Recycling the waste COVID-19 has created(Emilia Terzon)

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-13/healthcare-waste-covid-plastic-recycling-reusing-hospitals/100533552

Australia’s healthcare system is generating tonnes of COVID waste. Doctors and nurses are trying to do something about it

The Business / Emilia TerzonPosted Wed 13 Oct 2021 at 6:42amWednesday 13 Oct 2021 at 6:42am, updated Wed 13 Oct 2021 at 4:08pmWednesday 13 Oct 2021 at 4:08pm

A clinical waste bin in the basement of Sunshine Hospital in Melbourne.
Clinical waste has increased by 40 per cent at one healthcare organisation in Melbourne during the pandemic.(ABC News: Emilia Terzon)

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The Australian healthcare sector’s reliance on single-use plastic has never been more visible than during the COVID-19 pandemic — and now frustrated doctors and nurses are fighting back to save both the environment and money.

Key points:

  • Doctors and nurses are concerned about the levels of single-use plastic they’re seeing during the pandemic
  • A pilot project is recycling syringe caps from COVID vaccines
  • It’s found this has economic benefits

The healthcare sector has been battling its environmental footprint for years.

Overall, it accounts for 7 per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions, with much of that attributed to its supply chains.

Some Australian healthcare workers have long bemoaned a decades-long shift away from washable gowns and surgical items towards prepackaged medical kits and uniforms.

Doctor Forbes McGain has long been on a war against waste at Western Health’s hospital at Sunshine in Melbourne’s north, where he’s been on the front line of battling the pandemic.

From face shields to PPE, Dr McGain has noticed a lot more plastic during COVID. 

A man in a brown sweater opens a green bin with a mask on.
Dr Forbes McGain is passionate about reducing hospital waste.(ABC News: Emilia Terzon)

“All of this extra waste is to keep us safe,” he says.

“For instance, tens of thousands of gowns are being used daily at Western Health currently. And that’s because it’s a way of protecting staff and other patients from COVID-19.

“A nurse may go through 30 gowns in one day. That’s just standard.

“Every day, we say we’re dressed in oil, because they’re all petrochemical plant products.

“It’s been pretty trying and pretty depressing, like a lot of things about this pandemic.”

What is the pandemic doing to hospital waste streams?

It is difficult to get a national picture of what healthcare waste streams are doing during the pandemic, because this data is not collected at a federal level.

However, Western Health has disclosed its waste figures to ABC News, and they show a microcosm of what’s happening, at least in the Victorian context.

In Victoria, the advice is that all healthcare waste from hospitals, COVID-19 clinics, testing and injecting sites must be handled as medical waste. 

Medical waste typically goes into yellow bins. Sunshine Hospital’s waste depot is currently heaving with full bins, and has had to significantly ramp up waste collection to deal with this.

A worker appears to sort out clinical waste in the basement of Sunshine Hospital in Melbourne.
Sunshine Hospital has had to ramp up its collection of clinical waste during the pandemic.(ABC News: Emilia Terzon)

Overall, Western Health’s clinical waste has risen by 40 per cent during the pandemic, to 375,000kg annually.

“None of it can be recycled, because it’s all required to be prescribed waste,” Dr McGain says.

The one silver lining is that Western Health’s much smaller PVC waste stream is significantly down. PVC is largely used in tubing during surgery and is recycled by Western Health, thanks to Dr Forbes’s ongoing war on waste.

“The reduction on PVC over the last two years we consider relates to the reduction of elective surgery, as usually these processes use PVC content,” Western Health’s environmental officer, Carlos Machado, says.

“We have actually seen an increase of 13 per cent on our recycling. So that’s good.”

The recycling facilities at Sunshine hospital in Melbourne.
Sunshine hospital does have a long-term recycling program and it’s also seen a 13 per cent rise in waste streams going into it during COVID.(ABC News: Emilia Terzon)

However, overall its waste streams are up 8.5 per cent from 2.3 million kilograms in 2019 to 2.5 million kilograms this year.

“We have to understand that this is the reality of a pandemic disease, something that we haven’t lived before. And we’re just making our best effort to try to understand where we need to cut down,” Mr Machado says.

