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AstraZeneca vaccine update

The Australian Government has provided new advice in regards to the provision of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Australia to people under the age of 50 years, following a link to rare but serious blood clot concerns.

The advice follows recommendations from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) which include:

  1. Immunisation providers should only give a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under 50 years of age where benefit clearly outweighs the risk for that individual and they have provided informed consent.
  2. People who have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without any serious adverse events can safely be given the second dose, including adults under 50 years.
  3. It is strongly recommended all adults are vaccinated against COVID-19.

ATAGI and other Australian officials continue to consult with the World Health Organisation and regulatory agencies in the UK, Europe and other countries where use of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been widespread as further information is still emerging.

More information is available from the following resources:

The Northern Territory Government is working closely with the Australian Government to better understand any impacts and to review and assess the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out across the Territory. The community will continue to be informed of any changes and updates.

Territorians who are over the age of 50 and who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 1B are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.

The safety of all Territorians remains our priority and the NT is in an enviable position with no community transmission of COVID-19. As a result, we have the time to ensure we undertake the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in a considered and culturally safe way.

  • There is evidence of a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and an extremely rare blood clotting syndrome (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia).

    The recommendation from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is that use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is preferred over AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in adults under 50 years old who have not already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

  • People who have had their first dose the AstraZeneca vaccine without any serious adverse effects can be given their second dose. This includes adults under 50 years of age. People who have had blood clots associated with low platelet levels after their first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca should not be given their second dose.

  • If you have recently had your first vaccine dose and are experiencing any side effects that you are worried about, you should book an appointment to see your doctor.

  • If you are an adult aged under 50 years, you should only receive a first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine where the benefit of receiving the vaccine clearly outweighs the risk in your individual circumstance. You may wish to discuss your individual benefit-to-risk balance with your doctor.

    Generally, if you have not already received a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, then the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is preferred in adults aged under 50 years.

    If you are 50 years of age or older, you can still receive your AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.