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Australians face tighter restrictions and lockdown days as the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 sweeps parts of the country.
The news that it will be easier for some to get the AstraZeneca vaccine from a GP is a spark of good news in an otherwise bleak week.
Here’s what we know so far about the change to the vaccine rollout.
Who can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine?
AstraZeneca is the preferred vaccine for people over 60.
These are the health advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI).
However, last night Prime Minister Scott Morrison clarified that this does not prevent people under the age of 60 from getting AstraZeneca.
âIf you would like to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, we encourage you to discuss this with your GP,â Mr. Morrison said.
So anyone over the age of 18 who has been eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as part of the Commonwealth deployment has always been able to apply for AstraZeneca.
The key change announced on Monday evening was the introduction of a new no-fault compensation (protection) scheme for general practitioners.
Can anyone under 40 get AstraZeneca?
People under 40 who are not in a priority group are currently not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as part of the Commonwealth deployment.
However, federal health officials in charge of the deployment said Australians under 40 should be able to book an AstraZeneca vaccination within days.
The head of the COVID-19 vaccine task force, Lt. Gen. John Frewen, told Nine that they are now working to update the reservation system.
“We’re going to get on with it as quickly as possible, and I really think people should be able to start making arrangements, you know, in the days to come, and in the next couple of weeks I hope to see the effect of these new policies, âhe said.
What are the chances of getting a blood clot from AstraZeneca?
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been associated with an extremely rare and treatable blood clotting disorder called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).
TTS is more likely to occur with the first dose of AstraZeneca, but the rate of bleeding incidents is low.
For people under 50, there were 3.1 cases of coagulation per 100,000 first doses.
For 50-59 year olds, it is 2.1 in 100,000.
And for those 60 and over, it ranges from 1.4 to 1.9 per 100,000.
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