Australians over 50 have become the latest demographic caught up in the current debacle over concerns regarding the Pfizer vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is made by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which has faced much backlash recently for fatal blood clots being found in the recipients of the vaccine.
The severity of the ongoing global crisis of the coronavirus COVID-19 however has prompted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his cabinet of ministers to agree that vaccination timetable for the over 50s should be continued, and even moved forward, following recent results.
The National Cabinet has agreed that the vaccine has presented a much higher risk in younger recipients, and been especially noted for the higher numbers of women suffering blood clots as a result. Consequently, over 50s have been deemed by the cabinet as low risk of such a side effect, and the benefit to seeing greater immunity in the population through continued roll out of the vaccine determined as worth the risk.
The majority of Australians aged 50 – 69 years old without extenuating circumstances are currently not able to be vaccinated. The proposed changes in vaccination roll out would mean this group of people would be granted access to a vaccine sooner than otherwise planned. Vaccine rollout had previously prioritised vulnerable Australians who may have underlying health conditions and be at higher risk of incubating the virus and it being fatal for their health.
Although the number of blood clots found in recipients of the vaccine have been low, it seems the public have had cause for concern. Patients have reportedly been missing the vaccine appointments because of their concerns surrounding Pfizer jab, doctors report. Subsequently, many unused vaccination doses are going to waste in refrigerators around the country.
Many argue that the increased risk in blood clots from the vaccine is worth it when considering that the coronavirus also attacks the immune system in this way.