COVID-19 vaccination – Michelle Steele talks about updated ATAGI recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination program
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Hi, I’m Michelle Steele, a Kamilaroi Gomeroi woman from Moree in north west NSW. I work here in the Department of Health in the COVID-19 Primary Care Response Task Force.

I wanted to give you an update on the vaccine rollout, as the age recommendation has changed. Until today, ATAGI’s advice had been the Pfizer vaccine was preferred for adults aged under 50. The new update is that this has lifted to under the age of 60.

This advice is based on new evidence showing a higher risk than originally thought, of the rare blood-clotting condition, TTS in the 50-59 age group. It is important to understand that for people aged 60 years or above, the benefits of vaccination, with any vaccine including AstraZeneca, vastly outweighs the risks of TTS.

The vaccines remains our most important way to prevent serious illness or death from COVID-19. Many millions of people around the world have had their vaccines safely, including myself and my own family. For people who have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine without any serious adverse effects, they should still receive their second dose.

This includes adults under 60 years of age. Having your second dose offers you the best protection from getting seriously sick from COVID-19 and if you’ve had your first dose I encourage you to book in for your second dose. '

Thank you for working with us to support the vaccine rollout. If you want more information on this change or any other information on the rollout please visit our website – health.gov.au