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Sunday, October 24, 2021

So… what is the latest advice on AstraZeneca?

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With much speculation in the media and in the general public, following is an update on who should receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

  • Pfizer is recommended for people aged 16 to 60
  • AstraZeneca is recommended for people aged over 60
  • Age ranges are based on relative risk between getting the AstraZeneca vaccine and developing blood clots known as thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS)
  • Official expert medical advice does not stop someone under 60 from getting the AstraZeneca jab if they want it
  • GPs can provide AstraZeneca to adults under 60 if Pfizer is not available, the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that person, and they make an informed choice
  • Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who has had Pfizer, says no one under 60 should get AstraZeneca
  • West Australian premier Mark McGowan says people under 40 should not get AstraZeneca
  • NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, who has had two doses of AstraZeneca, says people should decide based on advice from their GP
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison says people should follow their GP’s advice
  • The Morrison Government has provided GPs with a no-fault indemnity scheme and offered people Medicare cover for vaccine consultations
  • Thousands of people under 60 have followed the PM’s advice and booked in for AstraZeneca jabs with their GP

What is the risk for under 60s?

  • For 18-29s, the risk of a TTS blood clot is 1.9 per 100,000 AstraZeneca jabs
  • For 30-39s, it is 1.6/100,000
  • For 40-49s, it is 5/100,000
  • For 50-59s it is 2.7/100,000

What are the side-effects of covid-19 vaccination?

  • Common side effects of vaccination include fatigue, headache, body aches and fever
  • Severity of illness due to TTS (which has affected 64 Australians so far) ranges from mild blood clotting to fatal cases
  • Half of TTS cases in Australia have been discharged from hospital
  • One in four have been more serious and required treatment in intensive care, and two people have died
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