Australia on Thursday joined a growing number of countries preventing the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for young people, fearing it could lead to severe blood clots.
In another setback to Australia’s already ongoing coronavirus vaccine rollout, officials said the AstraZeneca shot should no longer be given to people under 50, unless they have already had their first dose without effect. Have not been found
Prime Minister Scott Morrison held an evening press conference to announce the decision soon after the government’s medical advisory board decided to follow European and other countries in limiting the use of AstraZeneca.
“It is not our practice to jump into the shadows, it is not our practice to take unnecessary precautions,” he said in explaining the move.
“We are taking the necessary precautions based on the best possible medical advice.”
Australia is one of the most successful countries in the world, with a prevalence of Kovid-19, with less than 30,000 cases and 1,000 deaths due to a population of 25 million and virtually no ongoing community broadcasting.
But it has fallen far behind the government’s own program to vaccinate people against the disease, with one million doses administered on Thursday when it promised to deliver four million doses by last week.
Australia counted most of its population to use AstraZeneca, first using supplements imported from Europe and then locally manufactured vaccines.
But AstraZeneca shipments were delayed due to a vaccine shortage in Europe, while planned deliveries of alternative vaccines such as Pfizer / BioNTech and Novavax have not yet taken place.
Many European countries have already suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccines for the younger population as it was previously uniformly prohibited in many places on blood clot stains.
The European Union’s drug regulator said on Wednesday that blood clots should be listed as a rare side effect of the shot, but the benefits of inoculation continue to outweigh the risks.
The Australian authorities reduced the vaccine’s age to 50, saying people younger than Kovid-19 were suffering from serious complications.
But he insisted that older Australians should continue to rely on AstraZeneca shots.
Brendan Murphy, the head of the government’s health department, said, “I want to reiterate that we are encouraging those over 50 and encouraging them to take the AstraZeneca vaccine.
He said the risk from blood clots associated with the vaccine was “exceptionally low”.
So far, there is only one case of blood clotting in a patient receiving an AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia.
Morrison and Murphy said they were confident that there would be sufficient doses of Pfizer / BioNotech and Novavex vaccines to complete the vaccination for Australian adults.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)