Australian Medical Association (AMA) President Dr Omar Khorshid has told Today he is “not terribly worried” about possible COVID-19 outbreaks in NSW and Queensland following positive cases in both states.
“I am not terribly worried about the chances of a big outbreak in Sydney or Brisbane. We are lucky that each of these cases were picked up nice and early and the contact tracers are getting really good at their jobs,” Dr Khorshid said.
“What is worrying is we don’t seem to have learnt the lessons of the past and we are still sees breaches of quarantine in a hotel and a hospital.”
Dr Khorshid said states need to move faster to vaccine as many frontline healthcare workers as possible to avoid an outbreak airing from hotel quarantine.
“It would be nice to have all the front line workers vaccinated by now and the incidents in Queensland and NSW have highlighted the importance of finishing that urgent task and moving on to the aged-care residents,” he said.
The quarantine worker who tested positive in NSW had received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine before contracting the virus.
Dr Khorshid explained it can take several weeks to develop full immunity to COVID-19, making it even more critical to avoid delays in the vaccine rollout.
“We understand the exposure was only around four days after the worker was vaccinated. That is not enough time for the immunity to develop and as everyone knows it is a two- dose regime and in the case of this vaccine three weeks apart.”