Aus states prudent on federal’s vaccination advice

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Australian states were prudent on the federal government’s new remarks on the Covid-19 vaccination program which said anyone under the age of 40 can now approach their general practitioner and request the AstraZeneca jab.

Chief Health Officer of the state of Queensland Jeannette Young told a press conference on Wednesday that she doesn’t want people aged under 40 to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine due to the blood clot risks, reports Xinhua news agency.

“I do not want under-40s to get AstraZeneca… It is rare, but they are at an increased risk of getting the rare clotting syndrome. We’ve seen up to 49 deaths in the UK from that syndrome,” she said,

“I don’t want an 18-year-old in Queensland dying from a clotting illness who, if they got Covid, probably wouldn’t die. We have had very few deaths due to Covid-19 in Australia in people under the age of 50 and wouldn’t it be terrible that our first 18-year-old in Queensland who dies related to this pandemic, died because of the vaccine.”

The state chief health officer’s remarks came after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Tuesday that anyone under the age of 40 can now approach their GP and request the AstraZeneca vaccine.

After several reports of blood clots and low blood platelets were confirmed to be linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the vaccine was recommended to Australians over the age of 60.

Pfizer, the recommended vaccine for Australians under the age of 60, however, needs to be imported from overseas.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk echoed Young saying there was no national cabinet decision about providing AstraZeneca to the under 40s.

“Now, in Queensland, we always follow the advice of the chief health officer. So I urge Queenslanders to listen to Dr. Young, and follow the advice of our chief health officer.”

The state, with some areas entering a snap three-day lockdown since 6 p.m. Tuesday, recorded three new local cases and one in returned travellers on Wednesday.

Premier of the state of New South Wales (NSW) Gladys Berejiklian also urged people to go to GP about AstraZeneca.

“What we need to do as a state government is follow the federal regulatory health advice which is that AstraZeneca is offered for over-60s, and obviously second doses are strongly, strongly advised,” she said.

“Anyone under 60 who wants AstraZeneca needs to have a conversation with their GP.”

NSW continued its widespread testing with 68,220 tests reported by Tuesday night, and recorded 22 new locally acquired cases, all of which were linked to previously confirmed cases, and half of which were in isolation during their infectious period.

The current outbreak has grown to 171 local cases in just two weeks since June 16.

To better conduct contact tracing, the NSW government on Wednesday also announced the use of Service NSW QR code to be mandatory at all workplaces and retail businesses from July 12.

Businesses such as hospitality and hairdressers that were already using the Service NSW QR code will also need to ensure staff and visitors such as maintenance workers and delivery drivers check-in, when they resume services after the lockdown period.

NSW Minister for Digital and Customer Service Victor Dominello said expanding the mandate would give NSW Health contact tracers real-time access to QR code data from a greater number of venues including supermarkets, retail stores, gyms and offices.

There are more than 5.2 million active users of the Service NSW app, according to the state government.

–IANS

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