The Australian government’s initial vaccine rollout will change amid health concerns relating to vaccine AstraZeneca, Premier Steven Marshall and Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced today.
Administration of the approved AstraZeneca vaccine began in March for anybody over the age of 18, but now Marshall says that, using an “abundance of caution,” the government advises the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be used for Australians over the age of 50.
This announcement comes amid concerns about the AstraZeneca vaccine’s link to blood clots.
“The risk of these side effects is remote; They’re very rare,” Morrison says.
“They are 5 to 6 per million; It is a rather rare event.”
However now, the expert-recommended and government-preferred vaccine is the Pfizer vaccine. Australia currently has 24 million doses, with another 20 million guaranteed to the country, which are set to be secured in quarter four of this year, Scott Morrison says.
Due to these changes, Marshall says the initial vaccine rollout plan will change.
“We are working with the other states to adjust the overall vaccine rollout,” he says.
Marshall didn’t give specifics of the new timeline, and he emphasised the remaining importance of vaccinations.
“We need to pause and get more information,” he says about a new time estimate.
“It’s important that people get vaccinated.”