Victoria’s COVID outbreak swells as reopening roadmap released

Victoria has recorded another 567 locally acquired COVID cases – the highest number this outbreak:

One person has also died.

The next chart plots Victoria’s daily cases:

Victoria’s daily cases are running way ahead of NSW’s at the same point in time:

Total active cases have climbed to nearly 5700:

And Victoria’s active cases are running ahead of NSW’s at the same point in their outbreak:

Yesterday, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews released the state’s reopening roadmap. In a nutshell:

  • Once 80% of eligible Victorians have had a single dose of a Covid-19 vaccine – expected late this week – Melburnians will be able to do outdoor sports like tennis and golf and travel 15km from their homes.
  • At 70% double dose – anticipated by late October – Melbourne’s hard lockdown will end, students will start return to school, and hospitality venues can host up to 50 fully vaccinated patrons. But retail and gyms will remain shut.
  • At 80% fully vaccinated – set for early November – up to 10 fully vaccinated people will be able to visit someone else’s home and retail/gyms will reopen subject to density limits.
  • Regional Victoria will have restrictions eased at a faster pace.

Premier Andrews also stated at yesterday’s press conference that:

  • 87% of Victorian hospital admissions are unvaccinated. Only 1% are fully vaccinated.
  • Modelling by the Burnett Institute predicts that Victorian daily cases will peak at 4500 by mid-December and hospital admissions will peak late December.

Thus, Melburnians – who on Thursday will to become the world’s most locked-down residents – are facing months more pain.

Unconventional Economist

Comments

      • Sydneysiders are enjoying more freedoms.
        Does that imply that they don’t require transparency? Their parliament has effectively been suspended for +3 month.
        Merdejiklian turns up for press when Merdejilkian feels like that Merdejiklian should be accountable… (in Merdejiklian’s own words)

        • Of course not. Transparency is good. I’m just pointing out that this is a Damascus moment for the Victorian Government. They’ve only just started to be transparent through necessity.

          Many of their decisions have been inconsistent and opaque – eg. banning playgrounds without providing any evidence supporting the decision, but allowing construction sites to spread the virus.

          • Many construction workers are eagerly awaiting the “transparency” around data that shows hospitalisations and deaths pertaining to the use of tearooms and removing a mask to eat lunch on site… ?

        • rob barrattMEMBER

          This is all the fault of the person who decided to use private contractors rather than the police to manage hotel quarantine procedure. Er – who was that again?

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        NSW has not done the equivalent. Transparency is good for democracy, and it allows their policies to be discussed in an adult manner.

        Small businesses are getting hammered in NSW and VIC. The hospital system is getting hammered in NSW and VIC. The root of the problem is poor vaccine acquisition and rollout, along with the lack of dedicated quarantine facilities. Both Federal responsibilities.

        Transparency is good for housing, immigration, tertiary education, pandemic response, political donations, etc, etc.

        Let’s give praise where it’s due. So many of the poor policies you rightfully highlight could do with so much more transparency.

        Let’s attack the cause, not the symptoms.

        • For the public to support this vaccine passport idea we need to know the risk of catching Covid:
          A) from an unvaccinated person and
          B) from an vaccinated person

          I have heard A is 60% of B, but nothing from the government.

          Without this data I cannot consider supporting the vaccine passport. What do they know and what are they hiding?

          • Arthur Schopenhauer

            The public are supporting the vaccine. Over 70% have had at least one shot.

            That’s a pretty clear indicator.

          • Vladimir Scorpius

            Isn’t clear at all as taking vaccination does not necessarily equal supporting vaccine passport.

    • Love the transparency, will also love accountability for the burnet institute if their modelling is completely off…

  1. Victorians, how do you feel about Daniel calling it a ‘booster passport’? This is straight up tyranny and I’m guessing a lot more people will agree with me come next winter.

    Think I’m wrong? The WHO voted 16-2 against booster shots. WTF is going on?

      • Ee Zed Eff Kaye Ay:
        “Pfizer has to do a bit more marketing and lobbying.”

        Pfizer have consistently stated their vaccine will need a booster. As yet i don’t think they have shown it convincingly in a study yet that the authorities will believe.

        It’s quite something for the company executives and spokespersons to campaign against the effectiveness of their own product. I am thinking it is the particular characteristics of Cominarty that forces them into this unenviable position. It is priced higher and requires more extreme cold storage than its competitors. This makes for a particularly difficult sale to developing and third world countries where most of the remaining demand for vaccines exists.

