Australia is set to stop manufacturing the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine because fears over side effects mean the jab is “not going to be utilised” as much as others. Health officials have pinned the blame for these fears on “negative press”. The Mail Australia has the story.
The federal Government in November last year contracted Australia biomedical firm CSL to produce 50 million doses of the vaccine at its manufacturing hub in Melbourne.
At the time worldwide vaccine development for the coronavirus was in its fledgling stages and policymakers prioritised domestic production as a necessity during the crisis.
But just one month after its launch in March 2021, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) pulled the pin on younger Australians receiving the dose due to the extremely rare risk of fatal blood clots – about one in 1.6 million. …
ATAGI flip-flopped on their health advice recommending the AstraZeneca jab only to over-50s, before ratcheting up the warning to over 60s – with the age bracket less susceptible to developing blood clots.
Then as the Delta outbreak started ravaging NSW and Victorian in the winter months the medical body suggested it should be considered for over-18s living in a hot spot area.
But by that stage the reputation of the safe and effective vaccine was tarnished and many Australians decided to wait for Pfizer and Moderna supplies to filter into the country from abroad.
“Obviously we don’t want to manufacture something that is not going to be utalised and we will have a number of other options moving into the future,” Associate Professor Paul Griffin from the University of Queensland told 9News.
“It obviously has received a lot of negative press although it’s a vaccine that has proven highly effective and very safe.”
Some of that ‘bad press’ came from a very unlucky source back in June with Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young adding to the disinformation and later being accused of “fear mongering”.
“I don’t want an 18 year-old in Queensland dying from a clotting illness who, if they got Covid, probably wouldn’t die,” she said after the Prime Minister urged younger people to consider taking the AstraZeneca jab.
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