The issue is adding costs to healthcare

The Victorian government was asked about its overall official waste figures in the healthcare sector, but it couldn’t supply any data after June 2020.

However, an academic who audits hospital waste across the state told ABC News some hospitals had seen waste streams soar by between 25 to 130 per cent during COVID-19.

“The lower amounts are for smaller hospitals that would rarely have a COVID patient, with the larger amounts at hospitals with COVID wards and patients in ICU,” Deakin University’s Trevor Thornton says.

A nurse who works in one of Melbourne’s biggest COVID-19 hospital wards shared photos with ABC News of what she generates every day in waste.

a plastic bin with iv drips and plastic gowns in it
Inside a typical clinical waste bin which is destined to be incinerated.(Supplied: anonymous nurse)

“In one shift, it’s a new mask three to 10 times a day depending on the patient load. Single-use plastic gowns is probably up to 10. And lord knows how many plastic gloves. Probably 25 pairs. It goes in a rubbish bin,” she says.

“I don’t think it’s the time to be bagging hospitals, as the priority is to firstly keep their patients and us safe. But the waste is obviously a huge issue.

“Everything has the price of what it is. One bag of fluids is $6. I can’t reuse anything but I’m so conscious of how much this is costing the system.”

Dr Forbes is also concerned about these overheads.

“It’s costly. Each gown or each n95 mask that we’re wearing is not particularly expensive but it adds up very quickly when we start thinking about it, even if it’s just a few dollars per item,” he says.

And it’s not just the cost of disposable goods. Waste collection is also an expensive process.

“One small regional hospital that also has an aged care facility attached has increased the use of yellow bins from 15 to 25 a week,” Deakin University’s Trevor Thornton says.

“One issue is that many facilities are not charged by weight for removal rather than by the bin.

“An approximate rate for clinical waste is $1.50 a kilogram. However, in a 240-litre bin, it may only have 8kg of clinical waste and it’s charged at approximately $35. This works out to $4.40 a kilogram.”

Why isn’t more healthcare waste being recycled?

As well as overarching policies about how medical waste should be handled, one of the main barriers faced by the healthcare industry is finding companies that will even consider recycling the waste.

The recycling and waste industry has been under added pressure since many countries in Asia started refusing to take Australia’s excess waste.

In New South Wales, a scheme dreamed up by a nurse at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney reveals the complexities of recycling single-use plastic waste in the midst of a pandemic.

Rodrigo Fritis-Lamora is also dismayed at all the plastic he’s using right now.

“It can be quite sobering to see how much is produced in just from one centre,” he says.

The NSW government was unable to give ABC News figures on exactly what healthcare waste streams are doing during the pandemic. But it does have overarching policies that show how healthcare waste should be treated before being incinerated, sent to landfill or recycled.

Mr Fritis-Lamora decided to make a point by focusing on a single pandemic waste stream: COVID vaccines.

Every injection involves a range of single-use plastic, including syringe caps and the syringe itself. With tens of millions of doses given, these tiny items add up into tonnes.

A basket of syringe caps at St Vincent's hospital in Sydney.
A pilot program to recycle syringe caps at St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney.(Supplied: NSW Circular)

Mr Fritis-Lamora’s idea to segment and collect these items eventually got going with help from his hospital and a state-government funded body that aims to promote recycling, NSW Circular.

The three-month trial at St Vincent’s this year collected 80,000 pieces of plastic waste that weighed 205 kilograms – equivalent to 41,000 plastic bags. The scheme has since expanded to include a COVID-19 vaccination hub in Newcastle, where 170kg of plastic caps from vaccines have been collected in just a few weeks.

The next stage was finding somebody to turn it into new items.

Turning syringe caps into wind turbine parts

The pilot project teamed up with a company in the rural NSW town of Orange that makes plastic parts for manufacturing, AllMoulds Plastic.

Two men hold a bag of syringe caps.
Rodrigo Fritis-Lamora from St Vincent’s hospital (left) and Scott Candrill from Allmoulds Plastics Group have formed a friendship during the pilot program.(Supplied: NSW Circular)

AllMould Plastic’s founder Scott Cantrill is passionate about reducing his environmental footprint. Half of what he makes is already produced from old waste streams.

