Health Department Secretary explains why AstraZeneca jab is still recommended for over 50s
Over 50s who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are expressing concern about receiving the AstraZeneca jab after the federal government advised those aged under 50 to avoid it.
Federal Health Department Secretary Dr Brendan Murphy says it’s “a very, very good and effective vaccine” and those aged 50 or older shouldn’t hesitate to get it.
“I’ve had it,” he told Stephen Quartermain and Emily Power, filling in for Ross and Russel.
“For those over 50, they should have no hesitation about it.”
Dr Murphy said international data indicates a rare blood clotting condition, which has been linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine, affects young people far more often than older people.
He says that’s what’s driven experts to “reluctantly recommend” under 50s avoid the AstraZeneca jab.
“We don’t really know why but it does seem that this condition is much more common in younger people and it’s probably that it’s caused by some sort of immune reaction,” he said.
“The other reason why we’re strongly recommending it in the over 50s is not only is this condition significantly less common, but the risk of COVID is so much greater … than the rare risk of this condition.
“The risk benefit is very much in favour of getting the vaccine.”
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Image: Mark Evans / Getty