Sumary of Morrison has finally embraced ‘informed consent’ for AstraZeneca, what took him so long to take Atagi’s advice? | Paul Karp:
- For weeks, Scott Morrison has been huffing and puffing that he couldn’t defy medical advice about the safety of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine.
- Despite that black and white view, the prime minister has finally found there’s more nuance to the question – and it was there in the medical advice all along.
- On 8 April, the Australian government radically overhauled the Covid-19 vaccination program after advice from its immunisation experts warning people under 50 that AstraZeneca could cause rare blood clots.
- The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation’s advice was most commonly summarised as a simple warning: that people under 50 should not take AstraZeneca.
- When Morrison was still in blame-shifting mode, he suggested Atagi’s advice was based on an “assumption that the cases in Australia would remain low”.
- Although Atagi’s balance of the risk and benefit of AstraZeneca was made at a time of low cases – the original advice explicitly warned low cases might not continue for ever.
- In April, the government suggested that people under 50 would need to speak to their GPs before taking AstraZeneca.
- On Thursday, the Morrison government expanded access to AstraZeneca at pharmacies – prompting one journalist to question whether this was in contradiction of Atagi advice.