Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an emergency press conference calling on Australians under the age of 50 not to be vaccinated against AstraZeneca.
Instead, the Prime Minister recommended choosing an alternative Pfizer vaccine, but it was clear that people over the age of 50 would receive AstraZeneca jabs.
“Today the advice here is not to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. It is not prohibited to use the AstraZeneca vaccine for people under the age of 50,” Morrison said. Said..
“Therefore, this is not a directive. This is not a directive. This is the advice provided to the Australians responsible for the administration of these vaccines and the wider medical community.”
The PM announcement follows the case of a 44-year-old man hospitalized for severe thrombosis after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine around March 22 at Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
The male case fits the description of “vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia,” doctor Norman Swan told ABC.
His case prompted an investigation by the Therapeutic Goods Agency (TGA) to see if there was a causal link between the vaccine and blood clotting. This is an issue that Australian health authorities are investigating in accordance with warnings from European health agencies.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said blood clots are a “very rare event,” but acknowledged that they can occur within 4-10 days of vaccination.
“It’s serious and can cause up to 25 percent mortality if it happens,” he added.
The Prime Minister’s urgent announcement was based on a recommendation from the Australian Immunization Technology Advisory Group (ATAGI).
ATAGI made four recommendations.
First, Pfizer is the preferred vaccine over AstraZeneca for adults under the age of 50.
Second, vaccination providers should only give the first dose of AstraZeneca to adults under the age of 50. In this case, the benefits clearly outweigh the “risks to the individual’s situation”.
Third, those who receive the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine without “serious adverse events” can safely receive the second dose.
Finally, the Ministry of Health will further develop resources for patients to provide informed consent to the risks and benefits of AstraZeneca jab.
Former Australian Chief Medical Officer Professor Blendon Murphy said all vaccines are adversely affected, including the Pfizer vaccine, which is at risk for anaphylaxis.
“But this syndrome looks like a real syndrome as a result of all the work done in the UK and Europe. With great care, this syndrome seems to occur mainly in young people, I now feel. People who are not at very high risk of severe COVID, “Murphy said.
Murphy added that in Phase 1b trials, people over the age of 70 would need to continue the AstraZeneca vaccine at their GP clinics.
“The important thing is that all vulnerable people (those vulnerable to serious COVID) will be covered by the middle of the year, as we planned.”
When asked why older people are still advised to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, Kelly said: There are few cases of this very rare event that happened somewhere in the world. “
“Therefore, the 50 cutoffs are based on what we’ve seen at these events so far. It’s more common in younger people and less common in older people. Older people are at higher risk of COVID. We know that, “he added.
Morrison added that it is important to vaccinate the elderly, as the majority of the 900 COVID-19-related deaths in Australia are “mainly due to older Australians”. ..
Murphy confirmed that Melbourne-based CSL continues to manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine and with Novabax, one of three companies that the federal government has signed a contract to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. Investigate the feasibility of onshore manufacturing.
Morrison said there are many “uncertainties” and many “variables”.
“The whole world has gone through the process of defining vaccines available to their population, as they try to contract, relying on expert medical advice, and Australia is some very healthy in that regard. I made a big decision, “he said.
State and federal health ministers will discuss the initial implications of overall deployment at tomorrow’s national cabinet meeting.
As of April 8, the total dose of COVID-19 vaccine reached 996,145. This includes over 361,000 primary care and 125,260 elderly care.