He’s now turned the 80,000 pieces of plastic from St Vincent’s Hospital into parts for roller doors and plastic caps that go on bolts.

“When it comes to the commercial side, it will make more sense as we get more (hospitals) on board and scale this up. One pilot program has obviously cost the company a lot of money, but it’s to prove a point,” he says.

Three black bolts on a table.
The syringe caps are being turned into these bolt caps that go onto wind turbines.(ABC News: Arianna Levy)

The plastic caps have a renewable destination — they’re being bought by a Sydney-based company Ocycut that makes parts for wind turbines. 

“I could probably get these components from China for half what I’m paying here in Australia,” Oxycut’s boss Simon Preston says.

But he’s absorbing the extra cost because he wants to contribute to a renewable society.

“The fact that AllMould Plastics is using 50 per cent recycled material in their products, and specifically are also using the waste from the recent COVID vaccination program, for us that just worked perfectly,” he says.

COVID plastic waste recycled into wind turbine parts
COVID plastic waste recycled into wind turbine parts

This all shows the complexities of getting recycling going. But the group that pushed for the pilot program has crunched the numbers and believes there are long-term economic benefits.

“The collection of these two items alone across the NSW public health system could save nearly 70 million pieces of plastic from landfill, amounting to 150 tonnes and generate savings of $150,000 each year,” NSW Circular economist Kar Mei Tang says.

“Moving beyond these two items, if the estimated 40 to 60 per cent of recyclable waste currently going into clinical waste streams was recovered, there are potential savings of $2 to 3 million a year across the NSW Health system that could be reinvested into patient care.”

What about simply reusing more items?

Back at Sunshine Hospital, Dr Forbes is happy to hear about the efforts of healthcare workers interstate to recycle more goods.

He pushed for the PVC recycling program at his workplace several years ago, and also crunched numbers that show that it’s got economic benefits.The war on waste in hospitalsExperts have said it is difficult to get a handle on how big the problem is nationallyRead more

But he’s passionate about pushing for something even harder than collecting and recycling single-use waste: he wants to transform the sector’s culture so it is using more reusable items.

He has already helped bring back reusable anaesthesia equipment at Sunshine Hospital, which is sterilised on site. He says this saves each operating theatre $5,000 per annum, which works out to about $100,000 in savings each year for all of Western Health.

“This becomes a large number when considering all of Australia,” he says.

“There are many examples where reusing and washing within a central sterile supply department is still standard of care. It’s just that many hospitals have gone to single use, but we haven’t.

“And we’ve certainly have done lots of interesting studies on that sort of area about how to reduce the carbon footprint and save money.”

A man in a brown sweater holds a red bucket with a mask on.
Dr Forbes McGain brought back reusable breathing equipment to Sunshine hospital and says it saves money.(ABC News: Emilia Terzon)

Dr McGain is currently pushing for more hospitals to ditch single-use plastic gowns and go for cloth ones during COVID. 

However, he appreciates that Australia’s healthcare system is still very much under crisis, especially with the looming potential of a surge in COVID cases as the country opens back up this summer.

“It’s very difficult, especially in a pandemic, to act quickly and deal with it,” he says.

He hopes as Australia’s healthcare sector enters a post-pandemic environment, it won’t waste the opportunity to learn about its disposable culture.

“I think there’s a number of opportunities where you can save money, and you can actually reduce the amount of waste that you do.

“And it can be so exciting for staff to work as a team to do that.”Posted 13 Oct 202113 Oct 2021, updated 13 Oct 202113 Oct 2021Share

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Healthcare industry battles ‘devastating’ level of waste, nurses and doctors say

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-24/victoria-covid-exposure-sites-sunday-october-24/100563498

A blue sign shows a hand with a phone and the words 'HAVE YOU CHECKED IN?'.
Fully vaccinated Victorians need to quarantine for a week after visiting an exposure site, but unvaccinated people must spend a fortnight.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

Help keep family & friends informed by sharing this articleabc.net.au/news/victoria-covid-exposure-sites-sunday-october-24/100563498COPY LINKSHARE

Health authorities have listed new tier 1 COVID-19 exposure sites in Victoria.

