Canberra, Australia (AP) — Australia, many of the countries that stopped the COVID-19 epidemic on Tuesday, are offering AstraZeneca to all adults to rapidly increase slumping vaccination rates.
The government agreed late Monday to compensate doctors for the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been blamed for at least two deaths from a rare thrombotic complication in Australia since April.
This outweighs the single death from COVID-19 in Australia this year, increasing vaccine hesitation and completely inoculating only 5% of the population.
Pfizer is the recommended vaccine for people under the age of 60 since a 52-year-old woman died of a blood clot in her brain due to AstraZeneca in May.
However, the supply of Pfizer, the only alternative to AstraZeneca manufactured in Australia, cannot keep up with demand.
“Pfizer has a taste up to the age of 60, which I like,” said Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly on Tuesday.
“This is where doctors talk to their patients and deal with their risks and benefits in that regard,” Kelly added.
Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, and the surrounding cities will be blocked for three days from the end of Tuesday after the government reports two new COVID-19 infections.
Sydney reported 19 new infections in its east coast city, Perth reported two new cases on the west coast, and Darwin reported two new cases on the north coast. These three cities and their surroundings are already closed.
Australia has been relatively successful in containing clusters throughout the pandemic, recording less than 31,000 cases and 910 deaths in a population of 26 million. However, new clusters of variants that are believed to be more contagious have highlighted the country’s vulnerabilities due to slow vaccine deployment.
AstraZeneca should have been at the center of Australia’s immunization deployment, freed from the uncertainty of the international supply chain. Recommended for all adults until a 48-year-old woman died of a blood clot in April, four days after the first jab. Later, AstraZeneca was said to be a safe option for adults over the age of 50 until the death of 52.
Some epidemiologists argue that the government needs to speed up deployment by reducing the gap between AstraZeneca jabs from 12 to 8 weeks. However, some Australians are currently refusing to take a second shot due to evolving awareness of the risk of blood clotting.
The Government of New South Wales has highlighted the apparent success of the vaccine in the current Sydney cluster.
Twenty-four people who attended the June 19th birthday party were infected with the Delta variant. No one was vaccinated. However, health care workers who received six complete vaccinations and an elderly care worker who received the first of the two vaccinations attended the house party and were not infected.
“The early strong sign from the party is that if you’re vaccinated, you’re much more likely not to be infected with COVID-19,” Health Minister Brad Hazard said on Monday. ..
Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said he was one of four government colleagues who had been infected by eating together at a pizza restaurant in Sydney on June 21st. The infected person was previously in a restaurant.
Marshall revealed that he was the only one of the four who did not get the vaccine because he was not qualified at the age of 36.