(Image: Private Media/Mitchell Squire)

Treating and managing COVID-19 will look very different in 2022 as Australia is likely to hit 80% vaccination rates for those over 16 in weeks. Instead of driving to a clinic to be tested, Australians may be able to test themselves at home after the Therapeutic Goods Administration approved rapid antigen tests last week. 

Managing symptoms will be easier too. Vaccines reduce the likelihood of developing severe illness and over-the-counter pills will soon be available now the government has secured 300,000 courses of molnupiravir, an antiviral capsule that helps prevent serious illness. (The drug manufacturer, Merck, is charging the US government 40 times what it costs to make the drug.)

But it’s not all sunshine, roses and limited sniffles: treatments are still limited, at-home testing kits have limitations, and vaccines are still our best bet.