The new tier 1 sites are:

  • Fobia Industires in Benalla for seven days from October 11
  • The Deck restaurant and bar in Shepparton on October 19
  • 9 Grams cafe in Torquay on October 20

The government has stopped listing all exposure sites, instead only publishing the most high-risk venues publicly. Others are managed by contact tracers privately and through the Service Victoria check-in app.

Anyone who has been to a tier 1 exposure site at the specified time must get tested and isolate for 14 days if unvaccinated, or for seven days if fully vaccinated. 

SheppartonLess –The DeckTue, 19 Oct6:45pm – 8.45pm
Address: 198A Maude Street VICHealth Advice: Tier 1 – Get tested immediately and quarantine for 7 days from exposure if fully vaccinated or 14 days if not fully vaccinated
BenallaMore +Fobia Industries BenallaMon, 11 Oct6:00am – 4:00pm
BenallaMore +Fobia Industries BenallaTue, 12 Oct6:00am – 4:00pm
BenallaMore +Fobia Industries BenallaWed, 13 Oct6:00am – 4:00pm
BenallaMore +Fobia Industries BenallaThu, 14 Oct6:00am – 4:00pm
BenallaMore +Fobia Industries BenallaFri, 15 Oct6:00am – 4:00pm
BenallaMore +Fobia Industries BenallaMon, 18 Oct6:00am – 4:00pm
BenallaMore +Fobia Industries BenallaTue, 19 Oct6:00am – 4:00pm
SheppartonMore +Telstra Shepparton MarketplaceMon, 18 Oct8:30am – 5:30pm
TorquayMore +9grams TorquayWed, 20 Oct1:00pm – 2:30pm
GeelongMore +The Deck GeelongSat, 16 Oct7:00pm – 9:00pm
CobramMore +Cobram Nails & BeautyFri, 15 Oct11:00am – 4:30pm
CobramMore +Cobram Nails & BeautySat, 16 Oct1:00pm – 4:30pm
BendigoMore +Golden Vine Hotel BendigoSat, 16 Oct3:30pm – 5:30pm
Quarry HillMore +Queens Arms HotelSat, 16 Oct5:30pm – 7:30pm
KenningtonMore +Kennington Tavern – Kennington Village Shopping CentreSat, 16 Oct8:00pm – 9:30pm
BendigoMore +Gallery CafeSun, 10 Oct3:10pm – 4:10pm
BendigoMore +Fit RepublicFri, 15 Oct2:00pm – 3:30pm
BendigoMore +Fit RepublicSat, 16 Oct12:00pm – 1:30pm
BendigoMore +Fit RepublicSun, 17 Oct12:45pm – 2:15pm
BendigoMore +Fit RepublicThu, 21 Oct10:45am – 12:30pm
MulgraveMore +Woolworths Waverley GardensSat, 16 Oct1:30pm – 7:00pm
ClaytonMore +McDonalds Clayton IIMon, 18 Oct5:00am – 9:00am
GeelongMore +CaffizaMon, 18 Oct5:30pm – 7:15pm
GeelongMore +Malt and Shovel Taphouse GeelongSat, 16 Oct5:00pm – 7:00pm
Swan HillMore +Swan Hill Pet BoardingFri, 15 Oct7:30am – 6:00pm
HuntlyMore +BelleAmi Hair and BeautyMon, 18 Oct10:00am – 2:30pm
HuntlyMore +BelleAmi Hair and BeautyMon, 18 Oct10:00am – 2:30pm
SouthbankMore +Focus Apartment Construction SiteThu, 14 Oct5:30am – 4:00pm
SouthbankMore +Focus Apartment Construction SiteFri, 15 Oct7:00am – 3:00pm
SouthbankMore +Focus Apartment Construction SiteSat, 16 Oct8:00am – 3:00pm
WodongaMore +Border Dance WorksTue, 12 Oct4:45pm – 6:15pm
SheppartonMore +Sherbourne Hotel – Gaming RoomSun, 17 Oct9:00pm – 11:59pm
ChurchillMore +Cafe AlfaSun, 17 Oct10:30am – 11:25am
