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AstraZeneca vaccine update

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has issued updated advice regarding the provision of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Australia.

This includes:

  1. The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is now recommended for people aged 60 years and over.
  2. People who have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without any serious adverse events can safely be given a second dose, including adults aged 50-59 years.
  3. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for people aged 16 to 59 years.
  4. It is strongly recommended all adults are vaccinated against COVID-19.

ATAGI has recommended this change in advice due to a higher risk of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) observed in the 50-59 year old age group in Australia following the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, than initially estimated or reported internationally.

The Northern Territory Government supports ATAGI’s recommendations and is working to implement this advice immediately.

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More information is available from the following resources:

  • There is evidence of a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and an extremely rare blood clotting syndrome.

    The recommendation from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for people aged 16-59 years who have not already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

  • There are many people aged 50-59 years who have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and they are encouraged to attend their appointment for their second dose as planned.

    This is in line with expert medical advice advising the risk of any serious adverse events associated with a second dose to be very low. Data in the United Kingdom also shows there has been 23 cases of blood clotting in 15.7 million people after receiving their second AstraZeneca dose.

  • If you have had your first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without any serious side effects, you should receive your second dose of AstraZeneca as planned. It is recommended that a second dose is given between four and 12 weeks after the first dose.