Geraldton GP says health advice “has not changed” around recommended COVID jabs

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
A public health worker displays a vial of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Camera IconA public health worker displays a vial of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images, Mario Tama

A Geraldton GP has backed advice that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine remains the preferred option for people under the age of 60.

His comments come as Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson confirmed State-run clinics in WA would not be providing AstraZeneca to those under 60 years of age, despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday encouraging people in the age group to discuss getting AstraZeneca with their GPs.

“The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation advice talks about a preference for AstraZeneca to be available to those over 60. But the advice does not preclude persons under 60 from getting the AstraZeneca vaccine,” the PM said.

“If you wish to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, then we would encourage you to go and have that discussion with your GP.”

Midwest GP Network deputy chair Ian Taylor said under-60s should understand they would go against health advice with AZ.

“The health advice has not changed; Pfizer is the recommended vaccine for under-60s,” he said. “The 40-60 age group could consider discussing the AstraZeneca vaccine with their GP, but I would not recommend it for the under-40s.”

Dr Taylor said this advice could change if the Delta variant became prevalent in WA.

“As we have seen with the Eastern States, it only takes one person for the virus to get into the community,” he said.

We need them to get vaccinated now… that will save lives.

“We are still having trouble convincing some over 60s to get vaccinated, even though the risk of acquiring the extremely rare blood clotting side effect is very low,” he said.

“We need them to get vaccinated now… that will save lives.”

Dr Taylor said there had not been a significant uptake of AstraZeneca doses from younger people at his clinics following the Prime Minister’s comments.

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