SheppartonMore +The DeckFri, 15 Oct8:30pm – 10:30pm
SheppartonMore +The DeckSun, 17 Oct7:00pm – 9:00pm
SheppartonMore +The DeckTue, 19 Oct8:30pm – 10:30pm
BendigoMore +The Rifle Brigade HotelSat, 16 Oct1:50pm – 3:30pm
BendigoMore +Cafe EssenceThu, 14 Oct7:00am – 3:00pm
BendigoMore +Cafe EssenceFri, 15 Oct8:00am – 3:00pm
BendigoMore +Cafe EssenceSat, 16 Oct9:00am – 9:30am
KenningtonMore +The Massage ShopThu, 14 Oct12:55pm – 2:35pm
BendigoMore +McQuinns GymFri, 15 Oct11:27am – 1:30pm
SheppartonMore +Wild Life Brewing Co.Sat, 16 Oct4:30pm – 7:00pm
South GeelongMore +Luce Fit AustraliaMon, 11 Oct4:15pm – 5:30pm
DaylesfordMore +Blooms The ChemistTue, 19 Oct2:45pm – 4:05pm
SheppartonMore +Shingo’s LoungeSat, 16 Oct6:00pm – 11:30pm
MorwellMore +Wyncity MorwellFri, 15 Oct11:00am – 9:00pm
KenningtonMore +Feelgood Fitness StrathdaleMon, 11 Oct6:00pm – 7:30pm
KenningtonMore +Feelgood Fitness StrathdaleTue, 12 Oct3:54pm – 7:30pm
BendigoMore +Nude Food Breakfast BarFri, 15 Oct9:30am – 11:00am
DonaldMore +Donald HotelThu, 14 Oct6:30pm – 9:00pm
BendigoMore +McQuinns GymTue, 12 Oct5:00am – 7:00pm
BendigoMore +McQuinns GymWed, 13 Oct5:00am – 11:00pm
BendigoMore +McQuinns GymThu, 14 Oct5:00am – 11:00pm
BendigoMore +Honeyeater SalonSat, 9 Oct8:00am – 3:00pm
Traralgon EastMore +PhysiPole TraralgonThu, 14 Oct5:30pm – 6:30pm
Ocean GroveMore +Feed Me Bellarine, Ocean GroveTue, 12 Oct7:30am – 11:30am
Ocean GroveMore +Feed Me Bellarine, Ocean GroveWed, 13 Oct9:00am – 4:30pm
Ocean GroveMore +Feed Me Bellarine, Ocean GroveThu, 14 Oct9:00am – 4:30pm
PaynesvilleMore +Paynesville Wine BarTue, 12 Oct3:30pm – 5:30pm
PaynesvilleMore +Paynesville Wine BarWed, 13 Oct3:30pm – 5:30pm
BendigoMore +McQuinns GymSun, 10 Oct12:30pm – 8:00pm
BendigoMore +McQuinns GymMon, 11 Oct5:00am – 8:00pm
BendigoMore +McQuinns GymTue, 12 Oct5:00am – 8:45am
RedanMore +Anytime FitnessMon, 11 Oct5:00pm – 6:00pm
ThomastownMore +Greek Orthodox Church Of Thomastown – The Transfiguration of Our LordSun, 10 Oct8:30am – 1:00pm
Hepburn SpringsMore +Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa – Sanctuary Mineral Bathing AreaSun, 10 Oct1:00pm – 2:30pm
MaldonMore +Vanilla SpiceSun, 10 Oct1:30pm – 2:30pm
MaldonMore +The Maldon Lolly ShopSun, 10 Oct2:00pm – 3:00pm
Deer ParkMore +Direct Chemist Outlet – Brimbank Shopping CentreSun, 10 Oct9:00am – 4:30pm
Ballarat CentralMore +Oscar’s Hotel and Café BarMon, 11 Oct12:30pm – 2:30pm
WinchelseaMore +Winchelsea HotelSun, 10 Oct1:00pm – 2:45pm
GrovedaleMore +The Grovedale Hotel Gaming RoomTue, 12 Oct10:15am – 1:30pm
Soldiers HillMore +The North Star HotelWed, 13 Oct12:30pm – 2:15pm
SheppartonMore +Goulburn Valley Grammar School Bus – Tongala to Goulburn Valley GrammarTue, 12 Oct7:15am – 9:15am
SheppartonMore +Goulburn Valley Grammar School Bus – Goulburn Valley Grammar to TongalaTue, 12 Oct3:00pm – 5:00pm
Halls GapMore +Grampians Adventure Golf, Cafe & MOCO GallerySun, 10 Oct11:15am – 1:00pm

