The introduction of vaccines in Australia has been slow and chaotic, with leaders and health advisers sending mixed messages.
The country’s top medical association recommends that people follow guidelines from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization when deciding which Covid vaccine to take. ATAGI advises the Minister of Health in Australia on vaccination issues.
“We recommend following expert advice, but at the end of the day people can make their own decisions as these are all safe and effective vaccines,” said Omar Khorshid, president of the Australian Medical Association, on CNBC’s Thursday.Squawk Box Asia. “
While Australia has been comparatively successful at keeping infections under control, it is faced some constraints on vaccine supply. Currently, only the Pfizer BioNTech and Oxford AstraZeneca syringes are approved for use, and both require two doses for complete immunization.
Mixed news from the Australian government and ATAGI has created confusion – and hesitation – about the vaccines available and their safety.
ATAGI says people between the ages of 16 and 59 should preferably get Pfizer shots, while the government says those people can choose AstraZeneca after consulting their doctors.
Pfizer shots are in short supply in the country and Reports say the majority of the cans could not arrive until the third quarter.
The Recommendation of the advisory group came after Data showed higher risks and observed severity of an extremely rare bleeding disorder – known as thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome – associated with the use of AstraZeneca vaccines observed in Australian adults aged 50 and over.
June 2021, people line up in front of a vaccination center in Sydney as residents have largely been banned from leaving the city in order to stop a growing outbreak of the highly contagious Delta-Covid-19 variant in other regions.
SAEED KHAN | AFP | Getty Images
For those 60 years old and older, the group said the benefits of taking the AstraZeneca dose outweigh the risks of blood clots forming.
On Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said people under the age of 60 can get the AstraZeneca vaccine if they wish, provided they discuss it with their doctors. The country will introduce a new “no fault liability insurance” for general practitioners who administer Covid-19 vaccines, he added.
“The ATAGI Council says that AstraZeneca is preferred and preferred for people over 60. However, the council does not rule out anyone under the age of 60 receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, ”said Morrison. according to an official transcript of his press conference.
“So if you want to get the AstraZeneca vaccine we would encourage you to … go and have this conversation with your GP,” he said.
Khorshid of the Australian Medical Association said the vaccine rollout is progressing relatively well, despite the mixed messages and political tactics. He said about two-thirds of Australia’s most vulnerable population have already received at least one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and are due to receive their second dose.
Still, Statistics from “Our World in Data” showed Slightly over 23% of the population have received at least one dose of vaccine and only about 6% are fully vaccinated.
An aerial view of Sixty Martin Place, Sydney, Australia.
Mark Syke | View pictures | Universal picture group | Getty Images
The authorities are also crawling around contain breakout niches in Australia as the country seeks to contain the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus delta variant, first discovered in India.
Reports said seven cities with around 12 million inhabitants are now closed, including Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
Khorshid told CNBC that the medical association wants the national cabinet to be strengthened on broader issues such as agreements on border closings and hotel quarantine regulations.