Australian Covid vaccine rollout in disarray as AstraZeneca doses given blood clot warning for under …

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Sumary of Australian Covid vaccine rollout in disarray as AstraZeneca doses given blood clot warning for under-50s:

  • Australia vaccine rollout has suffered a major shock, with an advisory slapped on the AstraZeneca vaccine warning people under 50 it may cause extremely rare but potentially deadly blood clots..
  • On Thursday evening, the Australian government announced it had accepted expert advice that Pfizer should now be the preferred vaccine for under 50s, who will be warned AstraZeneca should only be taken if it is clear the benefits outweigh the risks..
  • The chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, stressed the incidence of blood clots was extremely rare, at four to six cases per million vaccine recipients, but the complication can cause a death rate of up to 25% when it occurs..
  • Australia vaccine rollout, which has just reached the 1m mark, has so far administered 400,000 AstraZeneca doses, with just one instance of the blood clot issue, which has shown up in Britain and the European Union, where the rollout is further advanced..
  • The advisory will place great strain on Australia vaccination timeline, as 50m doses of AstraZeneca to be produced at CSL facility in Melbourne are the centrepiece of Australia supply..
  • The prime minister, Scott Morrison, told reporters in Canberra the Australian government had taken “necessary precautions”.
  • what impact the development would have on the timetable of the rollout, which has already missed its target of 4m by April and the promise Australians would be fully vaccinated by October..
  • “Our purpose here tonight is to reassure Australians – to reassure them that we’ve been very clear about what the very low level of risk is here,”.
  • The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (Atagi) has recommended Pfizer for under 50s in recognition of the fact the blood clot syndrome is more common in that age group, and for those over 50 the potential effects of Covid-19 are far worse..
  • Atagi full advice recognised the safety concern “likely impact on confidence in being vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccine in all age groups”.
  • “Until the government can increase supply of Covid-19 vaccines other than AstraZeneca, overall coverage under Australia Covid-19 vaccine program will likely be reduced,”.
  • Kelly said that people who had had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without any serious adverse events could safely be given their second dose..
  • and “can’t be predicted”, but GPs would be given updated advice to help warn patients about potential symptoms..
  • The Atagi advice is based on the current epidemiology and incidence of Covid-19 in Australia, where there is no community transmission and only cases in hotel quarantine..
  • The Australian government will now revamp the vaccine rollout to skew more of the supply of Pfizer to under 50s in category 1B, such as those with underlying medical conditions..
  • Murphy said this would be easier as aged care vaccinations finish and more Pfizer vaccines are freed up for that group…

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