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for weeks, Scott Morrison He was so bloated and puffed up that he couldn’t defy medical advice about the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca.
Despite the black-and-white viewpoint, the prime minister finally found a bigger nuance in the question – and he’s been on medical advice the whole time.
On April 8, the Australian government radically Fix the Covid-19 vaccination program Following advice from immunization experts, they warn people under 50 that AstraZeneca can cause rare blood clots.
Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization Advice It’s commonly summarized as a simple warning: People under 50 should not take AstraZeneca.
The advice never said that. It said Pfizer was “preferred over … AstraZeneca in adults under 50”.
Much of the vaccination debate in Australia has stemmed from an incorrect premise, ignoring the fact that Atagi gave AstraZeneca an amber – not red – light for those under 50.
Scott Morrison Blame it on Ataji’s advice To bring back Australia’s vaccination program – but what if I told you that Ataje had always left plenty of wiggle room for people to take whatever vaccine they wanted (having been approved by the TGA)?
“The AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine may be used for adults under 50 years of age where the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits,” she said.
Of late, Morrison began selling the benefits of “informed consent” — which he summarizes as meaning that no one can force you to take a vaccine, but they can’t tell you not to take it.
Well, this has always been there in the advice. Atagi said he “respects a person’s choice to make an informed decision about accepting the risks of vaccinating Covid-19 with the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
When Morrison was still in blame shift mode, he Suggest my advice It was based on “the assumption that cases in Australia will remain low”. This too was incorrect.
Although the Atagi balance of the risks and benefits of AstraZeneca was done at the time of low cases – the original advice that explicitly warned of low cases may not last forever.
“While Australia currently has very low or no community transmission of Covid-19, this could change, particularly in the context of high global transmission rates, including new variants of the virus,” she said.
“The risk of serious illness and death in Australia remains, even as border controls and other measures continue.
“Although Australia has had few deaths from Covid-19 among young people so far, outbreaks in other countries have caused several thousand deaths among young people, suggesting that the risk of serious outcomes exists across the age spectrum.”
Covid is a killer disease – for all ages. Australia’s borders cannot protect you. It was all there.
In April, the government suggested that people under 50 would need to speak to their GP before taking AstraZeneca Thursday, and Morrison’s government expanded access to AstraZeneca in pharmacies – prompting a reporter to question whether this went against Atagi’s advice.
Answer: No, he never said that. Atage suggested to the Department of Health “Develop and revise resources for informed consent that clearly communicate the benefits and risks of the AstraZeneca vaccine to both immunization providers and consumers of all ages.” But she has never said that informed consent can only be achieved in the office of the GP.
The truth is that Atagi left space for individuals to choose to take the first available vaccine, to choose protection now before future outbreaks.
The nuances of the advice were lost – perhaps because Morrison and his health secretary, Greg Hunt, were present at a press conference just 15 minutes after receiving them on the evening of April 8.
The Morrison government has taken months to research solutions that would allow access to a TGA-approved vaccine for use in adults.
In late June, Morrison Use of the National Cabinet Agreement on Physician Compensation As an excuse to revisit the AstraZeneca policy settings.
In response to a question about whether people under the age of 40 are now eligible for the vaccines, Morrison replied, “If they’re willing to go and talk to their doctor and get the AstraZeneca vaccine, they can do it. So the answer is yes, they can go and do it.” so.”
On Thursday, we saw further liberalization of these settings – with the move to make AstraZeneca available in pharmacies and the Minister for Health in Morrison and New South Wales, Brad Hazzard, to encourage people to take it.
On Thursday, TGA reported two more deaths from blood clots after the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. One was a 44-year-old man from Tasmania and the other a 48-year-old woman from Victoria.
Since the start of the vaccine launch in Australia, a total of five deaths from the very rare blood clot have been reported from 6.1 million doses of AstraZeneca.
So AstraZeneca is not without risks. It may be a difficult choice for some people.
Many may be more than happy to wait until more Pfizer supplies arrive – which are due in October – especially if they are in the high-risk group or live far from the current hotspots.
But the good thing is that the settings that prevented people from participating in the vaccination program based on a misreading of medical advice are now scrapped.
It took a variable delta and the current, larger outbreak in Sydney to create a space where medical advice could be listened to closely.
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