Australians under 40 have taken the AstraZeneca vaccine instead of waiting for Pfizer to be protected from Covid-19 and help end lockdowns as soon as possible.
A total of 161,617 among 40-year-olds have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine since March 6, according to government data seen by Daily Mail Australia.
Only two of them have had a rare blood clotting syndrome related to the jab and neither has died.
Victoria will be in lockdown until Wednesday. Pictured: Melbourne residents practicing masks
About 49,146 took the jab in New South Wales, 49,279 in Victoria and 36,170 in Queensland.
Australians under 60 are recommended the Pfizer vaccine due to a low risk of blood clots associated with AstraZeneca.
But under 40s are not yet eligible for the scarce shot, so many have opted for AstraZeneca, which is available to anyone over 18.
How many young people under 40 have taken the AstraZeneca vaccine?
About 44,000 under 40-year-olds have taken the jab since Prime Minister Scott Morrison advertised at a June 28 press conference that they could.
Daily Mail Australia reporter Daniel Piotrowski was one of them.
“It felt really good emotionally to get the vaccine and feel like you’re really doing something to get Australia out of this miserable pandemic,” he said.
Currently 14 million Australians are in lockdown in three states.
Prime Ministers insist that restrictions can only be relaxed once and for all if vaccination rates are high enough.
NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian has said 80 percent of the population or 62 percent of adults will need to be stung before she can stop resorting to lockdowns in her state.
Western Australia Prime Minister Mark McGowan has said the required rate is “at least” 80 percent and possibly 90 percent.
According to the government data released on June 28, about two in 100,000 people will develop a blood clot from the AstraZeneca shot and only three percent of those affected will die, a death rate of 0.6 in a million.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 mortality rate in Australia it is 3.9 percent, or 39,000 in a million.
The risk the death rate in a pedestrian accident is eight in a million and the chance of dying in a car accident is 28 in a million, about 17 times the risk of dying from the AstraZeneca shot.
A total of 6.1 million AstraZeneca injections have been distributed nationwide, with only 87 cases of severe clotting — known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) — and six deaths.
The risks of Covid and vaccines are different for each individual, depending on personal circumstances such as age, location and job. That’s why politicians and health experts are asking people to talk to their GP about taking the vaccine.
In April, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (Atagi) said the AstraZeneca shot was only recommended for people over 50 because of a low risk of blood clots in younger people.
The average Australian is much more likely to die from Covid-19 than from a blood clot after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine
What are the chances of getting a blood clot?
Number of people getting 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
In June, the agency raised the recommended minimum age to 60, eroding confidence and delaying the rollout by two months as the government pushed to get more Pfizer into the country.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison also revealed that he is “constantly appealing” to health experts to recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine to younger Australians.
Ms Berejiklian on Friday called for a huge uproar over the vaccine rollout to get Sydney out of lockdown.
She wants to qualify under 40 for Pfizer in Covid-ravaged areas; to delay second doses of Pfizer for up to six weeks to get more first doses; and to reassign supplies to NSW for states without outbreaks.
The prime minister also called on Atagi to recommend AstraZeneca for people over 40.
Lieutenant General John Frewen, head of vaccine rollout, said other states should agree to give up their doses.
He also said that Ms. Berejiklian’s plan to hand out more Pfizer is not a complete solution.
“Suddenly deciding to throw a particular vaccine into a particular geographic area doesn’t give you an immediate solution to a problem,” he said.
The Prime Minister urged over-40s to take the AstraZeneca vaccine and revealed she wants the Australian Immunization Technical Advisory Group to recommend the shot for over-40s.
“There are many people in New South Wales in their 40s, 50s and 60s who do not have a vaccine.
‘We tell everyone: get vaccinated, see your doctor if you’re concerned. We have more capacity for AstraZeneca,” she said.
On July 9, Morrison announced a four-step plan to bring Australia back to normal, with each step to be started when vaccination coverage reaches a certain percentage.
The required vaccination rates are calculated by model experts at The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and will be released at the end of July.
What are the four stages of opening?
1. Vaccinate, Prepare and Trial (from July 14)
Arrival caps halved to 3,035 per week; lockdowns and state border closures as a last resort; trials of seven-day home quarantine for vaccinated arrivals; medicare vaccination certificates available in apps like Apple Wallet
2. Post-vaccination phase (when a still unannounced percentage of Aussies are stung, expected early next year)
No lockdowns or state borders except in ‘extreme circumstances’; limits for unvaccinated arrivals doubled to 6,070; home quarantine for vaccinated arrivals; limited entry for students and economic visa holders
3. Consolidation phase (date not disclosed)
Removal of all outbound travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers; no limits for vaccinated arrivals; vaccinated people exempt from domestic restrictions; increased limits for students and visa holders; more travel bubbles arise with countries like Singapore; booster shots rolled out
4. Final phase (date unknown)
Unlimited arrivals for vaccinated people without any quarantine and unlimited arrivals for unvaccinated people with pre-departure and on-arrival testing