Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson*
Summers J, Baker M, Wilson N. The Omicron waves – Comparing Aotearoa NZ and Australia in four key graphs. Public Health Expert Blog. 12 April 2022. https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexpert/the-omicron-waves-comparing-aotearoa-nz-and-australia-in-four-key-graphs/
In this blog we explore the first Covid-19 Omicron variant waves in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ). We find that Australia’s first Omicron wave resulted in higher hospitalisation and ICU occupancy compared to NZ. However, when examining the Auckland region compared with the rest of NZ, Auckland’s experience of the first Omicron wave is more severe, with a higher hospitalisation rate. We recommend that the NZ Government does more to prepare for a possible second Omicron wave (as in Australia) and for future variants of concern. Priority areas are increasing vaccination coverage and improving mask use and indoor ventilation.