Peter “Captain Covid” Helliar asks burning Covid question
Comedian and Project co-host Peter Heliar used an interview with Covid expert Dr Norman Swan to ask for some health advice for himself, a month after battling COVID-19.
The 46-year-old suddenly disappeared from the show in early November, revealing shortly after via social media that he had been diagnosed with Covid. Having received both Covid jabs, the comic described his symptoms as no worse than a “mild cold”.
On Thursday night’s episode, he took the opportunity to ask Dr Swan what people who had been infected, like himself, should do about getting dose three of the vaccine as the Omicron variant makes its way through the community.
As some states continue to drop restrictions for the unvaccinated, other states are bringing rules back as Omicron continues to spread. Dr @normanswan tells us more.#TheProjectTV pic.twitter.com/vU0HGIAaiA
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“There’s been a lot of different advice for people who’ve had Covid - including myself, Captain Covid - when is the right time?” he asked.
“The good news for people who’ve had the infection is it’s the equivalent of having a third dose of the vaccine,” said Dr Swan. “So, Pete, you might be OK, at least for the time being.”
“I was double-vaxxed when I got Covid,” Heliar told him.
“So you’ve effectively had a third dose, and there’s probably not a breakneck rush. But you’re not going to come to any harm if you have a fourth one, just to be sure,” he advised.
Dr Swan also shared some worrying advice for anyone who received doses of AstraZeneca.
“Astra, after about 14 or 15 weeks, has zero protection against symptomatic disease,” he said, referring to data which had been released from Britain.
“It’s probably got some protection against hospitalisation, but zero protection against symptomatic disease. That’s why the British went for three months (for boosters), and it’s why we should too.”
Panellist Jan Fran, who was one of many young Australians to get the AstraZeneca jab, was particularly concerned, and asked how she and others like her could protect themselves against the Omicron variant.
“Hearing you say that does not fill me with a lot of confidence,” she said.
“What advice do you have for people like me who might be worried they have no protection at all?”
Dr Swan reiterated that the AstraZeneca vaccine did protect people against hospitalisation - “but what you’ve got to do, as soon as you’re eligible, is get a booster. Whatever’s available, Pfizer or Moderna. And in the meantime, I’d be wearing a mask and taking a bit of care.”
His appearance on the show comes as the country records exponentially growing Covid case numbers, with NSW recording 2213 new cases on Friday.
Image: The Project (Twitter)