SYDNEY — The AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is reportedly no longer recommended for people aged under 60 after new Australian expert immunization panel advice.
The advice was reported on June 17, which raises the age from 50, the mark set in April after concerns about extremely rare but severe blood clots.
Health Minister Greg Hunt is believed to have received new recommendations from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation about the risks of the side effect.
Two people have died in Australia after developing the clotting condition, with both in their 50s.
As of last week, more than 3.6 million doses of AstraZeneca have been administered nationwide since the rollout kicked off in February.
Hunt is meeting with state and territory counterparts to discuss the new advice to discuss potential changes to the immunization program due to the recommendation.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on June 17 that she was aware the advisory group had been meeting over the past few days.
“Those experts have the best information,” she said.
The 50-year-old premier has had the AstraZeneca jab.
“What is important is for us to follow the health advice, and when I got my vaccine, the health advice was and still is that anyone over 50 should go to the GP and get the AstraZeneca.”
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization released a statement on June 17 recommending the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine for 16 to under 60 years.
“The recommendation is revised due to a higher risk and observed severity of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) related to the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine observed in Australia in the 50-59-year-old age group than reported internationally and initially estimated in Australia” the statement read.
“For those aged 60 years and above, the individual benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine are more significant than in younger people. The risks of severe outcomes with COVID-19 increase with age and are exceptionally high in older unvaccinated individuals.
The benefit of vaccination in preventing COVID-19 with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca outweighs the risk of TTS in this age group and underpins its ongoing use in this age group.
Without contraindications, people of any age who have had their first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca without any serious adverse events should receive a second dose of the same vaccine.
This is supported by data indicating a substantially lower rate of TTS following a second COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca dose in the United Kingdom (UK).”
(Edited by Gaurab Dasgupta and Ojaswin Kathuria.)
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