Australians under 50 shouldn’t get the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine Scott Morrison said

Australians under 50 SHOULDN’T get the AstraZeneca vaccine: Scott Morrison announces new advice for younger Aussies amid blood clotting risks – but insists jab is ‘highly-effective’ for older people

  • Australia has advised citizens aged under 50 not to get AstraZeneca vaccine
  • Came after a link was confirmed between the Covid-19 jab and rare blood clots
  • But the government insists those aged over 50 are still safe to get that vaccine

Australia has advised its citizens under 50 against getting the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after a link was confirmed between the jab and rare blood clots.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement on Thursday night after the nation’s immunisation regulators held urgent meetings to consider the findings of a review of the vaccine by European authorities.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation provided a number of recommendations to the government.

Chief among them is that the Pfizer vaccine should now be adopted as the preferred vaccine for people aged under 50.

The recommendations are made under an ‘abundance of caution’ of the rare but serious side effects mostly associated with younger people, Mr Morrison said.

But the government insists citizens aged over 50 are still safe to get the AstraZeneca jab, saying it is ‘highly-effective’ in that age group.

‘The ATAGI recommendations are the following: At the current time, the use of the Pfizer vaccine is preferred over the AstraZeneca vaccine in adults aged less than 50 years who have not already received a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine,’ Australia’s chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly said.

Australia has advised citizens aged under 50 against receiving the AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

‘This is based both on the increased risk of complications from Covid-19 with increasing age, and thus increased benefit of the vaccination, and the potentially lower, but not zero risk, of this rare event with increasing age.

‘The second recommendation is that immunisation providers should only give a first dose of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to adults under 50 years of age where benefit clearly outweighs the risk for that individual’s circumstances.

‘The third recommendation is people that have had their first dose of the Covid-19 AstraZeneca without any serious adverse events can safely be given their second dose.

‘This includes adults under the age of 50, and people who have had blood clots associated with low platelet levels after their first dose of Covid-19 AstraZeneca should not be given the second dose.’

Mr Morrison encouraged Australians to seek out medical advice before receiving their Covid-19 vaccine.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) said Australians should seek out medical advice between receiving the Covid-19 vaccine

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) said Australians should seek out medical advice between receiving the Covid-19 vaccine

‘We will encourage Australians to seek out the advice of their own doctor in relation to these issues. Australians make choices about their own health and the best people to advise them on those decisions is their own GP, and we would encourage them to do just that,’ he said.

‘This is not a directive. This is not an instruction. This is advice that is being provided to Australians and the broader medical community, who are responsible for administering these vaccines.’

Department of Health Secretary Dr Brendan Murphy acknowledged all vaccines came with adverse effects.

‘This is a very, very rare event, and it is a highly precautionary position that Australia can take because we’re in a fortunate position with Covid. All vaccines have adverse effects. Some serious. Flu vaccines do,’ Dr Murphy said.

‘The Pfizer vaccine has a risk of anaphylaxis, which we’ve seen.

‘But this syndrome, after all of the work we’ve done with the UK and Europe, does seem to be a real syndrome, and we now feel that, at an abundance of caution, given that this syndrome seems to occur mainly in younger people for whom the risk of severe COVID is not so great, that there is a basis to have a preferred recommendation for those under 50.’

European authorities identified the link between the vaccine and blood clots, prompting the United Kingdom to offer people aged under 30 an alternative vaccine due to the risk.

Other countries are considering attaching warning labels.

The European Medicines Agency has not made a specific recommendation, but found women and people under 60 were at a higher risk of developing the rare side effect.

More to come

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