Inside New Zealand’s Glowworm Caves | Waitomo Ruakuri Cave Tour | 2 of 2

Jan 10, 2021

Daneger and Stacey153K subscribersSUBSCRIBEWe might be from New Zealand, but as adults we’ve not seen the glowworms in Waitomo! So we’re taking a Waitomo Glowworm Caves Tour in Ruakuri Cave… The first 1000 people to use this link will get a free trial of Skillshare Premium Membership: https://skl.sh/danegerandstacey01211 Welcome back to Waitomo New Zealand, the home of the glowworm! Today we’re taking the Ruakuri cave tour. Waitomo is known as the go to place to travel in New Zealand to take a cave tour and see the glowworms. There’s a labyrinth of caves under the town (and beyond) that house these natural attractions along with some seriously wild looking black water rafting as well! If you like a bit of adventure, it looked pretty cool to raft through the rapids in the dark… we’re taking note for next time. Ruakuri was the glow worm tour we picked and we were stoked with it. Of course we can’t compare it to the more common and popular tour known simply as the Waitomo Glowworm Tour, but we highly recommend checking out Ruakuri. There is actually an option to do both from memory, you can book them at a reduced rate because you’re doing 2, so that could be a good solution to see everything in one day. Either way, while we plan Season 2 of our Reveal NZ Series we’re just happy to be out and exploring more of our own little paradise! Hope you enjoyed spending the past few days in Waitomo with us. Note — This wasn’t a collab or sponsored by the Waitomo glowworm tour (obviously it is sponsored/made possible by Skillshare as we mentioned though), we paid to see what it was all about ourselves. One of the shots I used was stock footage though to give you an idea of what we experienced, we didn’t shoot that one ourselves out of respect of the g-worms. We send out a monthly email with our travel updates and valuable recommendations for your travels — https://danegerandstacey.com/friends Chapters: 00:00 Intro 01:18 Duck Traffic Jam 02:25 Waitomo Caves 03:30 Video Sponsor 04:42 What’s In The Cave 06:10 Glowworms 06:50 Our Tour Review 07:52 Otorohanga Exploring 09:01 Float Tank Thoughts 10:38 Best Food In Waitomo? 12:03 S’mores On The Fire ▬▬▬ G E A R ↠ Vlog Camera — http://geni.us/ourcamera ↠ All Our Gear — http://geni.us/oYd6Wof ↠ How We Edit Photos — https://danegerandstacey.com/presets ▬▬▬ S U P P O R T ☺ For the cost of a coffee you can support us via Patreon — http://bit.ly/2oOON8x ☺ Buying anything off Amazon? Go via any of our links first — http://geni.us/oYd6Wof ☺ Like the lo

Novavex Delay

The vaccine cannot cause you to get COVID-19.

The Novavax vaccine uses a version of the spike protein made in the lab. The spike proteins are assembled into tiny particles called “nanoparticles” which aim to resemble the structure of the coronavirus, however they cannot replicate once injected and the vaccine cannot cause you to get COVID-19.

In order for these subunit vaccines to generate strong protective responses, they need to include molecules that boost your immune system, called “adjuvants”. The goal of these adjuvants is to mimic the way the real virus would activate the immune system, to generate maximum protective immunity.

COVID Vaccine Rollout: Anthony Albanese has slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison for the delay in Australia’s Novavax vaccines. 51 million doses expected to arrive later this year will now only be available from 2022, which the Opposition Leader says is a “further setback” on Australia’s road to recovery from COVID-19.

