16 March 2021

ACT Health will continue AstraZeneca vaccine rollout despite concerns in Europe

| Dominic Giannini
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Rachel Stephen-Smith

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith says the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Canberrans will still receive the AstraZeneca jab despite a pause on the vaccine’s rollout in some European countries.

France, Germany and Italy are among the countries that have stopped administering the vaccine over blood clotting concerns, but the Australian Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) and Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly have said there is no evidence of a correlation between the clots and the vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) reported 30 cases of blood clots among five million vaccinations across Europe, while AstraZeneca said that 17 million people had received the vaccine across Europe and the UK.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith echoed the comments from Australian Government authorities, saying there is no evidence linking the vaccine to blood clots, low platelet counts or any other serious side effects being reported.

“There are underlying health issues right across the community, and so it is not surprising that some people will have a health issue that emerges that isn’t related to the vaccine,” she told ABC Radio this morning.

Maddy Williams

Nurse Maddy Williams was the first person to be vaccinated in the ACT. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Ms Stephen-Smith said the action taken by some European countries were “very precautionary” and that Australian health authorities are continuing to monitor the situation and will conduct thorough assessments of the vaccine if concerns arise.

All vaccines are batch tested by the TGA when they arrive in Australia.

ACT Health is continuing with its plan to administer 3500 vaccinations this week and ramp up capacity after the arrival of extra Pfizer doses over the weekend.

READ MORE Vaccine capacity tripled as first Canberran becomes fully vaccinated

On Monday (15 March), around 500 people were vaccinated at the Garran Surge Centre, which is used as a hub for both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

ACT Health is working towards 6000 vaccinations a week, depending on supply from the Commonwealth Government.

For more information about the rollout of the vaccines in the ACT, visit www.covid19.act.gov.au/vaccine.

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My hobby is backyard chickens. I started with RESCUE (vaccinated) chickens many years ago. When beautiful NOT vaccinated chickens were added, they all died in few days from Marek virus. Marek vaccine is “leaky” vaccine: commercial chickens are vaccinated with weak turkey virus but vaccinated chooks infect not vaccinated chickens with real Marek virus. Result is that vaccinated live and not vaccinated die if they are kept together. Marek and Covid-19 are both viruses. Which lead to conclusion that effect of vaccination should be the same or similar – make me thinking about my own Covid vaccination. Because AstraZeneca vaccine is made from weak chimpanzee virus – same like Marek vaccine. Pfizer vaccine is NOT made like Marek chicken vaccine, AstraZeneca cost is $4, Pfizer $20. Anyway, it is just my opinion and here is a link to Marek’s disease studies in Australia: https://www.australianeggs.org.au/dmsdocument/558-mareks-disease-research-in-australia-a-review

I am not antivaxxer and have been vaccinated all my life. I just have concern about (maybe) wrong choice of vaccine. If number of deaths grows after implementation of vaccine, something is wrong…

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