All adults in Sydney should ‘strongly consider’ AstraZeneca jab – and those in hotspots are urged to get second dose early, new vaccine advice says
- Advisory group ATAGI is urging all adults in Sydney to get the AstraZeneca jab
- It’s also pushing for those in hot spots to get their second dose quicker
Sydneysiders over the age of 18 have been told to ‘strongly consider’ getting the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine by Australia’s top immunisation advisory body.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) on Saturday night said it was changing its advice in response to Sydney’s surging cluster of coronavirus cases – which grew by another 163 infections overnight.
ATAGI said it was also advising Australians living in areas with coronavirus outbreaks to shorten the time between their first and second doses to four to eight weeks.
‘All individuals aged 18 years and above in Greater Sydney, including adults under 60 years of age, should strongly consider getting vaccinated with any available vaccine including COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca,’ the group said in a statement.
‘ATAGI reaffirms our previous advice that in a large outbreak, the benefits of the Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca are greater than the risk of rare side effects for all age groups.’
Sydneysiders aged 18 and above have now been recommended to get the AstraZeneca vaccine as cases continue to soar in the city
While the Pfizer vaccine is the preferred vaccine for Australians under 60, the advisory group says due to Sydney’s latest outbreak and the lack of Pfizer supplies, it was important that all adults ‘strongly consider’ getting the alternative jab.
‘The proportion of people less than 60 years requiring hospitalisation appears to be higher than was reported in outbreaks with the original SARS-CoV-2 strain,’ ATAGI said.
‘This reinforces the benefit of protection with any available vaccine.’
The Pfizer vaccine had been recommended for younger people due to the risk of the extremely rare but potentially fatal blood clotting disorder linked to the AstraZeneca shot.
More to come.