Young Canberrans book in for AstraZeneca jabs as rollout expands

Dominic Giannini 29 June 2021 49
Vaccine needle going into arm

COVID-19 vaccinations will begin rolling out in Australia as early as next month. Photo: Supplied.

People under the age of 40 have started booking AstraZeneca appointments at local general practitioners following comments from Prime Minister Scott Morrison last night (28 June).

Mr Morrison said anyone under the age of 40 will be able to request the AstraZeneca vaccine from their GP as he announced revised indemnity arrangements for COVID-19 vaccines following the National Cabinet meeting.

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

Australian health authorities have recommended people under the age of 60 preference the Pfizer vaccine over AstraZeneca due to the remote risk of blood clots. But now, the Therapeutic Goods Administration says any Australian over the age of 18 can access the AstraZeneca vaccine if they give informed consent after meeting with their GP or qualified doctor.*

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said most GPs have welcomed the indemnity and the reassurance that they can have that conversation with their patients.

“We are really talking about people who have an ongoing relationship with their GP,” she said.

“Most of those conversations are going to be an existing patient coming and talking about what their relative risk is, what their enthusiasm for the vaccination is and lets have an informed conversation and get consent and do this.”

Kingston Foreshore Medical has already had a jump in callers this morning, mostly from people under 40, requesting bookings for the AstraZeneca jab.

The clinic usually administers about 20 doses a day, three days a week. While there are still some appointments available tomorrow, the clinic has booked two to three times the number of people it usually would in a week.

Around nine people are booked in a typical week, but the clinic fielded more than a dozen calls on Tuesday morning (29 June) following Mr Morrison’s confirmation last night.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he wanted to see as many Canberrans vaccinated as possible. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Andrea, 27, was one of the people who called up first thing this morning, saying it was all about risk versus benefit.

“We have been told since the pandemic began that vaccines were the ticket out of this, end of story,” she said.

“Could I wait for Pfizer or Moderna to become available? Sure.

“But if everyone does, we will be in lockdown yo-yo land for far longer.”

READ ALSO: Barr to fight for Commonwealth income support for people currently locked-down in the ACT

Around 221,000 Australians received their second dose of AstraZeneca last week, the week after advice was updated to include people between the ages of 50 and 59 in the Pfizer rollout.

Mr Morrison said an additional 236 GPs have been brought online to administer COVID-19 vaccines, which brings the total number of GPs administering the vaccine to 5085 across Australia.

There are around 70 GP clinics administering AstraZeneca jabs in the ACT.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he would prefer to have more people vaccinated and that more people should have been vaccinated in time for winter.

“The experience is … the virus spreads more in a winter environment because we are indoors more,” he said.

Although the ACT is not experiencing the same level of vaccine hesitancy that other jurisdictions are, Mr Barr said.

READ ALSO: Look inside the ACT’s new Pfizer vaccination hub

“The statistics are very good in terms of vaccine take up in the ACT,” he said.

Almost 155,000 jabs had been administered in the ACT as of 26 June. Just under 10 per cent of the Territory’s population above the age of 16 were fully vaccinated as of 24 June.

Canberra Health Services’ chief operations officer Cathie O’Neill said people had been coming out to the ACT’s vaccination clinics in droves.

“We have not had to do any significant marketing for our appointments which is great,” she said.

Both of the ACT’s Pfizer hubs have been booked out until the start of August, but appointments remain at the Calvary AstraZeneca vaccination clinics and through Canberra GPs.

People under 40 cannot book into the ACT-run AstraZeneca hub; they must book in to receive the jab through a GP.

*An earlier version of this article said anyone over the age of 16 could access the AstraZeneca vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for people 18 years and older.

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49 Responses to Young Canberrans book in for AstraZeneca jabs as rollout expands
Able One Able One 4:43 pm 07 Jul 21


whatwik whatwik 10:05 am 30 Jun 21

Good news at last, help is on the way –

Britney Spears’s Dad To Take Control Of Australia’s Vaccine Rollout, After Government Found Unfit To Manage Own Affairs

Acton Acton 7:29 am 30 Jun 21

We know that the vaccination rate for aged care workers is so low that the goverment is even considering mandatory vaccination as a condition of their employment. But why are they so reluctant to get vaccinated? Is there the same low vaccination takeup rate among health workers in other institutions and hospitals? It is not setting a good example for the general population to get vaccinated if workers in areas that have or should have more information about health risks are not themselves getting vaccinated. Australians are not stupid, just exercising rational caution in response to government medical policy confusion, inconsistency and inadequacy. Paradoxically we have in Australia comparatively low vaccination rates with low infection rates. But we can’t hide forever from a virus in our rooms and behind closed borders.

    chewy14 chewy14 9:22 am 30 Jun 21

    Aged care workers are paid a pittance and are often insufficiently trained and educated for their roles, have you not paid attention to the outcomes of the Royal Commission?

