Australia secures another 85 million doses of Pfizer Covid vaccine for use as booster shots yes

Australia has secured a further 85 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to be used as booster shots from February – as all Sydneysiders over 18 were urged to ‘strongly consider’ getting the AstraZeneca shot.

The federal government said the supply agreement with Pfizer-BioNTech will ensure that any Australian can receive an additional booster shot on top of their first two doses.

The deal includes 60 million doses of the jab to arrive on Australian shores in the first quarter of 2022 and a further 25 million in 2023.

The timeline is based on evidence suggesting that those who receive the Covid-19 vaccine will need a booster shot within a year of receiving their first two doses.

Australia will receive an additional 85 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine as booster shots from February next year (pictured is a vaccination center in Sydney)

The supply agreement – which also covers any changes to the vaccine if new strains of the virus are found – means the Australian government will have received 125 million doses of the Pfizer shot by 2023.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the deal meant Australia was ‘around the corner’ in rolling out its national vaccine, which has been plagued by delays and supply shortages.

Only 15 percent of the eligible Australian population has so far been fully vaccinated against the virus.

“This is an important shot in the arm for Australia’s vaccine supply,” he said. “Every Australian has access to a booster injection if needed.”

The agreement comes as Australia’s top vaccine advisory body urged all adults in Sydney to “strongly consider” getting the AstraZeneca shot amid the rapidly expanding outbreak of the highly contagious Delta strain in the city.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) said on Saturday evening it was changing its advice in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the city, which grew by a further 163 infections overnight.

Under the deal struck by the federal government, 60 million doses of the Pfizer shot will arrive early next year, with a further 25 million set to land in Australia by 2023.

Under the deal struck by the federal government, 60 million doses of the Pfizer shot will arrive early next year, with a further 25 million set to land in Australia by 2023.

ATAGI also said it advised Australians living in areas with coronavirus outbreaks to shorten the time between their first and second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to four to eight weeks instead of the usual 12 weeks.

What are the chances of getting a blood clot?

Number of people who get blood clots after AstraZeneca per 100,000 people:

18-29 years: 1.9

30-39 years: 1.6

40-49 years: 5.0

50-59 years: 2.7

60-69 years: 1.4

70-79 years: 1.8

80+ years: 1.9

Total: 2.3 (0.0023%)

Only three percent of people who get the clots die

Source: ATAGIA

“All persons aged 18 and over in Greater Sydney, including adults under the age of 60, should strongly consider being vaccinated with any available vaccine, including Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca,” ATAGI said in a statement.

“ATAGI confirms our previous advice that in a major outbreak, the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca outweigh the risk of rare side effects for all age groups.”

The Pfizer vaccine is still recommended for younger people because of the risk of the extremely rare but potentially fatal blood clotting disorder associated with AstraZeneca injection.

Anyone over the age of 18 already has access to the vaccine developed in England as long as they give ‘informed consent’.

While the Pfizer vaccine is the vaccine of choice for Australians under 60, the advisory group says that due to Sydney’s latest outbreak and shortages of supplies, it was important that all adults “strongly consider” getting the alternative shot.

ATAGI said the change in advice was due to the current Delta strain of the virus circulating in Sydney being “more serious” in younger people than previous strains.

“The percentage of people requiring hospitalization for less than 60 years appears to be higher than reported in outbreaks involving the original SARS-CoV-2 strain,” ATAGI said.

“This reinforces the benefit of protection with any available vaccine.”

Meanwhile, it was also announced that a further 50,000 doses of Pfizer from the national ’emergency supply’ would be delivered to Sydney to help fight the spread of the virus.

The federal government will send the additional Pfizer vaccine doses to NSW on top of the 150,000 already shipped after a plea for help from NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

The Commonwealth will send the vials from a national stockpile after other states and territories rejected the NSW government’s plea for more vaccines on Friday.

Meanwhile, it was also announced that a further 50,000 doses of Pfizer from the national 'emergency supply' would be delivered to Sydney to help fight the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, it was also announced that a further 50,000 doses of Pfizer from the national ’emergency supply’ would be delivered to Sydney to help fight the spread of the virus.

Earlier this week, the Therapeutic Goods Administration said a 44-year-old man from Tasmania and a 48-year-old woman from Victoria had died after taking their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In all, there have been six deaths from the six million doses of the AstraZeneca shot administered in Australia since the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the TGA.

Average Australians are more likely to die from getting Covid-19 than from a blood clot after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine, data has revealed.

The UK, meanwhile, is on track to roll out their booster shots for the over-50s as early as September.

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