AstraZeneca vaccine now only for over-60s

4 minute read

And infection rates, hospitalisations and deaths from covid-19 drop in over-65s in the US as vaccination rates increase.

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17 June

The AstraZeneca vaccine will be restricted for use to those aged over 60 years instead over aged over 50 years, because of the (extremely low) risk of the rare clotting disorder that has been linked to the adenoviral vectored vaccine.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has recommended raising the age for the vaccine, which brings Australia into line with many EU nations, and health minister Greg Hunt said at a press conference today that the federal government would implement the change.
In a statement, ATAGI said the revised recommendation was in response to the higher than expected risk and severity of the clotting syndrome in the 50-59-year-old age group from what had been observed overseas. It also reflected the higher risks associated with covid-19 infection in those aged over 60.
Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said anyone in the 50-59 age group who had already received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without incident should still get their second dose of AstraZeneca.
So far 60 people have developed the clotting disorder – thrombosis with thrombocytopenia – out of an estimated 3.8 million doses of AstraZeneca administered. Twelve new cases have been reported in the past week, seven of which were in individuals aged 50-59 years, according to TGA figures.
The move is likely to place increased pressure on already strained supplies of the Pfizer vaccine, especially as no further shipments of Pfizer vaccine are expected until later this year, The Guardian reports.

Covid-19 deaths among adults aged 65 years and older dropped by 66% in the United States from late November 2020 to 1 May 2021 as vaccination coverage increased in this and other age groups.
According to a paper in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, by 1 May 2021 82% of adults aged 65 years and older had received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. Over that same time period, the infection rate dropped by 40%, emergency department visits declined by 59%, and hospital admissions declined by 65%.

A close contact of the Bondi man who tested positive for covid-19 earlier this week has now also tested positive, and two more community-acquired cases have been reported in Sydney in the past 24 hours
New South Wales health authorities have released an updated list of Sydney venues that were visited by the two cases while infectious.
The list includes several locations in Bondi Junction – Myer, Event Cinemas and David Jones – on the 12 and 13 of June, and locations in Zetland and Redfern on the 14 June.
In Victoria, further venues in Southbank and Brunswick have been added to the list of exposure sites from cases who visited the area on the 12, 13 and 14 June.

The past week has seen the lowest number of new infections reported globally since February this year, giving hopeful signs that the pandemic – or at least the latest wave – might be in retreat.
According to the latest WHO update, 2.6 million new cases and 72,000 deaths were reported in the last week, a decrease of 12% and 2% respectively from the week before that.
While encouraging, WHO noted that many countries are still struggling to access vaccines while also dealing with the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Here are the latest covid-19 infection numbers from around Australia to 9pm Wednesday:
National – 30,291 with 910 deaths
ACT – 124 (0)
NSW – 5626 (3)
NT – 175 (0)
QLD – 1655 (0)
SA – 780 (4)
TAS – 234 (0)
VIC – 20,677 (9)
WA – 1020 (1)

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