The average Australian is far more likely to die after catching Covid-19 than from a blood clot after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine.
According to government data released on June 28, about two in 100,000 people will get a blood clot from the jab and only three per cent of those affected will die, a mortality rate of 0.6 in one million.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 mortality rate in Australia is 3.9 per cent, or 39,000 in a million.
The risk of being killed in a pedestrian accident is eight in a million and the chance of dying in a car crash is 28 in a million, about 17 times higher than the risk of dying from the AstraZeneca jab.
The average Australian is far more likely to die after catching Covid-19 than from a blood clot after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine
The risks of Covid and vaccines are different for each individual, depending on personal circumstances such as age, location and job, which is why politicians and health experts are asking people to speak to their GPs about taking the vaccine.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard urged residents to consider taking the AstraZeneca jab after only 50 doses were administered at the Sydney Olympic Park vaccination hub on Tuesday, compared to 8,295 Pfizer vaccinations.
He said: ‘I just think which need to take a step back and say ”well, right now we are in the middle of a very serious outbreak here in New South Wales.”
‘And we can’t afford the luxury of sitting back and saying ”I don’t want to have the vaccine that has actually been taken by almost every country in the world and kept others safe”.’
Doctors have reported that some over 60s – who are recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine – are choosing to delay their vaccinations so they can get Pfizer instead.
Sydney’s main mass vaccination hub (pictured) delivered only 50 doses of AstraZeneca on Tuesday amid reports cautious residents are waiting for Pfizer
Mt Druitt GP Kean-Seng Lim told the Sydney Morning Herald he had 3,500 patients waiting for Pfizer but was receiving only 60 doses a week.
‘We are seeing a lot of people aged over 60 who are deeply suspicious of AstraZeneca and want Pfizer. This is despite the fact they could reduce their risk and get AstraZeneca right now’ he said.
Last month Dr Jamal Rifi, who owns Belmore Medical Centre in western Sydney, told the ABC that patients were refusing to have the AstraZeneca jab.
‘People talk about hesitancy or reluctance, it’s well beyond that. It’s a refusal of patients to have the AstraZeneca,’ he said.
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
Overall: 2.3 (0.0023%)
Only three per cent of people who get the clots die
Mr Hazzard said people were hesitant due to changing health advice over rare blood clots.
In April the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (Atagi) said the jab was only recommended for over 50s because of a low risk of blood clots in younger people.
In June the body increased the minimum recommend age to 60, denting confidence and delaying the jab rollout by two months as the government scrambled to get more Pfizer into the country.
Queensland Chief Health Officer even stoken anti-vaxxers when she pleaded with young people not to take the vaccine saying: ‘I don’t want an 18-year-old in Queensland dying from a clotting illness who, if they got Covid, probably wouldn’t die.’
Health experts are urging over 60s to get their AstraZeneca jabs as soon as possible because Covid-19 is far more risky for them than the potential side effects.
Experts estimate that 6.2 in 100,000 Australians in their 60s will die if they catch Covid but only 1.9 in 100,000 will get a serious blood clot after taking AstraZeneca.
On Wednesday Prime Minster Scott Morrison also revealed he is ‘constantly appealing’ to health experts to recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine to younger Australians as 14 million Aussies are locked down due to outbreaks in three states.
Anyone over 18 can get the AstraZeneca jab if they sign a consent form and Mr Morrison urged people to do so.
‘My message to Australians today is take the vaccines, please, that are available to you now.
‘Discuss them with your doctor. That’s what has occurred in my family. [My wife] Jenny got her second dose last week of AstraZeneca.
‘Both my mother and my mother-in-law – they’ve both done the same thing. I’d say the same thing to you that I say to my own family.’
Mr Morrison said he wanted Atagi to change its advice to recommend the vaccine for younger people given the recent outbreaks.
‘It’s a constant appeal. I can assure you. It’s a constant appeal,’ he said.
‘The situation Australia faces should be managed on the balance of risk, as Atagi has said to me in the past.
Victorians sit waiting to be called in for their vaccination at a mass coronavirus vaccination hub at the Showgrounds in Melbourne
‘When they made the decision to have a preference for those under the age ultimately of 60 to have the Pfizer vaccine, they said that they made that decision on the balance of risk.
‘Well, it’s for them to now constantly reconsider how that balance of risk applies and provide their advice accordingly.’
Speaking on talkback radio station 4BC on Thursday, Mr Morrison said: ‘The impact of this advice over time has been for people to have some hesitancy.
‘This is an approved drug by the TGA. And sure, ATAGI has made some suggestions, that’s why we say for those under 60 – go and talk to your doctor – informed consent.’
Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid and Labor health spokesman Mark Butler said the Prime Minister was applying ‘unfair pressure’ on the scientists.
‘I think this is the Prime Minister using the power of his office, as the head of the country, trying to shelve responsibility for the terrible failures of this vaccine rollout onto them, rather than taking responsibility himself,’ said Mr Butler.
On July 11, almost a month after NSW’s outbreak began, Atagi evaluated the changed risk of catching Covid and kept the minimum age recommendation at 60.
The Prime Minister said the Atagi scientists were some of the best in the world and he has always followed their advice.
He said a record 1million jabs had been administered in the past week as more Pfizer delivery arrives.
Government experts did modelling (above) to show the risk of getting a blood clot from the Astrazeneca vaccine for each age group, compared with the benefits of getting the jab