The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has altered its advice regarding the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in outbreak areas following the situation in Sydney.
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, ATAGI has changed its recommendation for under 60s getting the AZ vaccine.
While the advice to get the Pfizer vaccine where possible remains the same, ATAGI has changed its sentiment regarding those in outbreak areas and is now suggesting under 60s talk to their doctor for a thorough risk assessment.
“In the context of a COVID-19 outbreak where the supply of Comirnaty (Pfizer) is constrained, adults younger than 60 years old who do not have immediate access to Comirnaty (Pfizer) should re-assess the benefits to them and their contacts from being vaccinated with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, versus the rare risk of a serious side effect,” the official recommendation reads.
The news comes after ATAGI stood strong on its advice that under 60s shouldn’t be getting the AstraZeneca vaccine, despite Scott Morrison’s statements to the contrary.
Additionally, ATAGI is now recommending that people in outbreak areas (e.g Sydney) get their second dose of AstraZeneca earlier than the previously advised 12 weeks.
“While the recommended interval between the first and second doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is between 4 and 12 weeks, in outbreak situations an interval of between 4 and 8 weeks is preferred,” ATAGI said in a statement.
“Therefore, people in an outbreak situation who received their first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca more than 4 weeks ago should contact their vaccine provider to arrange their second dose as soon as possible. In non-outbreak settings, the preferred interval between doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca remains at 12 weeks.”
However, it’s worth noting that ATAGI’s new advice is only applicable to people living in outbreak areas. For those of us living outside of the outbreak, the advice remains unchanged.
You can read the full list of recommendations on the ATAGI website. For personal advice regarding your own vaccination, please talk to your GP.