The deployment of the Australian vaccine will be further delayed after local regulators have advised to limit the use of AstraZeneca Shot, Australia’s leading vaccine.
On Thursday, the government said it is now recommending that people under the age of 50 get a Pfizer jab over AstraZeneca.
After European drug regulators discover a rare vaccine-related risk of blood clots, it is subject to the restrictions of other countries.
This move could delay the goal of immunizing all Australians this year.
The country is already running about 85% behind schedule -So far, about 1 million out of about 26 million people have been vaccinated.
However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia could tolerate delays as there were few Covid-19 community infections.
On Friday, he announced that Australia had doubled Pfizer’s contract to 40 million.
However, Australia has received only about one million Pfizer shots so far, and the rest will arrive “by the end of the year,” the government said.
Australia has also signed a contract for 51 million Novovax vaccines, but has not yet received regulatory approval.
Morrison said the risks were extremely rare and urged people over the age of 50 to continue the vaccine.
“If the outbreak reoccurs … If you don’t vaccinate, you’re exposing yourself to the more likely events of a Covid contract that could lead to serious illness. You endanger yourself, “he said.
Critics of Australia’s development have accused the government of “putting all eggs in one basket” with AstraZeneca.
Frustration overturns the timeline for potential border reopenings, international travel, and economic recovery.
What are AstraZeneca’s concerns?
Early studies suggest that blood clots can occur in about 4 to 6 out of 1 million people, according to Australian regulators.
They then changed their advice under the age of 50 The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said Wednesday it found a rare case of a blood clot. Among some adult vaccinated people. The EMA said profits outweigh risks.
In the UK, the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunization (JCVI), a group of experts who advise on how to use vaccines, recommends providing another vaccine to healthy people under the age of 30.
AstraZeneca said it respects the decisions made by Australian regulators. Tens of millions of people around the world are taking the dose, and the risk of blood clots is considered a rare side effect.
“Note that the current situation in Australia, where there is very little or no community infection of Covid-19, was a factor in this updated recommendation,” he said.
Australia reports one case of blood coagulation with approximately 420,000 doses of AstraZeneca.
How are rollouts affected?
Australia launched its vaccination program in February later than many countries due to its low infection rate.
It is in the second phase of a five-step deployment, where doses are provided to the more vulnerable sections of the population.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said those who received the first dose without side effects could “safely receive a second dose” and those over the age of 70 would continue to be shot.
However, there are about 12 million Australians between the ages of 16 and 49, raising concerns that Australia may not be adequately vaccinated in the short term.
The government had previously promised that all Australians would be vaccinated by October. No correction goals have been set.
Why is Australia in this situation?
Australia relied on AstraZeneca’s contract of 54 million doses and its ability to deliver 50 million doses locally to cover most of the vaccine needs.
Labor opposition accuses the government of not making more emergency response plans.
Workers wondered why Australia was unable to secure a supply of the Modana, Johnson and Johnson vaccines used in Europe and North America.
Critics have also accused the government of lack of transparency in vaccine supply.
Earlier this week, Morrison accused the European Union of delaying deployment by blocking shipments of AstraZeneca to Australia, which was rejected by the EU.