586 episodes

Coronacast is a podcast that answers your questions about coronavirus. We break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through a pandemic.

Coronacast ABC Podcasts

    • News
    • 3.6 • 5 Ratings

Coronacast is a podcast that answers your questions about coronavirus. We break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through a pandemic.

    Pfizer, Moderna, au naturale? What works best!

    Pfizer, Moderna, au naturale? What works best!

    Just like we're likely going to be stuck with COVID for the rest of our lives, we're probably also going to be stuck wondering which is the most effective vaccine to protect against it.

    Well lucky we've got science to help sort it out, with a new study putting the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines head-to-head across hundreds of thousands of people.

    And other scientists have been busy working out how much protection you have against reinfection, if you are infected in the first place.

    Also on today's show:

    * Quick Fire Friday

    * Tegan interrupts Quick Fire Friday with her own - excellent - Quick Fire Question.

    • 9 min
    Can Omicron evade our vaccines?

    Can Omicron evade our vaccines?

    As the days tick by since Omicron was discovered, it's slowly spreading around the world.

    One example is reports of a couple of Israeli doctors who likely picked up Omicron in the United Kingdom, before flying back home.

    Their symptoms are said to be mild at the moment, but more worryingly, both of the doctors were fully vaccinated with Pfizer - that's all three doses.

    So what do we know about how Omicron works with our current vaccines?

    Also on today's show:

    * If we have been vaccinated to recognise the spike protein, why are variants so concerning? Is it the spike that changes?

    • 10 min
    Do we really know yet if Omicron is "milder"?

    Do we really know yet if Omicron is "milder"?

    Nearly two years into the global coronavirus pandemic, it's probably safe to say that we're all pretty much ready for it to be done.

    So no wonder we're hoping that very early reports from South Africa are possibly, just maybe, indicating that the Omicron variant is "milder" than variants before.

    But how much evidence is there for that yet? Is it true, or just wishful thinking?

    Also on today's show:

    * Is it possible that the emergence of this variant is actually an encouraging development for the COVID pandemic?

    * No big changes yet for Australia's international borders

    * The Omicron variant mutation that might end up helping us (a bit)

    * In previous episodes you have mentioned that variants can "out compete" other variants. What exactly does this mean and what is the mechanism behind it?

    * An update to the Dr Norman Swan Omicronometer of Panic

    • 10 min
    The three theories of Omicron's origin

    The three theories of Omicron's origin

    As the world desperately awaits news from scientists on anything Omicron, some experts have started thinking about where the variant might have come from.

    One theory is that it's from someone severely immunocompromised, where the virus has had millions of opportunities to evolve against a poor immune response.

    But it's far from the only theory.

    So on today's Coronacast, a few other possibilities of where - and when - Omicron might have popped into existence.

    Also on today's show:

    * The evolutionary lineage of Omicron

    * How should Australia be preparing?

    * The Dr Norman Swan Omicronometer of Panic is born

    • 11 min
    Hello Omicron. Goodbye Delta?

    Hello Omicron. Goodbye Delta?

    It's the news we didn't want: There's a new variant of concern in town and it's got all sorts of mutations just where you don't want them.

    It's also got a new fancy name: Omicron, and it's reportedly outpacing Delta in countries in southern Africa.

    But is it really? Is it more infectious? Is it more virulent? Is it vaccine resistant, and if so by how much? How much do we really know at the moment? Should I panic?

    Also on today's show:

    * What if the Omicron variant is the sort epidemiologists expected to see earlier in the pandemic: highly transmissible and less virulent?

    • 13 min
    How does COVID rank against other pandemics?

    How does COVID rank against other pandemics?

    As pandemics go, the coronavirus one is pretty big. It rapidly spread around the world, and is still causing problems.

    But how does it compare to past pandemics? Are we actually living in a fortunate time in human history?

    If we could magically replace COVID with a bug from the past, would it be a good or bad idea? Would you prefer the plague? Syphilis? Perhaps a flu pandemic might tickle your fancy.

    Well to help you decide, on today's Coronacast, we go through the pandemics in history.

    Also on today's show:

    * Rapid antigen tests work well against Delta

    * Quick Fire Friday!

    • 11 min

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

Huonmac ,

Thankyou Coronacast!

Coronacast is great source of relevant and accurate info - demistifying Covid19 for the average punter.

Still interested to know if vaccines will be made available to Aussies abroad, via embassies. Thereby further strengthening our borders against this virus for when we are eventually able to affordable return to see our families.

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