We have been provided the following information from the Australian Department of Health:
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have reviewed their advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine. They have recommended that Pfizer is the preferred vaccine for people aged under 60 years.
This doesn’t change who is currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, but it means if you are under 60 it is preferred you get the Pfizer vaccine.
Why has the advice changed?
ATAGI have made this recommendation because of new evidence that shows the risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS (which is a rare blood clotting syndrome) in the 50 – 59 age group is higher than initially thought.
I’ve had my first dose of AstraZeneca, should I get Pfizer for my second dose?
No, this isn’t necessary. If you have had your first AstraZeneca vaccine dose without any serious side effects, you can receive your second dose as planned.
To ensure maximum long term immunity, it is important you receive two doses of the same COVID-19 vaccine.
I’ve had my first dose of AstraZeneca, and have side effects that I am worried about. What should I do?
If you have recently had your first vaccine dose and are experiencing any side effects that you are worried about, I can book an appointment for you to see your doctor.
I am 60 years or over, is the AstraZeneca vaccine still safe for me?
Yes, the AstraZeneca vaccine is still considered safe for you.
The risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS (which is a rare blood clotting syndrome), is much lower in people aged 60 years and over.
Additionally, if you are aged 60 and over you are much more likely to become seriously unwell if you catch COVID-19.
If you are over 60 and haven’t had your first dose yet, and have some hesitations, GPs are well placed to discuss the pros and cons, and provide you with some numerical data on the risks of having the vaccine/rates of clots in your age group vs the risk of not having the vaccine.
I’m booked in for my first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and I am under 60, what do I do?
If you are aged under 60 years, and you have an appointment to receive your first dose of
AstraZeneca, it is recommended you cancel this booking.
We have been working to cancel people who have booked in for their first dose of the AstraZeneca who are aged under 60. If you have your first dose booked and you are in this age group, it would be a great help for our team if you could cancel this online or via the HotDoc app.
If you are under 60 and you have had your first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without developing a clot, it is recommended that you have your second dose of the same vaccine. The risk of clotting with the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is significantly lower.