press conference via YouTube.

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51m ago51 minutes agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 2:09am

By Simon Smale

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1h ago1 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 1:55am

By Simon Smale

Vaccine availability over Christmas
Could you please do a post regarding vaccine availability over Christmas, for peoples awareness.

My local vaccine hub (Noarlunga, SA) is showing closed between 24 Dec and 4 Jan on their website. Others may be similar.


Hi Matt,

That's a very good point and it's absolutely worth people checking out availability if you are due your booster at some point over the Christmas break.

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1h ago1 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 1:44am

By Simon Smale

When will Moderna be available as a booster?
Hi Simon,

I’ve heard that Moderna has been approved as a booster. Will Moderna boosters be available at state run hubs in Victoria soon? Thanks


Hi Quentin,

Well, Greg Hunt and Brendon Murphy have both had their Moderna shots today, so I guess they'll be available as soon as possible if not already.

He said it was "very exciting" that Moderna has been approved as a booster.

"Moderna boosters will be now be available at all immunisation sites, so we have two preferred boosters by ATAGI - the Pfizer and the Moderna," he said.

"AstraZeneca at the moment is not registered as a booster, but it is available for people who can't have the mRNA vaccine.

"So there's plenty of points of presence with Pfizer and Moderna and I urge everyone who's five months since their primary course of immunisation to now go online, make a booking with your GP, with your pharmacist, or go to a clinic run by the states and get those boosters so we come into this next phase of living with COVID with the maximum protection."

So yeah, looks good to be able to get your booster as soon as you like (as long as it's been five months since your second primary dose, of course).

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1h ago1 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 1:40am

By Simon Smale

Moderna strength
Do we know the doseage amount for the Moderna booster?

-Thinking Moderna

Why are our boosters of Moderna 1/3 of a standard dose, when overseas its a 1/2 dose? Is the efficacy the same?


Professor Murphy did talk briefly about the strength of the Moderna dose being lower than the original primary course.

He simply said this was due to results from trials showing that this strength was advised.

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1h ago1 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 1:28am

By Simon Smale

Businesses call for rethink of COVID-19 cluster naming as connection affects sales
ABC News

Parafield, Modbury, Thebarton and Norwood are no longer just Adelaide suburbs but the names of COVID-19 clusters, which local business owners say has a major impact on their foot traffic. 

Andrew Hughes, a marketing expert from the Australian National University, says the naming of clusters should be looked into.

"The health experts come up with the names; they try and look at a suburb probably as it's easy to identify with people and it's probably a quick way to get the message out there as well," he said.

Read more here.

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1h ago1 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 1:14am

By Simon Smale

Booster side effects 
Has anyone had a Pfizer booster after primary doses of Astra Zeneca? What were the side effects like?

-Boosting soon

Hi, Boosting soon.

Professor Murphy did speak about the likely side effects from the booster jab if you scroll down a little.

He said it would likely be very similar to the original doses.

"Mainly sore arms occasionally, sometimes a bit of a fever - but generally speaking, the evidence suggests that the side effects following a booster are actually less than the side effects following the second dose," he said.

"So people would expect to see the same relatively mild side effects we have seen with the other mRNA vaccines."

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2h ago2 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 12:51am

By Simon Smale

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2h ago2 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 12:48am

By Simon Smale

Key Event
Omicron case in hospital in NSW

A person infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been admitted to hospital, health authorities say.

It is the first time an Omicron case has been hospitalised in Australia since the variant landed in late November.

There were another 10 confirmed cases of the new strain identified in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, taking the total number of Omicron cases in NSW to 55.

NSW Health said more cases were expected to be confirmed pending the results of genomic testing.

Authorities believe nightclub goers at Newcastle's Argyle House may have been exposed to the variant on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Read more here.

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2h ago2 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 12:47am

By Simon Smale

Why do different states report things differently? 
Some of the vaccination rates are for people over 16 and some are for people over 12 (see wa figures reported by the ABC) : can you explain this please

-Nick Murfett

Hi Nick,

It would certainly be far easier if every state reported things in the same way, but that's just how the states are reporting things I'm afraid.

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2h ago2 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 12:43am

By Simon Smale

Which booster is better?
ABC News

Professor Murphy says there is no evidence of there being any difference between the pair.

"There really isn't any good evidence that one is better than another for a booster," he says. 

"If you had Pfizer or AstraZeneca or Moderna as your primary course, you can have either Pfizer or Moderna as a booster.

"The evidence would suggest that there's no clear difference. So depends what's available and people sometimes might have a preference."

Greg Hunt says both are "universal boosters". 

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2h ago2 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 12:41am

By Simon Smale

What has changed in the last week regarding booster timeframe advice?

Last week ATAGI said there was no need to bring booster doses forward, but change their minds yesterday.

Mr Hunt says this was due to the latest international advice.

"We tasked ATAGI with reviewing weekly, exactly as Professor Murphy has said," Mr Hunt says.

"The emerging data and evidence and we have seen from Pfizer and ... the international evidence emerging data in relation to the optimal time period."

Professor Murphy said as more data became available, the advice reflected that data.

"ATAGI has had access to what we call the laboratory in-vitro neutralisation assay data, which is a complicated way of saying tests in the lab, to see how the immunity from the primary vaccination declines over time, particularly in relation to Omicron.

"There's evidence that by six months there is some declining protection to Omicron and so ATAGI felt that there was a good reason to get people boostered if possible before that six-month mark so they felt bringing it forward to five months was worth doing."

He says there was additional data from Israel showing five months is "a very good time".

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2h ago2 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 12:37am

By Simon Smale

Hunt: Plenty of vaccine doses for primary and booster demand
ABC News

Mr Hunt is asked about whether Australia has enough vaccines to satisfy demand for primary doses and boosters.

"We have 151 million doses that have been set aside for boosters. There's enough for all Australians. It makes no difference to the number of boosters that are expected to be had," he said.

"It just brings that time frame forward and we have sufficient in the country now to meet all of the needs.

"To date we received 7.2 million Moderna doses and approximately 40 million Pfizer doses. And in addition to that, we have had over 28 million AstraZeneca doses that have been made available. 

"We're sharing those doses overseas and we're also making sure that there's enough for all Australians.

"So we have enough already to deal with all of the possible demand for primary doses or boosters in Australia and in terms of our international supply, overseas, we have now past the 10 million mark of doses provided to our Pacific and South-East Asian neighbours."

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2h ago2 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 12:33am

By Simon Smale

What side effects will the booster have?

Professor Murphy is asked what side effects the booster will have.

"The two mRNA vaccines are very similar to the side effects that we see with primary course," he says.

"Mainly sore arms occasionally, sometimes a bit of a fever - but generally speaking, the evidence suggests that the side effects following a booster are actually less than the side effects following the second dose.

"So people would expect to see the same relatively mild side effects we have seen with the other mRNA vaccines."

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2h ago2 hours agoSun 12 Dec 2021 at 12:31am

By Simon Smale

Professor Murphy: Boosters will be 'much more important'
ABC News

Professor Murphy is speaking now.

"In the light of the Omicron variant, we do believe that boosters are going to be much more important," he says.

"We do believe that, as one gets towards six months, the waning immunity of the primary vaccination means that a booster will be very important to continue that protection against this variant.

"We're still learning about Omicron, but that evidence seems to be coming out of the lab."

He says that ATAGI have been looking at the data weekly to make this determination.

"We are still protected with your primary vaccination, people shouldn't be worried, but boosters are very important to give that extra immunity, particularly as the Omicron variant is likely to spread around the world."

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