        • The fda thinks the RISK outweighs the BENEFIT for people under 65. The recommendation for over 65 says they admit effectiveness reduces, but they cause more problems than benefits in youger people.

    • I wrote this piece this morning on boosters.

      https://www.patreon.com/posts/56360147

      “Different vaccines need different boosters – with Pfizer needing one roughly after 5-6 months, Moderna around 8 months, and AstraZeneca likely 12-14+ months based on current research.

      Therefore any talk of booster passports is not based on the “science” at all – because people who take different vaccines will need boosters at different times.

      There is also discussion that shortening the time between initial two dose jabs (i.e. Pfizer down to 3 weeks, and AZ down to 6 weeks) actually makes the vaccine less effective and last no where near as long – so the rushed nature of the rollout in Australia is actually likely to cause people to not have as much protection as they would otherwise.

      Or is this part of the plan engineered by the big pharma lobby groups and parroted by the mass media?

      Anyone found it interesting that the media started pushing Pfizer and trashed AstraZeneca so everyone wanted it – yet now it’s the first jab that needs a booster because it’s effectiveness wanes the quickest?

      Was AstraZeneca as a vaccine killed by big pharma because they didn’t want a “one off” jab that lasted for a couple of years – but instead wanted to create a long term “booster program” which delivers them trillions in profits instead?

      Does Big Government cheer on the Pfizer/Booster lobby because they desperately need a hook to install smart phone controls (like China has) on society but want to introduce it through a “health emergency” so it’s less of a political issue?

      Does it explain why anyone who speaks out against it is painted as either an “angry white man” or part of the “loony fringe” so that the mainstream don’t dare question the narrative themselves?

      It really makes you think. “

      • “It really makes you think.” oh my god.

        “because people who take different vaccines will need boosters at different times.” – and why can’t that be defined in said passport..

        “so the rushed nature of the rollout in Australia is actually likely to cause people to not have as much protection as they would otherwise.” – That was understood when the decision was made. It was a trade off so more people could be jabbed not some grand conspiracy you flog.

        “yet now it’s the first jab that needs a booster because it’s effectiveness wanes the quickest?” – more conspiracies. They’re everywhere you look!

        You get labelled loony fringe because you are the loony fringe.

        • are the fda loony fringe, because they are likely to not approve pfizer boosters for under 65s at all.

      • rob barrattMEMBER

        If you can buy a commerical pilot’s license (with no flying experience) in Pakistan, I’m sure it won’t take long for the first “booster passports” to appear on the streets here.
        No worries.

      • You may have heard a kerfuffle a while back about powdered baby milk.

        Allegedly a baby milk corporation went over to the 3rd world and gave free baby milk to breast-feeding mothers. After a while the mother’s breasts stopped producing milk, and at this point the corporation commenced charging money for the milk.
        The free milk was part of a business model that obtained a captive customer.
        By the way, poor people went broke and babies died (if the story is true).

        This is a story about a free natural thing being replaced by a corporation’s product that must be paid for on an ongoing basis.

        … vaccine … booster… you are smart. You fill in the blanks.

    • FUDINTHENUDMEMBER

      Not the WHO. FDA voted and recommended against 3-rd booster dose for mRNA vaccines at this stage (except for narrower use – over 65’s, immuno-supressed ect). That may change with data though. Note that the highly effective polio vaccine schedule, for instance, is 4 shots: at age 2 months, 4 months, 6–18 months, and 4–6 years.

      May well be the case that best usage of Pfizer is to add another prime dose somewhere.

      WHO generally not in favor for booster shots because of vaccine equity reasons. Ie. Rich countries shouldn’t be boosting when poor countries can’t even get the vax.

      • https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02046-8/fulltext

        Whole article is worth a read. Some of the most sensible stuff I have seen written on the topic of COVID vaccination.
        The unbridled hubris (as opposed to guarded, reflective optimism) of the death to the unvaccinated crowd worry me almost as much as the antivax tinfoilists.

        “Boosting might ultimately be needed in the general population because of waning immunity to the primary vaccination or because variants expressing new antigens have evolved to the point at which immune responses to the original vaccine antigens no longer protect adequately against currently circulating viruses.
        Although the benefits of primary COVID-19 vaccination clearly outweigh the risks, there could be risks if boosters are widely introduced too soon, or too frequently, especially with vaccines that can have immune-mediated side-effects (such as myocarditis, which is more common after the second dose of some mRNA vaccines,3 or Guillain-Barre syndrome, which has been associated with adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccines4). If unnecessary boosting causes significant adverse reactions, there could be implications for vaccine acceptance that go beyond COVID-19 vaccines. Thus, widespread boosting should be undertaken only if there is clear evidence that it is appropriate.”