    No offence to their hard work, but if you think they have some special insight into the health risks or effectiveness of vaccines, you’re not only barking up the wrong tree, you’re in the wrong forest.

    Acton Acton 3:49 pm 30 Jun 21

    Some may think me barking mad and sometimes I feel as if I am howling at the moon, but I do have an instinct for sniffing out BS in the forest and lifting my leg upon it Yes, people working within an occupation do see, hear, know and perceive things with often greater clarity than those from outside.

    chewy14 chewy14 6:19 pm 30 Jun 21

    Yes, you might be sniffing some BS alright. Often happens when the nose is so close to the source.

    Although it’s good to hear that you also get advice on economic theory from clerical assistants and listen to janitors on the intricacies of waste management.

    There are numerous studies as to why vaccination rates among these types of workers are low, with none of them identifying a secret unique insight on vaccination safety being key among them.

    Things like education, effective communication (these workers are often ESL) and simply getting the required time off work are far more prevalent as to the reasoning.

    But of course, your conspiracy network knows better.

    Acton Acton 9:57 am 01 Jul 21

    From your misunderstanding and misrepresentation of what I actually wrote, one has to assume you are an ESL speaker. I will make just one small amendment: “Most Australians are not….”

    chewy14 chewy14 7:55 pm 01 Jul 21

    When you don’t address any of the logical points made, what more do you expect than derision.

    In your last comment, I would have to strongly disagree. There’s more than a few Australians who are stupid.

    Some even claim that poor, uneducated workers who work on the periphery of the health industry, actually have special insight into areas of health research not even remotely connected to their skill sets. Normally I would think that these types of people are being disingenuous with their claims but sometimes I’m far too optimistic.

Neenie Baines Neenie Baines 10:03 pm 29 Jun 21

The prime minister is a moron. Every medical body has come out and criticized the latest Scotty brain fart. Less than a week ago he was saying AstraZeneca was to be phased out. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.

    Emmac Ph Emmac Ph 7:13 am 30 Jun 21

    Neenie Baines don’t forget at election time!

    Neenie Baines Neenie Baines 7:54 am 30 Jun 21

    Emmac Ph oh I won’t. I’m not the problem.

whatwik whatwik 7:54 pm 29 Jun 21

“If we had rampant COVID in the whole of Australia, the risk-benefit analysis would be in favour of AstraZeneca for all age groups, because we would be preventing many, many deaths and it would be far greater than the risk of this syndrome TTS,” she said.

Alison Jones Alison Jones 6:44 pm 29 Jun 21

The RiotACT can you double check that anyone 16 or older can now have the AZ vaccine, as stated in your story? According to the TGA, it's only approved for 18 and above.

Ol L Ol L 6:32 pm 29 Jun 21

Gotta use those jabs we over ordered and not many want lol

JC JC 6:04 pm 29 Jun 21

If people are making an informed choice why not???

Johno Bakker Johno Bakker 5:15 pm 29 Jun 21

Rather take my chance with the 🤧

Deborah Gale Deborah Gale 4:59 pm 29 Jun 21

My 25 yo son found it hard to find a surgery with supply and a doctor willing to administer to an under 40!

    Neenie Baines Neenie Baines 10:04 pm 29 Jun 21

    Deborah Gale yeah. Because it’s not recommended. Just a Scotty brain fart.

Julia Felton Julia Felton 4:52 pm 29 Jun 21

Yeah but it doesn't really increase the rate of full vaccination as with AZ you have to wait 12 weeks for the second whereas with the Pfizer it is only a couple of weeks. The biggest issue is the lack of supply. And here in the ACT lack of times available.

Amy LD Amy LD 4:49 pm 29 Jun 21

Can QBN people in their 30’s get it or do we need to border hop?

    Nicholas Cope Nicholas Cope 4:55 pm 29 Jun 21

    Amy LD booked my wife today, phoned QBN GP Super Clinic at 1pm, she was vaccinated by 2.30pm. Go get the jab 👍

    Kir Rin Kir Rin 6:59 pm 29 Jun 21

    Nik Polak yes. Case in point. Of the 30 people at the recent Sydney party, 24 contracted covid, the other 6 were vaccinated.

    Amy LD Amy LD 8:59 pm 29 Jun 21

    Nik Polak I’m not here for an argument because I’ve got better things to do… I’d rather be vaccinated than not. My body, my choice.

    Mark Piper Mark Piper 10:12 pm 30 Jun 21

    Nik Polak I love how you anti vax people call us sheep. I’m going to get my advice from the people with PHD. What’s your profession?