“Scott Morrison had two big jobs this year – the rollout of the vaccine and effective national quarantine – and unfortunately, both of them have been botched.”
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How does the Novavax vaccine work?

The Novavax vaccine is given as two doses, similar to the Pfizer and AstraZeneca shots already being used in Australia.

It can be stored for up to three months at fridge temperature, which differs from the Pfizer mRNA vaccine which needs to be kept at ultra-low temperatures. In saying that, the TGA said last week the Pfizer vaccine can be stored at normal freezer temperatures for two weeks during transport, and at fridge temperatures for five days — though must still be kept ultra-cold after transport and in the long-term.

A graphic comparing Australia's three vaccine options
Comparing Australia’s three COVID-19 vaccine options. Jamie Triccas, made with BioRender, CC BY-ND

The vaccine also uses a different technology to the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. It’s a “protein subunit” vaccine; these are vaccines that introduce a part of the virus to the immune system, but don’t contain any live components of the virus.

The protein part of the vaccine is the coronavirus’ “spike protein”. This is part of the other COVID-19 vaccines in use but in a different form.


Read more: New coronavirus variant: what is the spike protein and why are mutations on it important?

The Novavax vaccine uses a version of the spike protein made in the lab. The spike proteins are assembled into tiny particles called “nanoparticles” which aim to resemble the structure of the coronavirus, however they cannot replicate once injected and the vaccine cannot cause you to get COVID-19.

In order for these subunit vaccines to generate strong protective responses, they need to include molecules that boost your immune system, called “adjuvants”. The goal of these adjuvants is to mimic the way the real virus would activate the immune system, to generate maximum protective immunity.

Novavax includes an adjuvant based on a natural product known as saponin, an extract from the bark of the Chilean soapbark tree.

How effective is the vaccine compared to those already in use in Australia?

The interim data from phase 3 testing, released in March, was very encouraging. When tested in the UK in a clinical trial including more that 15,000 people, the vaccine was 96% effective at preventing COVID-19 disease for those infected with the original strain of the coronavirus.

This compares well to the Pfizer vaccine, with an efficacy of 95%, and recent data from AstraZeneca demonstrating 76% efficacy against COVID-19.

The Novavax vaccine is also safe. In early clinical testing the vaccine caused mainly mild adverse events such as pain and tenderness at the injection site, and no serious adverse reactions were recorded. In the larger trials, adverse events occurred at low levels and were similar between the vaccine and placebo groups.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/novavax-plans-to-trial-combined-flu-and-covid-super-jab-in-australia-20210806-p58gfk.html

Novavax plans to trial combined flu and COVID super jab in Australia

Emma Koehn
By Emma Koehn

August 6, 2021

In a statement on Friday morning, the company said it expects “to initiate [a] Phase 1 clinical trial in Australia later this year”.

Australia has already been key to Novavax’s development of its standalone COVID-19 vaccine, with an ongoing US-Australian study applying the initial two doses to local volunteers and then giving certain participants boosters

One Million without Power!

Right now, one Million without Power in America! One Million. Is this fake news? I don’t think so:

Shepard Smith joins the Halftime Report with information about the search and rescue efforts in Mississippi and Louisiana following Hurricane Ida. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday as a Category 4 storm with winds of 150 miles per hour, one of the strongest storms to hit the region since Hurricane Katrina, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. Ida has since been downgraded to a tropical storm and is expected to move farther inland over southeastern Louisiana and into southwestern Mississippi later this morning, the National Hurricane Center said. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Late Sunday, President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration for Louisiana, unlocking federal funding for recovery efforts. The storm is expected to weaken rapidly over the next day or so, and the NHC said Ida is expected to become a tropical depression by this evening. The NHC warned that a life-threatening storm surge is expected for Grand Isle, Louisiana, to the Alabama/Florida border, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans.

