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Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave?

Boosters, ventilation and masks may help us avoid it ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

We’re familiar by now with the sense of impending doom that comes from world news headlines about surging COVID cases overseas. And now it’s happening again in Europe.

Austria has gone into its fourth national COVID lockdown. German politicians are debating making vaccinations mandatory. The UK says it will likely offer booster shots to all adults as it reports 40,000 new infections.

And again, we watch from half a world away and wonder if this will be our future too.

Professor Raina MacIntyre, head of the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute and Professor of Global Biosecurity at UNSW, says it doesn’t have to be – provided we are attentive to what’s happening in Europe now and learn from what we’re seeing there.

Our success will depend on vaccination rates, clear policies regarding third dose boosters, vaccinating children and whether a comprehensive strategy of ventilation with vaccine-plus measures including testing and tracing are used. And we’ll need to be agile enough to respond to new developments and evidence as it comes to hand. If we can focus on these goals, she writes, we can avoid a fourth COVID wave.

Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave? 1

Lucy Beaumont

Senior Deputy Section Editor: Health + Medicine

Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave? 2
Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave? 3

AP Photo/Lisa Leutner

Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave? Boosters, vaccinating kids, ventilation and masks may help us avoid it

C Raina MacIntyre, UNSW

For starters, we need to start thinking of fully vaccinated as three doses, not two. But vaccines alone won’t be enough.

Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave? 4

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Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave? 5

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Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave? 6

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Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave? 7

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Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave? 8

Henri Matisse, Still life with green marble table (Nature morte à la table de marbre vert) 1941. Oil on canvas, 46 x 38.5 cm. Centre Pompidou, Paris, MNAM-CCI, purchased 1945 AM 2591 P. © Succession H Matisse/Copyright Agency 2021. Photo: © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI / Philippe Migeat / Dist RMN-GP

Henri Matisse was an artist of colour and sensuous line; an unerring eye until the end

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Matisse: Life & Spirit is a celebration of the creativity of the master of colour.

Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave? 9

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Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?

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