Date published: 
13 July 2021
Media type: 
Transcript
Audience: 
General public

DAVID KOCH:

Now, as Sydney's COVID emergency escalates, the AstraZeneca jab will be made more readily available to all residents in New South Wales over 40. The Premier says those wanting the shot, will be able to get it at vaccination hubs and clinics, with more locations to come.

            [Excerpt]

GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: 

If you're between 40 and 60 and want to get the AstraZeneca, you can go through the appropriate consent forms at all NSW Health sites. And we're in the process of also allowing pharmacists across the state to provide AstraZeneca to anybody over 40.

            [End of excerpt]

NATALIE BARR:   

Vaccine advisory board, ATAGI, met overnight but didn't change its recommendation that only over-60s receive the jab. Joining us now is Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan. Morning to you.

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

Good morning.

NATALIE BARR:   

Now, New South Wales is saying that over-40s can get AstraZeneca, but the official federal advice remains unchanged. What do you think about these mixed messages? Do you think that's confusing?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

I think that for people in Greater Sydney, where, obviously, the risk profile has changed and the- your chances of contracting COVID has increased, the Delta virus is circulating, you may make a choice to talk to a health professional and get the AstraZeneca vaccine. It's really an informed choice and NSW Health are making that available through pharmacies and through their vaccine hubs, as of today, I understand.

DAVID KOCH:

Okay. Alison, a couple of other questions. Women who are pregnant; is it safe for them to get either vaccine?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

It is, Kochie, definitely, and in fact, in recent weeks, we've seen the advice strengthen, particularly around women planning to get pregnant, who are pregnant or breastfeeding, that it is safe. And we have seen some evidence from overseas that there are some, unfortunate, ladies who get quite sick. So again, talk to your GP or a health professional. If you're in that age group where you're considering a family or are pregnant, you may choose to get vaccinated but it's a discussion I do recommend you have with your doctor or a health professional.

DAVID KOCH:       

Okay.

NATALIE BARR:   

So even if you're planning to get pregnant, you should be getting the shot?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

Yeah. And I think that when you're working to get pregnant, you never quite know when it's going to happen, so best to be prepared, yes. That's- but again, have a discussion, but certainly it's safe for pregnancy, there's no doubt about that.

DAVID KOCH:       

Okay. Good news.

NATALIE BARR:   

Okay. Now, we've heard this week that people over 40 will be able to get the shots at pharmacies. Do you think that's going to encourage more people to get it?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

What we do know is that the more we can make getting the vaccine easy, and something you can do part of your normal day, the more likelihood is that you'll do it. We know that through flu vaccines and all of the others. So, making it readily available something you don't have to go out of your way, will potentially increase the uptake and that's what we want to see. We want to see as many people eligible for the vaccine as getting it as soon as we can.

DAVID KOCH:       

Okay. Alright, Alison, appreciate your time. Thank you.

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

Good to see you. Thank you.

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