The Australian government has asked the nation’s medical regulator to further investigate links between AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine and blood-clotting issues.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said on Thursday that the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, ATAGI, and Therapeutic Goods Administration, TGA, would meet to urgently consider the European Medicines Agency’s finding of a possible link between the vaccines and blood clots.
The British government’s vaccination advisory body earlier on Wednesday said that Britons aged 18-29 would be offered an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
In spite of concerns, Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risk.
“We need to consider the positive benefits of them. But what we’re looking at here is an incidence of these clotting behaviour of some one-to-five for every million.
“And so what ATAGI will be doing is they’ll be looking at that evidence and they, of course, will be weighing that against the very positive benefits of the vaccine programme and then they’ll be providing further advice,” he told reporters in Canberra.
Earlier on Thursday, Kelly said the findings could affect Australians’ confidence in vaccines but stressed that clots remained “extremely rare.”
“We certainly place safety above all else. And as we’ve done throughout the pandemic, the government will be guided by that advice and that’ll be what we’ll take into account,” he said.