The NHC said winds will likely damage trees and trigger power outages as Ida continues to move inland over southeastern Louisiana. Heavy rainfall is expected through Monday across southeast Louisiana, coastal Mississippi as well as southwestern Alabama, and could trigger “considerable to life-threatening flash and urban flooding.” As of early Monday, more than 1 million Louisiana utility customers are without power, according to PowerOutage.us. On Sunday evening, New Orleans said the entire city lost power after “catastrophic transmission damage.” Ida made landfall on the anniversary of Katrina, the dangerous Category 3 storm that devastated Louisiana and Mississippi 16 years ago, killing more than 1,800 people and causing $125 billion in damage. The strength and path of Ida will be a significant test of New Orleans’ post-Katrina flood defenses, including levees, flood walls and gates that were built to provide storm protection. Katrina had caused levee breaches and catastrophic flooding in New Orleans.

Ida has also triggered concerns about the city’s hospitals, which are already overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients and have little room for evacuated patients. In Galliano, Louisiana, the struggle to care for patients as the storm roared ashore was exacerbated after a part of the roof of Lady of the Sea General Hospital blew off. President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency for Louisiana and Mississippi, a move that authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts. “The storm is a life-threatening storm,” the president said during a briefing at the FEMA headquarters on Sunday. “Its devastation is likely to be immense. Everyone should listen to the instructions from local and state officials.” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Sunday afternoon requested a presidential major disaster declaration from Biden after the storm slammed into the state’s coast. “Hurricane Ida is one of the strongest storms to ever hit Louisiana,” Edwards said in a statement. “It is our goal to assist our local agencies and the citizens of the state as quickly as possible, and we have pre-positioned search and rescue teams, boats and other assets to begin helping people as soon as it is safe.” Damaging winds will spread into southwestern Mississippi on Sunday night and early Monday, likely causing widespread tree damage and power outages, and heavy rainfall and is expected across the central Gulf Coast, the Hurricane Center said. » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision »

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Sunday with Macca

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/australiaallover/episodes/

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/australiaallover/australia-all-over-highlights-podcast/13479130

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/australiaallover/australia-all-over-highlights-podcast/13470006

https://www.allmusic.com/album/well-i-love-it%21-maccas-australia-all-over-mw0002742245

Das schöne Land Tirol

Towards the end of January 1945, when we were about to leave the Ausbau, Mum, Tante Ilse, Frau Todtenhausen, as well as Katja and Maria were busy all night killing all our rabbits and chooks and preserving the whole lot in glasses. We ended up taking quite a few of those glasses to Leipzig, where miraculously they survived the total distruction of our house during a bomb raid in the pantry next to a very strong wall. Not one glass was shattered! I myself though was not able to eat any of the rabbit- or chicken-meat, since from early childhood on I’ve never been able to eat this kind of meat. …

Before we left the Ausbau, all the furniture in the house was pushed together as much as possible. Some beds had been dismantled already. But we children were meant to get some sleep in spite of all the commotion. I was put with Eva in one room. The two of us were much too excited to sleep. We kept ourselves awake for hours singing all the songs we knew. Eva taught me a few new songs which I had not known until then. Yet I still know them now. One song was a song from Tirol about some young men who go looking over the fence to see a girl, the one who looks after the cows.

Ja wenn wir schaun, schaun, schaun

übern Zaun, Zaun, Zaun,

in das schöne Land Tirol –

Ja dann freuet sich die Sennerin,

ja wenn wir schaun, schaun, schaun übern Zaun.

Ja wenn wir gucken, gucken, gucken

durch die Lucken, Lucken, Lucken,

in das schöne Land Tirol –

Ja dann freuet sich die Sennerin,

ja wenn wir gucken, gucken, durch die Lucken, Lucken, Lucken …

The above is taken from these Childhood Memories:

US epidemiologist explains why vaccines alone won’t stop Delta | Coronavirus | A Current Affair

Aug 13, 2021

Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/2mBeStv | Harvard trained epidemiologist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding predicted in January last year that COVID-19 would be a “thermonuclear pandemic” and he has explained why he believes vaccines alone aren’t the solution. The epidemiologist told A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw, “even for highly vaccinated countries relying on vaccines alone is not a panacea to stop Delta”. (Broadcast August 11, 2021)