    Mark Piper Mark Piper 10:12 pm 30 Jun 21

    Amy LD yep. Got mine today

    Amy LD Amy LD 9:13 am 01 Jul 21

    Mark Piper We got ours yesterday!

    Bill Raynolds Bill Raynolds 5:13 am 02 Jul 21

    Mark Piper are you in denial mate?

    You're 40😁

Drew Forrest Drew Forrest 4:21 pm 29 Jun 21

Good luck to all - it's a risk approach now with choice - 5 weeks and I am still dealing with the after affects of Astra (1st jab) - unfortunately, I had no choice - the younger ones now have a choice.

    Jose Vega Jose Vega 10:50 pm 29 Jun 21

    Drew Forrest that's really bad luck I had my second two weeks ago and absolutely no after effects on the 1st nor 2nd. Guess I was lucky... So far.

Jayden Hackett Jayden Hackett 4:19 pm 29 Jun 21

I’m just waiting at the GP to get mine now

Janet Mulgrue Janet Mulgrue 3:44 pm 29 Jun 21

The revised indemnity is a concern. Doesn’t really instil confidence if no one is prepared to take responsibility.

    Janet Mulgrue Janet Mulgrue 3:48 pm 29 Jun 21

    Pam Perkins but speaking to your doctor doesn’t mean you won’t have a problem.

    Loris Manns Loris Manns 3:52 pm 29 Jun 21

    Janet Mulgrue no it sure doesn’t and is yet another red flag.

    Janet Mulgrue Janet Mulgrue 3:55 pm 29 Jun 21

    Loris Manns exactly my thoughts

    Deborah Gale Deborah Gale 5:00 pm 29 Jun 21

    You take a chance when you take paracetamol, antibiotics, or the pill.

    Janet Mulgrue Janet Mulgrue 5:11 pm 29 Jun 21

    Deborah Gale but they have all been around for a long time so you can make a decision based on past experience and widely available information. This vaccine on the other-hand is new and not well tested. There is also a lot of doubt as to its effectiveness and effects.

    Deborah Gale Deborah Gale 5:21 pm 29 Jun 21

    Janet Mulgrue A billion AZ doses worldwide….they know a bit. They certainly know it’s effective. But yes there is a very small chance of a reaction.

    Janet Mulgrue Janet Mulgrue 5:27 pm 29 Jun 21

    Deborah Gale I don’t call 65% effective. If I only had a 65% success rate in my job I wouldn’t last long

    Deborah Gale Deborah Gale 5:42 pm 29 Jun 21

    Janet Mulgrue 86-92%

    Chris Ellis Chris Ellis 5:47 pm 29 Jun 21

    Janet Mulgrue you have more chance of dying from taking the pill.

    Janet Mulgrue Janet Mulgrue 5:48 pm 29 Jun 21

    Chris Ellis I have no chance of dying from taking the pill 😂😂😂😂😂

    Janet Mulgrue Janet Mulgrue 5:49 pm 29 Jun 21

    Deborah Gale it really depends what you read. Many reports that are not trying to sell it are much lower

    Deborah Gale Deborah Gale 6:34 pm 29 Jun 21

    Janet Mulgrue All the stuff I've seen is on the high side but to be honest I'd rather have a 68% immunity against the Delta variant than 0%. The people dying in the UK and Europe at the moment are unvaccinated.

    Janet Mulgrue Janet Mulgrue 6:42 pm 29 Jun 21

    Deborah Gale well that’s nice for you. More Pfizer for those who wait. By the way the AMA have refused to recommend that their members prescribe the AstraZenica vaccine.

    Deborah Gale Deborah Gale 6:59 pm 29 Jun 21

    By all means wait if thats what you want.

    Janet Mulgrue Janet Mulgrue 7:22 pm 29 Jun 21

    Deborah Gale which was the basis of my original comment 😂

    Jayne Denise Jayne Denise 9:13 pm 29 Jun 21

    Love the way this strategic roll out turned into a table flip 🤣

Justin Watson Justin Watson 3:37 pm 29 Jun 21

I reckon there will be plenty of younger Canberrans who'll get the AZ jab. Thats what I thought i was getting and was happy to do so until they changed the rules. The risks are higher, but I think now the GP's can check family history and the patient for the key things that appear to lead to the clots happening. Most of them are pretty rare though I wouldn't place a bet on a 4 in million chance.

    デ スティーブ デ スティーブ 7:11 pm 29 Jun 21

    Justin Watson have to wonder what the cholesterol and blood pressure levels were for the people that developed clots, and what the background levels of clot development are.

    Increased prevalence of poor cardiovascular health that has slipped under the radar far more likely to cause clots.

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