Australia raises AstraZeneca age threshold to 60
Australia has lifted the minimum age recommendation for the AstraZeneca vaccine from 50 to 60.
It comes after the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommended the vaccine only be given to people aged 60 and above.
The panel’s advice changed after 12 cases of the rare but serious blood clotting issue linked to the jab were detected in Australia in the past week. Seven of those cases were in the 50 to 59 age group.
Pfizer will immediately be made available to the 50 to 59 age bracket.
Another 2.8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are due to arrive in Australia this month.
Premier Mark McGowan has confirmed WA will honour current bookings of COVID-19 vaccines for 30 to 39-year-olds.
However new bookings will be paused to prioritize the Pfizer vaccine for people in the 50 to 59 cohort.
“For people aged 30 to 39 who have not yet made a booking, we encourage you to go to rollup.wa.gov.au and register your details so as soon as more Pfizer supply becomes available from the commonwealth, we will be able to get you booked in,” Mr McGowan said.
People who’ve already had their first dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine, are being strongly urged to have their second.
According to Australia’s Chief Health Officer there’s no evidence of adverse effects from the second dose, either here or in the UK.
Professor Paul Kelly stressed the AstraZeneca vaccine “remains a very effective vaccine”.
“People over 60 should still be rolling up to the GP or wherever they are getting their AstraZeneca vaccine, and get that first dose.”
Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, told Oliver Peterson people should still trust the Astra Zeneca vaccine
“I would very strongly encourage a focus on the medical advice,” he said. “Ultimately, vaccination is about protecting you, and protecting your family and protecting the community. The ultimate protection is the vaccination.
Hear Health Minister Greg Hunt on Perth LIVE below.
Press PLAY to watch the Premier’s press conference