        • tl;dr Lose weight and fix Type 2 diabetes and reduce risk by a factor of 20. Will we actually need boosters for the whole population?

          The other things everyone over 40 can do for themselves to protect against serious or severe disease is to lose weight to a BMI below 30 and reduce Type =2 diabetes (T2D) through lifestyle (exercise) & diet (significantly reducing processed carbohydrates).
          Those two factors are almost certainly going to be more significant than a booster over the medium term (2+ years) in disease reduction. This is an excellent wrap up of the Impact of overlapping risks of type 2 diabetes and obesity on coronavirus disease severity in the United States. Note this study was prior to vaccination.

          Regarding hospitalization risk scores, compared with those for hospitalization risk score 0 and critical care risk score 0, hazard ratios [95% confidence intervals] were 19.034 [10.470–34.600] and 55.803 [12.761–244.015] (P < 0.001) (P < 0.001), respectively, for risk score 4. Complications from diabetes and obesity increased hospitalization and critical care risks for COVID-19 patients.

          Risk score calculation.

          Relationship between increased risk factors and hospitalization and critical care due to COVID-19. The score calculation includes age ≥ 65 years, male sex, diabetes, and obesity with a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2, with each one scoring one point and resulting in a maximum of four points.

          Hazard ratios of 19 and 55 for hospitalisation and critical care if you have a risk score of 4 – over 65, male obesity and T2D.

          We need to fix this before we mandate boosters without serious evaluation of the risk reward tradeoff.

        • Good article, sadly the politicians will not follow the science on this and will give everyone boosters as they can’t admit they were wrong.

  2. I don’t see how “daily cases will peak at 4500 by mid-December and hospital admissions will peak late December” when Sydney is only 4-6 weeks ahead in the vaccination curve (at most) – and already seeing cases declining from peak.

    What makes Victoria think that their experience will be different to NSW?

    The Victorian numbers are already starting to taper and REFF rates are well down from 2-3 weeks ago – with the majority of the virus duplication happening in 3-4 LGA’s across a whole state.

    Pump enough vaccine into those LGA’s (which they are planning to do on a similar scale to Sydney) and suddenly you get the same results as Sydney too.

    I personally think the whole daily cases at 4500 is nothing more than a scare campaign – because even if it does happen, the majority will be double doses and unlikely to put a significant strain on our health systems anyway (given as you mentioned only 1% of current hospital admissions for COVID in Victoria are fully vaccinated).

    Remember that time the modellers said that Sydney would be having 20,000 cases a day by now – they were wrong too.

    • Ee Zed Eff Kaye Ay

      Models are only as good as their assumptions. Why isn’t the NSW experience plugged into the models? Given the NSW experience, one must deduce that the Victorian peak will be early to mid October and will probably follow the same trajectory. All of the opening up is somewhat similar to NSW, the only real different factor is weather, but even that is 4-6 weeks behind Sydney.

      • I find a lot of the “scare tactic” models are someone simply getting a trend of numbers and putting it into a calculator to create an exponential curve to create a huge headline. The curve would only make sense if there was no vaccine, and no lockdown.

        What we know impacts on the curves are the following:
        – Lockdowns (or increases to restrictions) impact the curve on a 2-3 week lag
        – Vaccines impact the curve on a 2-3 week lag (as they take between 14-21 to be fully effective)

        So what we are now witnessing with Sydney is the effectiveness of vaccines and lockdowns limiting new cases – and many of the new cases which will emerge over the next month will be much less likely to end up in hospital.

        If I was a betting man (which I’m not unless you count $500 punts on small caps on the ASX) – I would dare suggest that NSW hospital admissions and ICU will peak in the next 3 weeks, and for VIC it will probably be in the next 6 weeks.

        This is why Andrews is waiting 6 weeks to reopen most things – because why else would you reopen if you were planning to have hospitals on their knees and at maximum capacity in December anyway (remembering all the Christmas parties that lead to drunken antics and increased car accidents through more travel).

        Just my opinion though.

    • they were wrong too
      How so? You do realise that the daily testing limits are about up to ~140k? So, that is the biggest statistical sample they can process.
      There are over 8 million people in NSW, which is about 60 times more. Many infected folks stay clear from testing (evident from recent deaths,
      tested positive post mortem).

      • ” Many infected folks stay clear from testing (evident from recent deaths tested positive post mortem). ”

        If people are not willing to help themselves – why should this be a concern of the government?

