Australia on Thursday joined a rising variety of international locations halting using the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for youthful folks over fears it could possibly trigger severe blood clots.
In an extra setback for Australia’s already halting coronavirus vaccine rollout, officers mentioned the AstraZeneca shot ought to not be given to folks below the age of 50, until that they had already acquired a primary dose with none sick results.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a night press convention to announce the choice shortly after the federal government’s medical advisory board determined to observe European and different international locations in limiting using AstraZeneca.
“It has not been our follow to leap at shadows, it has not been our follow to take pointless precautions,” he mentioned in explaining the step.
“We have been taking the required precautions primarily based on the very best medical recommendation.”
Australia has been one of many world’s most profitable international locations in containing the unfold of Covid-19, with fewer than 30,000 circumstances and 1,000 deaths for a inhabitants of 25 million and nearly no ongoing group transmission.
However it has fallen far behind the federal government’s personal schedule for vaccinating folks towards the illness, with simply one million doses administered by Thursday when it had pledged to provide 4 million doses by final week.
Australia had counted on utilizing AstraZeneca to inoculate most of its inhabitants, first utilizing doses imported from Europe after which regionally manufactured vaccines.
However vaccine shortages in Europe led to delays in AstraZeneca shipments, whereas deliberate deliveries of different vaccines like Pfizer/BioNTech and Novavax haven’t but ramped up.
A number of European international locations have already suspended using AstraZeneca’s vaccine for youthful populations after it was earlier banned outright in a number of locations over blood clot scares.
The EU’s medicines regulator mentioned Wednesday that the blood clots needs to be listed as a uncommon aspect impact of the shot, however that the advantages of inoculation proceed to outweigh the dangers.
Australian officers justified the cutoff age of 50 for giving the vaccine by saying youthful folks had been much less prone to struggling extreme problems from Covid-19.
However they pressured that older Australians ought to proceed to belief the AstraZeneca pictures.
“I wish to reiterate that we’re strongly encouraging these 50 and over to take up the AstraZeneca vaccine — it’s a extremely efficient vaccine at stopping extreme Covid,” mentioned Brendan Murphy, head of the federal government’s well being division.
He added that the hazard from blood clots related to the vaccine was “terribly low”.
There has to this point been just one case of blood clotting in a affected person who acquired the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia.
Morrison and Murphy mentioned they had been assured there can be sufficient doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Novavax vaccines to finish the inoculation of Australian adults.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)