Australia lifts minimum age on AstraZeneca vaccine recommendations

Australia lifts minimum age on AstraZeneca vaccine recommendations

Australians aged under 60 are now being advised to receive the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 rather than AstraZeneca following changes to advice from the country's immunisation body.

The Australian Government is now recommending a minimum age of 60 to get the AstraZeneca shot, and to adapt to the new settings will be making Pfizer available to the 50-59 age bracket.

The latest advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is in response to analysis of case rates and demographics for a rare blood clot condition that to date has led to the deaths of two people out of more than three million people who were given the jab.

"This remains a very rare but sometimes serious event. We're picking it up much more commonly than other countries because we're looking more fully," says Chief Medical Officer Dr Paul Kelly.

"We've got good diagnostic algorithms and very good treatment, modalities and understanding in the clinical community about the correct treatment, which has been given properly. 

"Our results really reflect that, so we've got 55 per cent of those 60 cases now have left hospital already - some remain in hospital and some are in ICU. We've had, unfortunately and very tragically, two deaths in that group."

However, Dr Kelly noted most people with the condition had been diagnosed early, and a large proportion have had a less severe form of the severe syndrome.

Secretary of the Department of Health Professor Brendan Murphy said he hoped the changes would mean more Australians will come forward to receive the jab.

"There are a number of people in the 50 to 59 year old age group who have been very hesitant and were probably not going to turn up for AstraZeneca, no matter how much we reassured them," Murphy said.

"This now gives some of those 2.1 million people an opportunity to get vaccinated earlier."

Updated at 1:40pm AEST on 17 June 2021.

Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support

Four ways businesses can use artificial intelligence to triumph in 2022
Partner Content
The last two years have delivered major disruption to the technology industry and broad...
PROS
Advertisement

Related Stories

Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave?

Will Australia follow Europe into a fourth COVID wave?

Europe is facing a fourth wave of COVID. As we watch on, it is reas...

International students, skilled workers welcome next month, travel bubble extends to Japan and Korea

International students, skilled workers welcome next month, travel bubble extends to Japan and Korea

Fully vaccinated students, skilled workers, working holiday makers,...

Victoria to lift venue and visitor caps tonight with 90 per cent full vaccination milestone in sight

Victoria to lift venue and visitor caps tonight with 90 per cent full vaccination milestone in sight

“Whether it’s 100,000 people at the MCG on Boxing Day, ...

SA to reopen borders on 23 November, unveils new rules for the fully vaccinated

SA to reopen borders on 23 November, unveils new rules for the fully vaccinated

Premier Steven Marshall has announced today that fully vaccinated S...