        For those people who apparently died in the home without ever being tested I think it needs to be made clear:
        – They made a deliberate choice not to get tested. There are places to get tested everywhere. It is free.
        – As they got worse, they made a deliberate choice not to call for medical assistance. Again – 000 and Nurse on call is free.

        If someone had a heart attack or a stroke at home – and didn’t call for help – is it really societies fault if they die?

        If a bloke noticed blood in his urine – but didn’t go to the GP or get a prostate cancer test – is it really societies fault if they die?

        Just saying.

        • Sure, but the epidemiologists need models that capture all cases, whether they want to be counted or not, because all infected are public health hazard.

          • And also because daily cases aren’t of a concern in their own right but hospitalisations and deaths are a concern, and they come from people who don’t come forward for a test.

      • If there are 20,000 infected each day in Sydney and there are only 13 deaths, heck lets make it 50, then covid is as people have said all along, only slightly more dangerous than the flu. If on the other hand, they are capturing most of the infections then yes the modelers need to be held accountable. I think you would find some pretty different modelling if the people putting up the models had some skin in the game – we don’t know who they are at all and there will be no loss of funding etc. if their model is wildly off the mark.

        • There aren’t 20,000 infected each day in NSW – there’s roughly 1000.
          There are good years and bad years with influenza – in NSW, 2018 was a good year: 40 deaths. 2017 was a bad year: 559 deaths. So, as a daily average between 0 and 2 deaths per day. If NSW follows Israel and the UK, who have a similar per capita daily rate at around 2 deaths per million, NSW will have about 16 deaths per day after they open and things settle down.

          • The thread earlier was about not knowing the true number of cases, so I was saying if there are 20,000 for argument’s sake, this would be the logical conclusion. I would suggest that the number of cases is 3x what is being found, but that is just an educated guess.

          • Ultimately, with a massively vaxxed population and very likely some kinds of public health measures even if no lockdown it’s going to end up regularly killing 5 or 6 times what the flu kills in a bad year, so that doesn’t sound ‘slightly more dangerous’ than the flu.

    • Because on the current roadmap Victoria will end restrictions before daily cases peak, whereas NSW is ending restrictions basically in unison with the peak. Also, what does their modeling say about where the post lockdown peak in NSW will be – does it show cases going down as quickly as they would if restrictions continued (in which case, what were they for?) or does it show a rebound, or slower decline?

  3. Vaccine passports are questionable at best. We don’t know if these will have any impact on the spread of Covid, given the steady decline in antibodies months after being vaccinated. Not only this but it completely ignores those who have already had Covid and a much higher level of antibodies into the future. Above all else, vaccine passports will only further segregate an already divided society. I just wish there were more intelligent people in the room making objective decisions.

    • They are making objective decisions, just not towards goals that you have. You can bet they are doing the best thing to get themselves re=elected.

  4. Re Vaccines for kids once school reopens in late October once reach 70% double dose.

    The FDA is now indicating should only take a few weeks for an emergency authorisation(EUA) after the data submission, from the date given below that indicates end of October for approval. Also from below now kids 6 months to 5 years should be 1 month behind so say early December for an EUA.

    TGA will likely be behind, but under extreme pressure on this, so maybe can speed approval up to early in the new year

    From recent Morgan Stanley conference:

    https://s21.q4cdn.com/317678438/files/doc_downloads/2021/09/PFE-USQ_Transcript_2021-09-14.pdf
    Frank A. D’Amelio – Pfizer Inc. – CFO & Executive VP of Global Supply
    “So on the pediatric, clearly, we want to expand the availability of the vaccine, and that would include children that are 11 years of age and younger, because today, the vaccine is only approved for those that are 12 years of age and above. We’re conducting Phase 3 studies for children between the ages of 6 months and 11 years old.

    Now we expect to have safety and immunogenicity data for children between ages of 5 and 11, we expect to have that data by the end of September, and then we would expect to file that with the FDA in early October for a potential EUA. So that’s kind of,
    I think, the timelines that you and everyone on the call should think about. And that was only for the 5 to the 11-year-olds.

    So now let me go further. We would expect to have similar data for children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old that we would file with the FDA, I’ll call it, in the weeks shortly thereafter the filing of the data for the 5 to the 11 year-olds.
    And then obviously, all of that depends on having a positive outcome on the data, right? I’m assuming that in terms of all the dates I’m giving you.

    But I think 5 to 11, we have data end of September. We expect to file — we expect to have data in September. We expect to file early October. The 6 months to the 5-year old, we would hope to file similar data, I’ll call it, in a month shortly thereafter that original filing. Once again, assuming all of the data is positive.”