The Australian government has issued an advisory for people under the age of 50 wanting to have the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.
There are fears the jab can cause blood clots in a very small number of cases and that's resulted in Scott Morrison slapping a warning on it.
While Australian officials won't fully pause the rollout of the specific vaccine candidate, people under 50 will be told to opt for Pfizer instead.
Australia's Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly was joined by the Prime Minister in a press conference last night where he explained the direction Australia was taking for the vaccine rollout.
"The use of the Pfizer vaccine is preferred over the AstraZeneca vaccine in adults aged less than 50 years who have not already received a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine," Professor Kelly said.
"This is based both on the increased risk of complications from Covid-19 with increasing age, and thus increased benefit of the vaccination, and the potentially lower, but not zero risk, of this rare event with increasing age.
"Immunisation providers should only give a first dose of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to adults under 50 years of age where benefit clearly outweighs the risk for that individual's circumstances."
UK authorities have done the same and are touting other vaccines, but Aussie officials say if you have already received your first AstraZeneca jab without any adverse side effects then you should get your second.
Professor Kelly admitted the risk of blood clots was 'very rare', however they have announced the advisory to keep everyone informed with the most up to date information.
"It seems to be around four to six per million doses of vaccine usually within four to 10 days after that vaccine. But it is serious, and it can cause up to a 25 per cent death rate," he said.
People under the age of 50 are still permitted to get the AstraZeneca jab 'where benefit clearly outweighs the risk for that individual's circumstances'.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new advisory would mean the government's vaccine rollout target could be pushed out and Aussies might get vaccinated slower. But he said it's necessary to get this process right.
"With vaccines, this is what happens. This is not a new process. From time to time, if there are issues with vaccines that occur - and [Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation] consider matters on other medicines or vaccines - then this is the same process," he said.
"It won't stop the work that we're doing in rolling out the vaccination program right now with the doses that we have, particularly from Pfizer, but also rolling out from AstraZeneca, which are predominantly for older Australians above 50 in phases 1a and 1b."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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